Gov’t seeks to extend tenure of Türkiye’s Chief of General Staff

The government is seeking to extend the tenure of Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, who normally should retire due to age limitations this August.

A bill submitted to parliament stipulates extending the age limit from 67 to 72 for the chief of general staff.

Mahir Ünal, the deputy parliamentary group leader of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) announced the content of the 20-article bill at a press conference he held on June 20. Ünal said the main purpose of the bill was to pardon around 550,000 Turkish people who failed to get registered for the compulsory military service.

Ünal said the bill allows those 550,000 men to benefit from the paid military service and the details of the procedures will be declared by the Defense Ministry.

Another important item of the bill is that it extends the age limitation for the chief of general staff to 72 years.

"Thus, with the regulation entering into force, Chief of General Staff Gen. Yaşar Güler, whose term will normally expire as of August 30 this year, will be able to continue in his post," read a piece by the daily Milliyet on June 21.

Citing sources, the paper said the bill was prepared upon the request of Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, which has also been endorsed by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Military experience of Gen. Güler and command harmony were the driving forces behind the extension of the current top soldier in his position, the paper added.

The promotions of senior personnel of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will be discussed at an annual Supreme Military Board meeting in early August.

Güler is currently serving as the 30th chief of the General Staff since he succeeded today's Defense Minister Hulusi Akar in July 2018.

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