Turkish army resists will of parliament

Turkey's military will continue to play a key role in national politics despite European Union demands to reduce its power.

    Military will retain its role in politics despite the EU

    The Higher Military Council decided during a three-day meeting that it will retain control of the secretariat of the National Security Council (MGK) in spite of a vote by the Turkish parliament last week to limit their political influence, AFP reported.

    Turkey’s parliament on Wednesday passed a number of reforms aimed at limiting the army's influence, a key criteria of the European Union before it opens membership talks with the NATO-member country.

    The package cut the responsibility of the MGK, the country's top policy-making body through which the generals exercise their influence in politics.

    It is made up of the president, prime minister, defence, interior, foreign and communications ministers and the five senior officers in the armed forces and charged with “laying down priority recommendations to the government,” AFP reported.

    It meets once a month.

    The package agreed by parliament provides for a civilian head of the secretariat and stipulates that the MGK should meet no more than once every few months.

    According to Mehmet Ali Sahin, the decision to leave the military at the head of the MGK was in conformity with the new law as it has not yet been agreed as law by the president.

    SOURCE: AFP


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