Turkish military promotes 99 colonels in shake-up, top brass little changed

The dishonourable discharges included around 40 percent of Turkey`s admirals and generals.

Istanbul: Turkey`s top military council promoted 99 colonels to the rank of general or admiral and put 48 generals into retirement in its annual shake-up, the military said on Friday, although the top brass was little changed after this month`s failed coup attempt.

President Tayyip Erdogan approved the council`s key decisions, leaving armed forces chief Hulusi Akar and the army, navy and air force commanders in their posts, Erdogan`s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin separately told reporters late on Thursday.

The annual meeting of the Supreme Military Council - chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and including the top brass - followed the dishonourable discharge of nearly 1,700 military personnel over their alleged roles in the abortive putsch on July 15-16.

Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death on the night of the coup, told Reuters in an interview last week that the military, NATO`s second biggest, needed "fresh blood".

The dishonourable discharges included around 40 percent of Turkey`s admirals and generals.

A statement on the armed forces` website said that, alongside the promotion of 99 colonels, 16 generals and admirals were promoted and the terms of 20 generals and admirals were extended by a year. The statement made no reference to the coup.

Among the limited changes in the most senior commanders, the deputy armed forces chief General Yasar Guler was appointed commander of Turkey`s gendarmerie force, while the head of the prestigious First Army, General Umit Dundar, replaced him as Akar`s second-in-command, the presidential spokesman said.

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