By Mehmet Tosun
The Turkish army will recruit more than 9,700 military officers this year "to meet the urgent need", Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Monday.
Speaking at a news conference in capital Ankara, Canikli said 3,761officers and 5,992 non-commissioned officers were expected to be recruited in 2018.
The minister said the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), which orchestrated the defeated coup on July 15, 2016, that left 250 martyred and nearly 2,200 injured, had devastated the military’s recruitment system.
He also said the military’s exams for officers held under the terror group's supervision had enabled it to infiltrate the army before the coup bid.
Following the defeated coup, the government established the National Defense University on July 31, 2016, to place the military's undergraduate and graduate studies under one institution; military high schools were shut down.
In the redesigned format, only the university can accept applications from those who want to be part of the army at any level.
"Last year, more than 230,000 young people applied to enter our military schools. This is a record number," Canikli said
He added that schools today were giving training to about 6,900 young people, including to over 600 foreign guest students.
Around 8,000 military officers were sacked from the army after the defeated coup.
*Ilker Girit contributed to this story from Istanbul.Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.