The Supreme Military Council has halted the longstanding practice of expelling Turkish
soldiers and officers suspected of Islamist ties. At a council meeting on
Nov. 30, no soldiers were dismissed.
"This is unprecedented, but clearly reflects the fact that the military
now answers to the government and not the other way around," a Turkish
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Relations between the military and government remain tense. President
Abdullah Gul cut short the military council session for a trip to
Kazakhstan. Usually, the president has ended the council meeting by hosting
lunch for senior commanders.
On Oct. 29, the Turkish General Staff boycotted a presidential reception
after the suspension of three generals. The generals have appealed to
the Supreme Military Administrative Court, Middle East Newsline reported.
Officials said the council has been under increasing pressure from the
pro-Islamist government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan to stop firing
soldiers suspected of being fundamentalists. Over the last three years, the
military council has been expelling fewer and fewer Islamists.
"The council discussed requirements for military operations as well
security of Turkey's borders," a statement said.
In 2009, two military officers were dismissed. Before the military
meeting, Erdogan met Chief of Staff Gen. Isik Kosaner to coordinate