In this July 18, 2011, photo provided by the Turkish Military, Gen. David Petraeus, the departing U.S. commander in Afghanistan and designated CIA chief, left, poses with Turkey's Chief of Staff, Gen. Isik Kosaner, before a meeting in Ankara. (AP)

The reason for the generals' resignations was not immediately clear, but tensions between the military and the government of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan have been high in recent years, and a blow up was expected at a major meeting of the Supreme Military Council next week.

Every August, the council holds a meeting to discuss promotions and dismissals within the armed forces.

At last August’s meeting, the military and government clashed over Kosaner’s attempted promotion of a number of generals and admirals standing trial in criminal cases. The government resisted the move and the individuals were not promoted, Turkish Web site Today’s Zaman reported.

There are currently 195 commanders and military officers who are suspects in ongoing coup cases, including a coup from 2003 that allegedly sought to undermine the government in order to lay the groundwork for a military takeover.

A clash between military and government over the promotions of these officers was expected at the meeting this August.

Just before the resignations Friday, Erdogan said he wanted no surprises. “I don’t think there will be any tension. The convention will proceed very smoothly,” Erdogan said. “The laws regarding dismissals and promotions are obvious. The laws in this country are functioning normally. What the laws call for will be done.”