Erdogan proposes to bring army command, spy agency under presidency

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan proposed Saturday bringing the general staff of the military and Turkey's spy agency under the authority of his office, state-run agency Anadolu reported.

This would require constitutional changes to be approved, Erdogan said, speaking about the potential shake up on a local television channel two weeks after an attempted coup, which was carried out in part by elements within the military.

He said 10,137 people had been arrested out of 18,699 who were detained. Some of those who were detained have been released, officials have said separately.

The spy agency, known as MIT, is currently under the prime minister's office. Erdogan served for more than a decade as premier before being elected president in 2014.

The army has historically been a somewhat autonomous institution in Turkey, and the proposed shift could bring more civilian oversight to the military. Erdogan suggested the land forces would come under the defence ministry.

For years he has been aiming to push through a key amendment to empower the presidency, though critics, who accuse Erdogan of becoming authoritarian, say this would weaken parliament and dilute the checks and balances in government.

A proposed educational shift in the army would see the closing of military schools and changing them to a university-style structure, Erdogan said.

Last update: Sun, 31/07/2016 - 00:06


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