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Turkey's failed coup reveals 'army within an army'

The detention of about one-third of the upper ranks of Turkey's military following the July 15 coup attempt shows the army had not been a real army for a long time, and it could take decades to rebuild its status.
Turkish soldiers march during a parade marking the 93rd anniversary of Victory Day in Ankara, Turkey, August 30, 2015. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX1Q9PW
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As of July 21, 124 Turkish generals and admirals have been detained on charges of participating in the failed coup of July 15. This will significantly affect the integrity and performance of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), as the TSK's total number of generals and admirals was 358. In other words, almost 35% of all TSK generals and admirals are in detention for participating in a coup attempt outside the armed forces hierarchy.

The air force and gendarmerie forces played key roles in the uprising. The coup attempt launched by generals calling themselves "Peace in the Country Council" was planned at the Gendarmerie General Command Headquarters in Ankara. Akinci air base, some 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the city, served as the coup's operations center. In addition to several armored units in Ankara and Istanbul, assault and general-purpose helicopters of the army aviation units supported the coup attempt.

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