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Turkey’s top commander may be on his way out

The Turkish president soon will decide whether to keep his embattled chief of general staff for a while or replace him immediately.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar attend a funeral ceremony for Army officer Seckin Cil in Ankara, Turkey, February 18, 2016. Army officer Cil was killed during the clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants in Sur district of the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX27IP3

Turkish Chief of General Staff Gen. Hulusi Akar has been having a tough time the past couple of months. Turkish media printed his high school photographs with Turkey’s most prominent conservative ideologue, Necip Fazil, followed by photographs of him as a lieutenant with former President Abdullah Gul and notable right-wing columnist Fehmi Koru.

These aren't people the military looks upon favorably, and Akar suddenly found himself in the midst of a debate about his conservatism. Even more damaging has been the testimony of soldiers on trial for the July 15 coup attempt who said Akar did not try hard enough to foil the uprising and, even though he was not interned, opted to passively observe the developments of that fateful night.

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