President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will attend the promotion ceremony of the military officers whose rankings were recently elevated, including the Second Army Commander, Lt. Gen. İsmail Metin Temel, who has been elevated to the rank of four star general, tomorrow at the Turkish General Staff headquarters in Ankara.
Erdoğan will reportedly be personally handing over the ranking of Temel and Naval Forces Cmdr. Adnan Özbal, who has been promoted to full admiral.
Temel, who led the operations against the PKK terrorist group's Syrian affiliate, People's Protection Units (YPG), in northwestern Syria's Afrin province, was targeted by the main opposition Republican People's Party's (CHP) presidential candidate, Muharrem İnce, for applauding Erdoğan during a speech in an event in southeastern Malatya province.
"I will make him retire on August 30 and take his epaulets off," İnce had said during a speech in western İzmir province ahead of the June 24 presidential and parliamentary elections. İnce lost the elections with about 22 percent of votes, coming second behind Erdoğan who claimed victory with 52.4 percent.
İnce had said that Temel's applause [for Erdoğan] was contradictory to his objectivity as an officer. On the issue, Erdoğan had responded to İnce by saying that İnce was acting as if though he wanted to be "king" of the country.
Temel was in charge of Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Syria. He was praised for the successful conduct of the operations by different circles of society. Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to eliminate YPG terrorists from Afrin.In the recent promotions approved by the Supreme Military Council (YAŞ), at least nine generals and admirals have been elevated to higher ranks, while 41 colonels have been promoted to the rank of general.
The tenures of 13 generals have also been extended for one year and tenures of 383 colonels for two years.
The YAŞ meeting is a biannual gathering to discuss appointments and retirements of high-ranking staff officers and generals as well as the removal of military personnel.