ERDOGAN TAKES CHARGE OF MILITARY



Turkey’s president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced new powers bringing the military further under civilian authority.
The move comes after the failed coup of 15 July, which resulted in the arrests of more than 10,000 people, most of them from the country’s armed forces.
Nearly 70,000 others were suspended or sacked from their jobs in media, health care, education, military and the judiciary.
Mr Erdogan’s decree is the third issued during the three-month state of emergency declared following the event, which left more than 200 people dead.
It gives the prime minister and president the authority to issue direct orders to the commander of the army, air force and navy.
Military commands are brought under the authority of the defence ministry and military hospitals will come under the charge of the health ministry.
Military schools will be closed and a new defence university will be created to train officers.
The decree also announces the discharge of 1,389 military personnel, including Mr Erdogan’s chief military adviser, the chief of general staff’s charge d’affaires and the defence minister’s chief secretary.
In an interview on Saturday on the private A Haber television, Mr Erdogan said he also wanted to put the country’s MIT intelligence agency and the chief of general staff’s headquarters under presidential control.
“If we can pass this small constitution package with (the opposition parties), then the chief of general staff and MIT will be tied to the president,” he said.
The crackdown has caused concern among Turkey’s western allies and has particularly strained its relationship with Germany.
Ankara has demanded the closure of schools in Germany that are affiliated with the movement of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, who Mr Erdogan accuses of instigating the attempted coup.
Turkey’s leader is also demanding the extradition of Mr Gulen from his current home in Pennsylvania but the US has said the extradition process must be allowed to take its proper course.
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