New army chief's faces four challenges to transform Armed Forces

Hulusi Akar, the new general chief of staff, is coming to transform the Turkish Armed Forces, says a former member of the army. He is facing four challenges, including the fights against ISIL and the PKK, according to Metin Gürcan, a retired major Hulusi Akar, a reformist commander appointed as the new chief of General Staff will be facing several challenges, according to a recently retired army officer. 

One of his dilemmas will be the fight against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers? Party (PKK) and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) while at the same time trying to turn the army?s face toward the Western security system, said Metin Gürcan, a retired major-turned-academic.

What is your general evaluation of the recent changes in the top military brass?

For some time, there has been a campaign against Hulusi Akar on the grounds that he does not attach importance to the parallel state [Gülen movement] claimed to have penetrated the army. Necdet Özel, the [outgoing] chief of General Staff gave open messages to the palace that Akar is his preference to succeed him.

One of Özel?s characteristics is that he gives his messages within the framework of a statesman?s courtesy. Another characteristic is that he started to institutionalize the supremacy of law within the Armed Forces. The legal department within the army was strengthened during his term. 

The preparations for the YA? [Supreme Military Council] start by May. In the past, whatever the soldiers dictated, the political decision-makers used to sign it. But in recent years these meetings are taking place as strategic negotiations. So Özel forced Akar onto the government obviously with the courtesy of a statesman. 

Özel and [President...

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