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Military


Millî Savunma Bakaligi
Defense Ministry

Turkish Armed Forces consist of the Army, Air Force, Navy, Gendarmerie (in peacetime subordinated to the Minister of Internal Affairs) and the Coast Guard. Organizational they are part of two ministries - the Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkey.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stacked the top military council with more government ministers among other tough measures against the country's military establishment in the wake of a July 15 failed coup. Erdogan issued a decree on 31 July 2016 after declaring a three-month state of emergency, putting deputy prime ministers and justice, foreign and interior ministers in the Supreme Military Council - the body that makes decisions on military affairs and appointments. The decree also gave the president and prime minister the authority to issue direct orders to the commanders of the army, air force and navy.

These reforms stripped the military of any autonomy it might have enjoyed ahead of the failed coup attempt. The Supreme Military Council is a very important body. It meets a couple of times a year and once a year it recommends who should be promoted, who should go for retirement in the higher ranks of the military.

In an interview on 30 July 2016 with private A Haber television, Erdogan said he also wanted to put the country's MIT intelligence agency and the chief of general staff's headquarters under the presidency. "If we can pass this small constitution package with (the opposition parties), then the chief of general staff and MIT will be tied to the president," Erdogan told A Haber. The package would need to be brought to parliament for a vote.

The Supreme Military Council consisted of eighteen members, including the prime minister as chair, the chief of the General Staff as vice chair, the minister of national defense, the three service commanders, and other commanders of four-star rank. All promotions and other appointments to higher military positions are decided in this council, as are many internal policy matters affecting the military services. In practice, the chief of the General Staff initiates the appointments of service chiefs after consulting the civilian leadership and promotions to general rank after consulting the respective service chiefs.

The Ministry of National Defense executes defense policies and programs determined by the chief of the General Staff with respect to conscription, procurement of weapons and equipment, logistical needs, and other services such as health care, construction, infrastructure, and finances and auditing. The ministry compiles, coordinates, and steers the annual budget request through the National Assembly. The ministry is responsible for negotiating with other countries for military assistance and arms supplies but is not involved in discussions concerning the allocation of foreign aid among the service branches. The Ministry of National Defense reflects lesser civilian influence than its United States counterpart; many ministry staff officers are military officers, and the undersecretary of national defense is a general on active duty.




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Page last modified: 20-11-2016 17:05:28 ZULU