Turkish PM, army meet to appoint new high command

By REUTERS
August 1, 2011 11:52

 
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ANKARA - Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan met Turkey's military top brass on Monday to choose a new high command after the most senior generals in NATO's second-biggest armed forces quit in protest over arrests of officers linked to alleged coup plots.

Long-running strains between the secularist military and Islamist-rooted government boiled over on Friday when Chief of General Staff Isik Kosaner stepped down, along with army, navy and air force commanders.

The resignations will enable Erdogan to consolidate control over a once-omnipotent military, which staged a series of coups since 1960 but whose power has been curbed by EU-backed reforms since pushing an Islamist-led government from power in 1997.

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