Turkey replaces land, air, naval forces commanders: reports

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Turkey replaces land, air, naval forces commanders: reports

Ankara (AFP) - Turkey's top military body on Wednesday replaced the land, air and naval commanders of the military at a critical meeting just over a year after the failed coup bid, Turkish media reported.

The Supreme Military Council (YAS) decided to replace land forces commander General Salih Zeki Colak, naval chief Admiral Bulent Bostanoglu and air force commander General Abidin Unal, CNN Turk broadcaster said.

Colak will be replaced by General Yasar Guler, currently head of the gendarmerie and former deputy chief of staff, the channel said.

Bostanoglu would be replaced by Vice Admiral Adnan Ozbal and General Hasan Kucukakyuz would replace Unal as air force commander, CNN Turk added.

The decisions made during the YAS meeting chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim will be presented to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for formal approval later on Wednesday.

The council usually meets only once a year but this is the third meeting since the July 15, 2016 coup bid blamed on the US-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen. He denies the charges.

The government upped the civilian component of the council following the failed coup, giving more place to government ministers than military figures.

Previously, such meetings were held at military headquarters but are now hosted by the prime minister.

Following the attempted putsch, the government's changes included discharging 149 generals, almost half of the military's entire contingent at the time of 358.

Under Erdogan, the political influence of the once-all powerful military responsible for overthrowing governments four times since 1960 has been weakened, especially since the coup attempt.

Guler had been abducted for several hours together with the Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar and other military figures on the night of the attempted overthrow.

There was no indication that Akar would be replaced and he appears set to stay in the job, as had been expected, until at least 2019.