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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Turkey puts hold on military leaves

ANKARA The Turkish military continues to prepare for a campaign against Kurdish insurgents in northern Iraq.

The Army has halted leave and retirement of officers while making plans to expand a counter-insurgency campaign against the Kurdish Workers Party along the border with Iraq.

The decree, issued in late June, has affected more than 10,000 military personnel scheduled to retire starting in July.

The military said all retirement and resignations would be delayed until January 2008, Middle East Newsline reported. Officials said the decree would facilitate additional deployment for security operations throughout southeast Turkey.

Also In This Edition

The Turkish military has also decided to close summer camps in mid-July to enable soldiers to vote in national elections scheduled for July 22. Officials said the military expects a surge in PKK violence during the elections.

In August, the Supreme Military Council was scheduled to meet to decide on promotions in all of the services. The council was also expected to purge suspected Islamist officers.

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