The surprise move of the four-day Supreme Military Council (YAŞ) assembling to be launched on Wednesday is anticipated to be demanding Air Forces Commander Gen. Mehmet Erten to retire too soon, in accordance with speculations in Ankara’s political corridors.
It’s told that Erten’s dismission could be linked to his weak direction potentialities with reference to the killing of 34 citizens by F-14 jets in Uludere mistaken for being members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and shooting down of Turkish F-4 warship by Syrian forces on June 22. It’s also claimed that Erten can’t show a good operation in the National Security Council (MGK) meetings and he could be replaced with Lt. Gen. Abidin Ünal being the most experienced general in the First Air Forces Commander in Eskişehir. All the same, Ünal is also recognised as a “difficult” general in conditions of his loyalty to a political will.
The army is anticipated to resist to the government’s move to demand Erten to retire. After Gen. Bilgin Balanlı, War Academies Commander, was caught as part of the investigating into the subversive Sledgehammer coup plan, Lt. Gen. Erten was upgraded to the rank of general and assigned as the Air Forces Commander in the YAŞ assembling in 2011.
Both 2010 and 2011 YAŞ meetings were consequential after the command echelon of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) resisted as the government and the president wanted to apply their legal rights in the promotion of generals and admirals. Crisis dominated in the last year’s YAŞ assembling as former Chief of General Staff Işık Koşaner and 3 force commanders resigned in protestation of government’s refusal to promote generals in line with the law standing charged in the Sledgehammer coup case. But President Abdullah Gül appointed then Land Forces Commander Necdet Özel to replace Koşaner in what may described a “soft transition” move.