Following the sudden resignations of Turkey’s four most senior military commanders, the President of the country insisted the government is not facing a crisis, although he conceded that this has created an "extraordinary" situation.
Abdullah Gul told reporters: “Nobody should view this as any sort of crisis or continuing problem in Turkey. Undoubtedly events yesterday were an extraordinary situation in themselves, but everything is on course.”
Gul’s comments were taken to mean that the government is in control and there is no risk of a military coup taking place in Turkey.
The ex-military chiefs, including Chief of General Staff General Isik Kosaner and the heads of the army, navy and air force, all quit on Friday to protest the detention of 250 officers on charges that they had conspired to overthrow the Ankara government.
The conflict between the secularist military and the Muslim-tinged ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) has been brewing for years.
AK has been in power since 2002 and recently won a resounding triumph in the June parliamentary elections. However, during its tenure, there have been repeated threats of a takeover by the military in order to ensure a secular, nationalist state.
The resignations of top military officials likely gives Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a chance to further dominate the armed forces, the second-largest in NATO.
Erdogan has already appointed General Necdet Ozel, formerly commander of the military police, as Kosaner's successor as Land Forces Commander and acting Chief of General Staff.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will continue to do their duty in a spirit of unity,” the office of Prime Minister said in a statement.