Friday, July 29, 2011

The Turkish military snaps
This photograph, taken on August 28, 2010, shows the Turkish Chief of Staff General Isik Kosaner during a military ceremony in Ankara. General Isik Kosaner stepped down on July 29, 2011, and the entire military command have resigned in a row with the government over promotions for generals held in an alleged anti-government plot, Turkish media reported. (Getty Images)

Editor's Note: Soner Cagaptay is Director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy and a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University. He is the co-author, with Scott Carpenter, of Regenerating the U.S.-Turkey Partnership.

By Soner Cagaptay – Special to CNN

Today’s news of the mass resignation of Turkey’s Chief of Staff, General Isik Kosaner and the force commanders is a sign that the Turkish military, the second largest force in NATO, is snapping under the weight of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP).

Since the AKP came to power in Ankara in 2002, civilian-military relations between the governing party, a coalition of conservatives, reformed Islamists and Islamists, and the military, a bastion of secularism, have been tense. But thus far, the military leadership has remained diplomatic, choosing not to confront the government. Yet, with so many top commanders of the Turkish military resigning at once today, this is no longer the case.............................

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