Kosaner to succeed Basbug as top Turkish army commander
The Turkish government and the military reached a deal Sunday night over the appointment of top army chiefs, after days of uncertainty in last week's Supreme Military Council (YAS). Turkey had been expected to announce a new army chief and Land Forces commander Wednesday at the end of the four-day YAS, but the two posts were left vacant in the final list of promotions. Gen. Isik Kosaner was appointed Sunday the new chief of the Turkish General Staff, and Gen. Erdal Ceylanoglu was appointed the new Land Forces commander. The appointments were made public after a meeting at the Cankaya Presidential Palace between President Abdullah Gul, outgoing chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, and Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul. Debates over the promotion of Gen. Hasan Igsiz, previously the top choice for the Land Forces post, had delayed the filling of the two highest-level spots in the Turkish military. Tensions had mounted between the government and the army during the YAS, as Prime Recep Tayyip Erdogan refused to sign off on Igsiz's appointment. The general was in line to become the Land Forces commander before he was summoned to testify in a case probing online anti-government propaganda. Speaking to reporters Sunday, Erdogan said that an agreement had been reached "to a great extent" on filling the two posts. "I think that we will make our proposal to our president this evening. Right now our preparations are almost completed. We are close to largely reaching an agreement," he told reporters. The names of the commanders who will assume the top two military posts were made public late Sunday night.