The Supreme Military Council or YAŞ, which convened for the first time under Prime Minister Erdoğan’s sole leadership, also went on to mark a number of firsts. From here on out in the new YAŞ era on the left of the Prime Minister will sit the Minister of National Defense and on his right will be the Chief of General Staff.
The 2011 Supreme Military Council has laid the stage for a number of firsts. With the recent decision to retire made by Chief of General Staff General Işık Koşaner coupled by the same requests by the other top leaders of the armed forces, this year's Supreme military Council appears to be a bit different than those in the past and in fact has signed on to a number of firsts. The Supreme Military Council convened yesterday morning in the General Staff headquarters. For the first time ever, Prime Minister Erdoğan took the sole seat at the helm. In previous YAŞ meetings, the Chief of General Staff would be seated to Prime Minister Erdoğan's left at an equal alignment at the head of the table.
The fact that newly appointed Chief of staff, and current land Forces commander Necdet Özel has not yet officially taken on the position, was in fact reverberated in photographic coverage from yesterday's meeting. However in the new era, the Minister of National Security will remain seated to the Prime Minister's left while the Chief of General Staff is planned to be seated on his right. In addition to Erdoğan, yesterday's Supreme Military Council was attended by Land Forces Commander and Acting Chief of General Staff Necdet Özel, Second Chief of Staff General Aslan Güner, First Military Command General Hayri Kıvrıkoğlu, Second Military Command General Servet Yörük, Third Military Command General Yalçın Ataman, Commander of Aegean Army General Nusret Taşdeler, Land Forces Training and Doctrine (EDOK) Commander General Saldıray Berk, Land Forces Command Chief of General Staff General Bekir Kalyoncu and Fleet Commander Admiral Emin Murat Bilgel. A SERIES OF FIRSTS
The Supreme Military Council met yesterday at 09:30 for a session to discuss military staff appointments and promotions chaired by Prime Minister Erdoğan. During the meeting, the members will discuss the various promotions appointments and retirement of the military's generals, admirals and colonels while also handling the situation pertaining to those that will be departing the TAF due to disciplinary issues. Not only was this meeting the first time National Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz participated but it also marked a series of firsts for the YAŞ:
NINE GENERALS AND ADMIRALS WERE IN ATTENDANCE: With the retirement requests made by Chief of General Staff Işık Koşaner and the top armed forces commanders, this year the council was held without the attendance of the Chief of General Staff, two armed forces commanders (air forces and naval) as well as the Gendarmerie General Commander. Land Forces Commander General Necdet Özel attended the council as Acting Chief of General Staff, whereas War Academy Commander General Bilgin Balanlı who is being held in connection to the 'Sledgehammer' investigation was not in attendance. Instead of the norm of 14 generals and admirals, this year there were only nine to hold the Supreme Military Council.
TITLE GRANTED FOR ACTING CHIEF OF GENERAL STAFF: For the first time ever, at this year's YAŞ a general was in attendance under the title of Acting Chief of General Staff. After General Işık Koşaner decided to retire, the government expedited the appointment of current Land Forces Commander Necdet Özel as Acting Chief of General Staff and for the purpose of this Monday's Supreme Military Council for the first time ever a name plate for the Acting Chief of General Staff was added for the council meeting.
NO AIR FORCE COMMANDER PRESENT: For the first time ever there was no commander from the Air Forces present at the meeting. With Air Forces Commander General Hasan Aksay going into retirement and War Academy Commander General Bilgin Balanlı currently under arrest, there was no general present to represent the Air Force.
TWO MEMBERS DETAINED: According to mandate, regular member of the Supreme Military Council War Academies Commander General Bilgin Balanlı was unable to attend the meeting due to his detainment in the Sledgehammer case, however he did retain the write to send a letter regarding the items on the council agenda. However, General Balanlı refrained from doing so as no such letter was presented at the council.
A COMMANDER WITH A WARRANT FOR HIS ARREST: Despite a warrant issued for his arrest in connection to the 'Internet Memorandum' case in which it is alleged that certain military members conducted propaganda against the state on certain internet websites, Aegean Army Commander Nusret Taşdeler did attend the meeting.
GÜL TO HOST COUNCIL DINNER
President Abdullah Gül will be hosting a dinner tomorrow evening for members of the Supreme Military Council. The dinner has been scheduled for 20:10 to coincide with the designated time for the breaking of the fast for Ramadan.