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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 August 2006, 18:39 GMT 19:39 UK
Big army cuts planned by Turkey
Turkish soldier
All Turkish men are conscripted for up to 15 months
Turkey plans to cut its armed forces by up to 30% in the next few years, the country's top general has said.

Gen Yasar Buyukanit, who takes over as military chief later this month, said the army would be smaller but "more modern and effective".

Gen Buykanit's comments came in an interview with Turkey's Defence and Aerospace magazine.

Turkey has some 800,000 personnel in its armed forces - the second largest army in Nato after the US.

"The land forces will contract by 20% to 30%, spread over the years," Gen Buyukanit said.

"The aim is to downsize by increasing the effectiveness of the land forces without reducing its power.

"It will be equipped with modern war mechanisms and equipment and have brigades with high war capabilities."

The cuts are part of an eight-year plan of reforms, Gen Buyukanit said. He is due to take over from Gen Hilmi Ozkok at the end of August.

The powerful army regards itself as the guardian of a secular, united, Turkish state.


SEE ALSO
Country profile: Turkey
26 Jul 06 |  Country profiles

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