Turkish prosecutors have arrested more than 200 officers on allegations
of participating in a plot to overthrow the government in 2003. In most
cases, little evidence was brought against the 173 serving and 77 retired
officers, including 40 generals.
On July 29, a Turkish court approved an indictment against 22 officers
charged with participating in another alleged military plot. Turkey's media
said the indictment prompted Kosaner's decision to resign.
"As this situation cannot be prevented and applications to the
authorities [for a solution] are disregarded, I, as the chief of staff was
not able to protect my personnel's rights," Kosaner said.
The resignation came ahead of a meeting of the Supreme Military Council
on Aug. 1. The meeting was meant to reach agreement on the appointment of
new military chiefs later in the month.
"It is clear as day that this extraordinary development has opened the
door to a serious state crisis," Devlet Bahceli, head of the opposition
Nationalist Movement Party, said.
In response, Erdogan canceled a trip abroad and convened his top aides.
The prime minister then issued a statement that announced the appointment of
Gendarmerie commander Gen. Necdet Ozel as head of the Army and acting deputy
chief of staff.
"No one should see this as a crisis in Turkey," President Abdullah Gul
said on July 20. "The developments were extraordinary within its scope, but
as you see everything is continuing on its own course. There is no [power]