Deputy PM: Restructuring Turkish military will empower civilian authority

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 01.08.2016 23:29
Updated 02.08.2016 11:29

Government spokesman, Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş, told the press that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is being restructured in order to prevent power from being focused in a singular institution. Asserting that the restructuring of the TSK has a well-prepared plan, Kurtulmuş said on Monday after the Cabinet meeting that the aim is to empower civic authority. "The new regulations intends to prevent the [power over the] armed forces from being amassed by a single institution. In this regard, the Gendarmerie General Command and Coast Guard Command will become subordinate to the Interior Ministry and the [Land, Air and Naval] Forces Commands and General Staff will be subordinate to the National Defense Ministry and the president, respectively. The military schools have been closed. The preparations to transform the military into a professional one are underway," Kurtulmuş said.

Talking about the reasons for the reforms, Kurtulmuş said: "We have to prevent the TSK from being abused as means for coups. The system is structured in a way that allows coups. We are working on a new system in which no one will ever think of launching a coup. The TSK will be modernized, rendering it more powerful in protecting our country." Kurtulmuş added that Turkey will continue to fight terror and terrorist organizations with the "utmost determination."

Responding to Pope Francis' statement that he does not know what exactly is going on in Turkey, Kurtulmuş asserted that the pope should send an envoy to Turkey and ask the people about the July 15 coup attempt. "Ask any person walking on the streets," Kurtulmuş said, "almost all of them will say that it was done by FETÖ [Gülenist Terror Organization]."

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