New amendment to permit civilian officers in army, report says

The Turkish Armed Forces' (TSK) new amendment on employing civilian officers for military positions requiring specific qualifications will alter the superior-subordinate relationship as it will allow chief civilian officers to command their military subordinates, daily Habertürk reported June 16. 

Civilian officers can be assigned to positions at Turkey's Defense Ministry and the TSK that only require specific qualifications, according to an amendment published in the Official Gazette on June 15. At the same time, the civilian officers will be able to join from either within the two organizations or from a third source.

The amendment will also result in the creation of civilian officer positions in the Defense Ministry, the Turkish General Staff, the Gendarmerie General Command and the Turkish Coast Guard Command.

The creation of civilian officer positions will be conducted on the condition that a vacant position cannot be filled by a military academy graduate in a short period of time and that the position requires idea and project development work, as well as legal, technical, financial, medical and managerial qualifications.

Civilian officers can also be appointed to the positions of branch officer, department head and deputy department head, whose positions are filled by those with the rank of colonel or brigadier.

Chief civilian officers will be able to command both military and civilian subordinates according to the rank to which their civilian rank equals in military terms.

The protocol relationship between civilian officers and military personnel will be based on the rank equivalence of the civilian personnel and the military staff. For example, an eighth-rank civilian officer will be equivalent to a...

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