Turkish Military Sacks Personnel

ANKARA (Reuter)–Turkey’s powerful military said on Monday it had sacked 76 members of the ran’s for disciplinary reasons–apparently a move by the secularist commanders against Islamist activism in the ran’s.

"Seventy-six personnel were dismissed from the Turkish armed forces after evaluation of their disciplinary and moral positions," state-run Anatolian news agency reported the Supreme Military Council as deciding after a four-day meeting.

Earlier–mass-circulation daily Milliyet said 73 of the officers and non-commissioned officers were being sacked for links to Islamist activism.

The decisions were signed at military headquarters by Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz–who chaired the four-day council meeting five weeks after coming to power at the head of a right-left coalition.

The army–which regards itself as the guardian of Turkey’s secularist tradition–had sacked dozens of officers at council meetings in previous years.

The former Islamist-led government had collapsed after pressure from the military to introduce measures aimed at curbing the role of religion in public life.

The council also appointed new generals to lead the army–navy and air force after the retirement of the existing leaders.

It said it had appointed Huseyin Kivrikoglu as army chief to replace Hikmet Koksal. Salim Dervisoglu was selected to take over as the navy chief from Guven Erkaya and Ilhan Kilic was chosen to replace Ahmet Corekci as head of the air force.

The country’s gendarmerie police force is to be headed by General Fikret Ozden Boztepe who will take the place of Teoman Koman.

The chief of staff Ismail Hakki Karadayi and his deputy Cevik Bir were to stay in their posts.

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