Europe

Turkey names new military chiefs after row

Turkish Generals Ilker Basbug (left), and Isik Kosaner, pictured in August 2008
Image caption Isik Kosaner (right) is to be the new armed forces chief of staff

Turkey's government has appointed generals to two top posts, ending a stand-off with the military.

General Isik Kosaner will be the new overall head of the Turkish armed forces, while General Erdal Ceylanoglu becomes head of land forces.

The government had vetoed the army's original choice for head of land forces after allegations of a coup plot.

The military has agreed not to promote a number of senior officers implicated in the alleged 2003 plot.

After it made the concession, arrest warrants against 102 military officers named in the case were annulled.

General Hasan Igsiz was originally proposed as land forces head, but was blocked by the government because he was named in connection to the so-called "sledgehammer" plot.

The alleged conspiracy was drawn up in 2003 at the Istanbul base of the First Army, shortly after the governing AK Party came to power.

The alleged plot reportedly involved plans to bomb mosques and provoke tensions with Greece, in order to spark political chaos and justify a military takeover.

The military says it was only a contingency plan based on scenarios of political unrest.

The case is the latest in a series involving alleged plots by Turkey's military and secular establishment against the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

General Kosaner, 65, will take over command of Nato's second largest military from Gen Ilker Basbug, who retires this month.

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