Turkey’s Supreme Military Council (YAS) met on Thursday in the wake of a failed military coup staged by Fethullah Terrorist Organization.
The YAS meeting, which originally takes place every August, has been brought forward by a few days this year because of the abortive coup attempt. The regular meeting is being held at the prime minister’s office for the first time, not as is customary at the headquarters of the military General Staff. The meeting, originally scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m., began at 11:30 a.m. with a two hour delay.
Before the annual meeting, the Supreme Military Council members and PM Binali Yıldırım visited modern Turkey’s founder Ataturk’s mausoleum, Anıtkabir, as is custom. Yıldırım placed a wreath at his mausoleum following an observation of one-minute silence. The PM and military’s top brass posed for a photo on the steps of Anıtkabir.
The discussions, chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, will specifically center on unfolding events of the attempted coup plot. Along with Yıldırım, National Defense Minister Fikri Işık is attending the regular YAS meeting for the first time. The heads of ground, navy and air forces and military’s top brass will hold discussions on appointments and retirements of high-ranking officers.
It follows yesterday’s crucial meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım and the army’s chief Gen. Hulusi Akar. Military sources say the number of officers, dismissed for their connection to the Gülen’s terrorist organization, is very likely to rise after the July 28 meeting which is seen “critical” and “vital” in respect of restruction of Turkey’s armed forces and bring in fresh blood after the failed coup plot which claimed the lives of 246.
Officials said PM Yıldırım will offer lunch to the Supreme Council at Çankaya Palace and later on in the day President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will hold a reception at the presidential palace to honor the military’s top brass and civilian officials in the meeting, which will take only one day this year, contrary to the previous gatherings which is two days.
Just a day before the annual meeting, more than 1,000 soldiers including officers, sergeants and generals were dsicharged for their link to Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) in a decree law put into force as part of the country’s three-month the State of Emergency.
Meanwhile, three news agencies, 16 TV channels, 23 radio stations, 45 newspapers, 29 publishing houses and 15 periodicals which have links to FETÖ have been closed amid the state of emergency. Turkey went through a deadly coup attempt on July 15 when rogue elements of the military tried to overthrow the country’s democratically- elected government. Tens of thousands of people took to the streets to protest against the failed coup, which martyred at least 246 and wounded nearly 2,200 people.