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Turkey: Military Resignation Strategy Misfires

Kosaner: “impossible to continue serving.” (Photo: NATO)

It seems Turkey’s generals, so long a force in the country’s politics, are going out with a whimper, not a bang.

Initially, some media outlets dubbed the surprise resignations of Turkey’s top generals on July 29 as an “earthquake” and “bombshell.” But by August 1, the country appeared to shrug off the military maneuver and move on: financial markets held steady and the government, led by the Justice and Development Party (AKP), remained unfazed.

In his farewell message, the outgoing chief of the General Staff, Isik Kosaner, complained that it had become ‘impossible to continue serving’ due to the ongoing detention of some 250 retired and active-duty military officers on suspicion of being conspirators in coup plots, known as Ergenekon and Sledgehammer. In addition to the chief of staff, the commanders of the army, navy and air force also tendered their resignations.

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Alexander Christie-Miller is a freelance journalist based in Istanbul, where he writes for the Times.

Turkey: Military Resignation Strategy Misfires

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