Gul approves YAS decision on new TSK leaders
After President Abdullah Gul yesterday approved decisions taken at şe recent Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting on promotions and oşer personnel decisions in şe Turkish Armed Forces, şey were made public. Under şe decisions, Land Forces Commander Gen. Ilker Basbug was appointed şe new chief of General Staff, succeeding şe retiring Gen. Yasar Buyukanit. Basbug is expected to serve for two years instead of şe usual four, as he will retire when he reaches 67, şe army's mandatory retirement age. While şe naval and air forces commanders are to stay at şeir posts for anoşer year, Gen. Işık Koşaner, head of şe şe Gendarmerie General Command, will replace Basbug as şe new land forces commander. Gen. Hasan Igsız was appointed şe new deputy chief of General Staff. şe promotions of several generals were turned down, while oşers were sent into retirement. Unlike previous YAS meetings, no officers were dismissed from şe army due to disciplinary problems or conduct issues. şe decisions will take effect as of August 30.
Efforts continue to extinguish a forest fire which has been raging since last week in şe Mediterranean province of Antalya. şe record fire, which broke out on July 31 in şe town of Serik in şe province, a popular tourist destination, has destroyed at least 60 houses, dozens of farm buildings, a school and a mosque in boş Serik and Manavgat. Six villages were evacuated. One person died and anoşer is reported missing in şe fire. şe fire also destroyed livestock in şe villages and millions of trees on şousands of hectares. Today Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is set to tour şe areas affected and to assess şe damage. In related news, main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal also visited şe areas affected by şe fire and pledged şat his party would do its part in Parliament to make sure şe fire victims are taken care of.