Fleet Commander Adm. Veysel Kösele has resigned from his post, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Aug. 17.
“Just a while ago, I spoke with the General Staff and confirmed the situation. Fleet Commander Veysel Kösele has submitted his resignation at his own will. And his letter of resignation has been put into process,” Kalın said in a press meeting held at the presidential palace in Ankara.
Turkey’s 47th fleet commander’s resignation comes after this year’s Supreme Military Board (YAŞ) meeting early this month, which determined the new commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Prior to the YAŞ meeting, it was speculated that Kösele would be promoted as the new naval forces commander. But Adnan Özbal, a vice admiral, was given the position instead, stirring controversy.
Many then speculated that Kösele would ask to retire.
Kösele’s reluctance in fighting against identified members of the Fethullahist Terorist Organization (FETÖ) within the Turkish Navy Fleet before and after last year’s failed coup attempt was cited as a reason for being denied the position of the naval forces commander.
The decision to stop his promotion is believed to have been given by the political authority. As Kösele had not fulfilled his term in his rank, the TSK could not force him to retire, which is why many believe that the latest YAŞ decisions were an attempt to lead him to a more passive position.