Compromise on Turkish army chief
Military, government reach agreement on two senior appointments after dispute.
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2010 11:46 GMT
Kosaner, right, will replace Basbug after his retirement later this month [AFP]

The Turkish government and army have reached a compromise deal on two high-ranking appointments, the latest confrontation between politicians and the country's military.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the prime minister, rejected the army's first choice for land forces commander, General Hasan Igsiz. His decision prevented the current commander, General Isik Kosaner, from being named chief of staff - the expected outcome of a four-day military council last week.

Abdullah Gul, the Turkish president, announced a compromise deal on Sunday night. General Erdal Ceylanoglu was named land forces commander, and Kosaner received the promotion to chief of staff.

Igsiz has been named by Turkish prosecutors as a suspect in a plot to set up Web sites critical of the government. No charges have been filed, and the military rejects the allegations.

"We're not going to give the nod to everyone," Erdogan said on Sunday. "We also have certain rights."

Kosaner will take command after General Ilker Basbug retires later in August.

Last month, a Turkish court indicted 196 people, including four retired military commanders, over an alleged plot to topple the government. The arrest warrant was later overturned.

Hundreds of other people have been arrested in connection with various anti-government plots over the last two years.

Turkey's military has unseated four governments since 1960, under the auspices of protecting the country's secular constitution. It has often clashed with Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party.

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