ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s civilian leaders prepared to use an unprecedented opportunity this week to choose generals they trust after the country’s top military commanders resigned in protest over the detention of comrades facing coup conspiracy charges.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan convened the Supreme Military Council as scheduled on Monday despite the presence of only nine of the 14 generals who would normally attend the twice-yearly meeting to decide key promotions in NATO’s second-largest armed force. The meeting will run four days.
Long-running strains between the secularist military and the ruling Justice and Development Party, which has Islamist roots, boiled over Friday when Chief of General Staff Isik Kosaner stepped down, along with the army, navy and air force commanders, to take early retirement.
The fifth general missing from Monday’s meeting was one of about 250 officers now jailed on charges linked to various alleged anti-government plots dating back to 2003.