Turkey's top military council decided on Thursday to keep the head of the armed forces, General Hulusi Akar, in his post and made few changes to the top brass after this month's failed military coup, President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman said.
The announcement to reporters, by spokesman Ibrahim Kalin, came a day after the military dishonorably discharged nearly 1,700 personnel for their alleged role in the July 15-16 putsch in which a faction of the armed forces tried to topple Erdogan.
Erdogan wants the armed forces and the national intelligence agency (MIT) to be brought under the control of the presidency, another Turkish official said on Thursday. That change would require a constitutional change and the opposition needs to agree, Erdogan was cited as saying by television news channels.
Erdogan's comments came after a five-hour meeting of Turkey's Supreme Military Council (YAS), chaired by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and including the top brass.
Erdogan, who narrowly escaped capture and possible death on the night of the coup, told Reuters in an interview last week that the military, NATO'S second biggest, needed "fresh blood". The dishonorable discharges included around 40 percent of Turkey's admirals and generals.
Turkey accuses U.S.-based Islamic cleric Fethullah Gulen of masterminding the coup and has suspended or placed under investigation tens of thousands of his suspected followers, including soldiers, judges and academics.