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EN MASSE Turkey’s Top Military Leaders Quit Burhan Ozbilici / AP Photo

Turkey’s Top Military Leaders Quit

Is this the start of a new era in Turkey? The military’s top commanders, including the top two generals, resigned on Friday, a move that could signal the end of the military’s influence over politics. The top commander, Gen. Isik Kosaner, and the leaders of the Navy, Army and Air Force all resigned in protest over the arrests of dozens of generals over the past year, which many in Turkey consider a witch hunt. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accepted the resignations within hours, and elevated his own choice to take over as top military commander, a move that proved his authority over the military, long tasked with keeping the nation’s secular laws in place. “This is the symbolic moment where the first Turkish republic ends and the second republic begins,” said Asli Aydintasbas, a columnist for Turkey’s daily newspaper.

 

July 29, 2011 11:08 PM