The commander of the Turkish Land Forces, Gen. Hulusi Akar, was announced as the country’s new Turkish Chief of General Staff on Wednesday.
Akar, who will oversee NATO’s second largest armed forces, replaces Gen. Necdet Ozel, who served as top military leader since 2011, following a meeting of the Supreme Military Council in Ankara, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said.
His appointment comes at a time when the military has just embarked on a renewed campaign against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), including air attacks on bases in northern Iraq, and is facing a threat from Daesh on its southern border.
According to the Turkish Land Forces website, Akar graduated from military academy as an infantry officer in 1972. He served as a commander in Bosnia in 1997 and 1998, for which he was awarded the U.S. Order of Merit, before returned to Turkey to command the Internal Security Brigade.
He was given the Courage and Self-Sacrifice Medal for his outstanding achievements in internal security operations.
He was made Turkish Land Forces commander in 2013.
Early August is when senior Turkish military roles are usually allocated. This year, Gen. Salih Zeki Colak takes over as Land Forces commander, Gen. Abidin Unal becomes head of the air force and Adm. Bulent Bostanoglu had his post as naval commander extended by a year.