Analysis 17 Aug 17

Turkish Purges Leave Once Mighty Army Weakened

Once one of the world's strongest armed forces, the Turkish military has been seriously undermined by waves of arrests and dismissals, experts warn.

BIRN Team
Istanbul, Ankara, Sarajevo

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Beta/Pool photo via AP

The latest round of arrests and dismissals in Turkey that the government has been undertaking over the last year includes – as usual – more soldiers and officers.

“After all the arrests and suspensions, the Turkish army is in a serious crisis in terms of human capacity,” a Turkish university professor specialising in security and foreign policy told BIRN under condition of anonymity, citing security concerns.

According to the Turkish Justice Ministry’s own data, 6,976 high-ranking officers, including 166 generals ¬ 40 per cent of all the general staff ¬ plus 6,810 colonels, have been arrested since the failed coup attempt of July 15, 2016.

In addition, more than 20,000 military personnel were suspended from service for alleged links to the coup plotters.

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