After arriving in Turkey Sept. 16, Gen. Dempsey will be greeted with an official ceremony at the General Staff headquarters on Sept. 17 before meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel, a written statement from the TSK said. Dempsey, who will visit Turkey at the invitation of the top general, will stay in the country until Sept. 18. The visit will be Dempsey’s first trip to Turkey since he was appointed to his current position in October 2011. The ongoing violence in Syria is expected to be at the top of agenda. Dempsey’s visit follows a surprise visit by Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director David Petraeus to Istanbul earlier this month, the second unannounced visit by the U.S. spy chief to Turkey in the
last six months. While the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff outranks all other officers, he does not have operational command authority over the armed forces; however, the chairman does assist the president and the secretary of defense.