"Currently 250 military officials, including 173 active generals,
admirals, officers and noncommissioned officers are behind bars without
court decisions on their cases," Kosaner said in his farewell letter. "Their
arrest contradicts universal legal norms and does not fit into the
frameworks of law and justice."
Within hours of Kosaner's resignation on July 29, Erdogan appointed Gen.
Necdet Ozel as interim chief of staff, and later the former Gendarmerie
commander co-chaired the council session.
The 60-year-old Ozel was described as an ally of the ruling Justice and
Development Party. In November 2010, Erdogan visited Ozel in a move that
dismayed the rest of the General Staff.
"He is a true gentleman, a respectful soldier who known his limits and
does not interfere in politics," parliamentarian Samir Tayar, a member of
the Justice Development Party, wrote in 2010.
Turkish sources said the government was preparing for additional
generals to resign after the council's four-day session, expected to result
in a new leadership. They said the government would not approve the
appointment of any officer charged with plotting to overthrow Erdogan.
Erdogan allies said the prime minister would directly appoint leading
military commanders at the Supreme Military Council session, held twice a
year. They said the prime minister also intended to promote mid-level
officers deemed friendly to his government. Until 2011, the government
received recommendations from the General Staff for promotions and
"I will not sign any decree with my eyes closed," Turkish President
Abdullah Gul, an ally of Erdogan, said.