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Friday, July 21, 2017

The coup attempt: what is the army of Turkey

The army has traditionally played a greater role in the political life of Turkey. Several times the military staged coups. In the night from 15 to 16 July, a military group tried to seize power in the country. So what are today’s Turkish armed forces?

photo: AP

Today, the Turkish Republic has a very efficient and numerous armed forces (the biggest in NATO after the us), which consist of land forces, naval forces, air forces, gendarmerie and coast guard. According to 2015, the number of personnel of the Turkish Armed forces, excluding reservists, is 410,5 thousand people.

Turkey has military duty for all male citizens aged 20 to 41 years have to serve in the armed forces (of course, if they have no contraindications for health). Women mandatory conscription is not a subject, but at the same time to serve in the army as an officer. The duration of military service for those who do not have a 4-year University education is 12 months (as ordinary). Those who studied for 4 years or more at the University, may serve 12 months as reserve officers or 6 months as ordinary. At the same time, a citizen may be released from the call to service after making the country’s budget quite a large amount. Typically, this option is Turkish citizens living abroad. However, even if the payment they are entitled to protium course of basic military training for 21 days. In wartime, in accordance with the law, the army may be called upon men aged 16 to 60 and women aged 20 to 46, capable of bearing arms.

The main and most abundant species of the Turkish Armed forces is army. They account for about 390 thousand people (according to other sources – 315 thousand). In the early 2000s, there was information on the reduction of the Turkish army, but because of a number of foreign factors (primarily the war in Syria and Iraq), as well as because of the intensified Kurdish separatists in Turkey, the armed forces began to rise again.

The basic tactical connection in Turkey the army is the brigade. In 2009, the land forces, 9 were armored, 16 mechanized and 11 infantry brigades. As a rule, brigade directly under the army corps or in the divisions.

The main striking force in the Turkish army is considered the tanks. Armored vehicles represented by foreign models and standards for own production. It is primarily about combat vehicles such as Leopard 2A4, M60T, Leopard 1 and M60 Patton. As for the Turkish tank developments, we should mention first of all the widely advertised tank “Altay”, which is being developed with South Korean tank builders.

Promising main battle tank third-generation “Altay” is named in honor of General Fahrettin Altay who commanded the 5th cavalry corps during the war of independence of Turkey 1919 — 1923 the First sample of the tank was presented to the public in 2011 at the exhibition of arms in Istanbul. In the future, Altay will have to replace the currently used German Leopard 1, Leopard 2, and American M48 and M60.

Field artillery of the Turkish army presents self-propelled mortars on M113 chassis and FNSS, self-propelled howitzers and guns, towed systems, reactive systems of volley fire (MLRS). As anti-tank weapons are armed self-propelled anti-tank missile systems (ATGM M113 TOW anti-tank systems and FNSS ACV-300 TOW), portable and vehicle-mounted antitank guided missiles, RPGs.

Small arms of the service presented, in particular, guns-HK MP5 machine guns, automatic rifles and machine guns G3, HK 33, M16, M4A1, AK-47, sniper rifles SVD, T-12, JNG-90, Phonix Robar 12,7, manual and one machine gun MG-3, HK-21, FN Minimi, PK, PKS, etc.

History of the naval forces of Turkey dates back to the middle Ages – then the Turkish fleet was developed first under Byzantine and then European influence. As for modern Turkish Navy, their birth should be attributed to the July, 1920, when was created the Directorate of naval Affairs during the war for independence under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal, known as Ataturk.

Turkish naval forces organizationally consist of four operational commands: the command of the Navy, the command of the Northern naval area command southern naval area and training command.

As of 2015, the Navy has about 212 ships, manned (not including small auxiliary ships). Including 16 frigates, 8 corvettes, 13 submarines, and 23 missile boats, 28 patrol boats, 32 ship mine Oborony, 29 amphibious ships, etc.

Military-air forces of Turkey – a rather “young” of the armed forces. It all started in 1909 in Constantinople (Istanbul) Belgian pilot made in Istanbul demonstration flight. Characteristics of aviation became interested in the power of the Ottoman Empire. Already in 1911 in Turkey was founded by the Aviation Commission and opened a flight school. And in 1912 the first two Turkish pilots, trained in France, returned home and on April 27 they made the first flight over Istanbul.

In the same year in France was purchased planes SPAD and blériot XI. Appeared on arms of Turkish army airplanes were used for reconnaissance during the First Balkan war and the First World air force of Turkey numbered about a hundred aircraft, many of which were transferred to the German allies. After the defeat of Turkey in the war, the air force in the 1920s had to recreate.

And by 1940 Turkey had the largest air force in the Middle East and the Balkan Peninsula.

Turkish air forces participated in the invasion of Cyprus (1974) and in military operations in the Balkans in 1990-e years, and periodically involved in military action within the country against Kurdish separatists.

In recent years, implementing a program of modernization of the Turkish air force, stipulating, in particular, the ordering of new aircraft and helicopters.

The number of personnel of the air force is estimated at 60 thousand people. Military aviation includes 21 squadron (including 8 fighter-bomber, fighter, 7 defense, 2 intelligence, 4 combat training), and supporting aviation consists of 11 squadrons.

The modern Turkish army, created by atatürk, was not involved in the Second World war (although Ankara formally declared war on Nazi Germany in February 1945), however, in subsequent years a certain combat experience the Turkish military has accumulated. Soldiers from Turkey participated in the Korean war at the memorial cemetery the UN in Busan, South Korea you can see a lot of gravestones with Turkish names and images of the Crescent and five-pointed star.

In 1974 Turkey invaded Cyprus after there was a coup.

The result of the invasion was the ongoing occupation of half the island, in the Northern part of which the Turks created by the unrecognized state “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, under the protection of Turkish bayonets.

But perhaps the biggest combat experience, the Turkish military has received in the course of operations against the Kurdish militants of the Kurdistan workers ‘ party operating in the South-East of the country.

A full-scale insurgency in Turkish Kurdistan has unfolded in 1984 and continued until 1999, when the Kurds declared unilateral ceasefire. In the course of operations against the Kurds, the Turkish military has repeatedly carried out raids, shelling and air strikes in neighboring Iraq. In 2015, the military action in Kurdistan has resumed largely because of the actions of the Turkish leadership.

The most important part of the Turkish armed forces involved in the fight against Kurdish separatists, has become a gendarmerie. This part of the armed forces responsible for maintaining public order in areas (often rural) outside the jurisdiction of the police, and internal security, etc. Subject to the General staff, the gendarmerie is at the same time applies to the Ministry of the interior.

* * *

In modern Turkey the army plays a huge role in political life. Traditionally the military are considered the guardians of the secular foundations of the state established by the Creator of the Turkish Republic Ataturk.

If the army saw that the government was violating the constitutional order, the military did not stop before the coup. Very complicated relations of the Turkish army with the ruling today, the country’s Islamists, led by President Erdogan. He managed to inflict a series of powerful legal attacks on the army and weaken its political influence. Many members of the high command were removed from their positions and even ended up in jail. Instead of “unreliable” commanders Erdogan’s supporters was set more loyal personality. He was arrested hundreds of officers and generals, accused of subversive activities.

Coup in Turkey. Chronicle of events

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