Attempt a military coup, war in Syria, the aggravation in Karabakh and the tragedy of the Russian su-24 has sharpened interest in the Turkish army. This army looks very impressive, but only at first glance: the problems and failures it has much more than actual achievements.
Links to statistics that now filled the media, indicate that the army of Turkey still there and it’s a big army – the second in NATO and sixth in the world. On a regular basis there are half a million people, of which 370 thousand in the army. In this case, after the adoption in 2006 “national security strategy” and the background of the consistent deterioration of the situation around Turkey, the Erdogan government started a large-scale military reform, including the modernization and optimization of staff. In fact, it resulted in insignificant while the decrease in the number (up to 280-300 thousand people in the army) and the adoption of the single samples of the new technology. In General, if the numbers are, it is a formidable force. But all are extremely disappointing for the Turks of details.
The strap instead of the Koran
“Turkish troops crushed the number of Cypriots demonstrated phenomenal error. Why is only one “sea battle” in Paphos, when the Turkish air force put to the bottom of the Turkish Maritime fleet”
The Turkish army has historically developed randomly and torn, based on the current situation and economic opportunities, but the factor of regional confrontation has always played a decisive role. Until now the main enemy is considered to be Greece – a NATO member that has left a deep imprint on the whole of the Turkish military machine. The army base remains in Western part of Anatolia.
Contrary to popular belief that almost all efficient part of Turkey strapped to the Syrian and Armenian border, the Turkish army did not weaken the group threatening Greece, even in more peaceful times, and to enhance the troops fighting, for example, against the Kurds, chose to withdraw from the West part of the regular, and as needed, to transfer reserves. The most capable and major military units are still concentrated in the West of the country – 1st field army, with its headquarters in Istanbul and bases in Gallipoli Eastern Thrace has more than 120 thousand people. Aegean (4th) field army headquarters in Izmir along the Aegean coast, the 2nd field with the headquarters in Malatya – along the borders of Syria and Iraq, as the 3rd army headquarters in Erzincan – along the borders of Georgia and Armenia. To the 3rd army and assigned to 3rd army corps, performing the functions of a garrison. There are separate brigades and battalions of special purpose, directly subordinated to the Chief command, but the essence does not change – the main forces concentrated in the West, and what events do not occur in Kurdistan or on the Syrian border, it remains unshakable. In the General staff of the Turkish army used to be considered that such a balance of power corresponds to modern threats, so fix nothing, except to move a few teams, but not far and not for long.
Obsession with Greece has remained since 20 years and acquired the character of a deep mental injury. To such an extent that, when it was necessary to change something in the defense mechanism in connection with new threats, to really change nothing happened. This is despite the fact that the “new” threats were not born on an empty place: the Kurdish problem has always been, as the Turkish-Armenian controversy, which after the collapse of the USSR has become aggravated on the background of the war in Karabakh. Syria was also a problem since the days of Ataturk, Turkey sought to occupy part of the former “mandated territories”, a long bargaining with the United States and France, directly interfered in the internal Affairs of Damascus. Finally, no matter how eager in Ankara to demonstrate their peacefulness to Iran, the Persian-Turkish historical contradictions also has not been canceled, as the struggle for dominance in the region, not to mention religious background.
How the West was pushing Russia and Turkey: history of the Russo-Turkish oinounou doctrine in its pure form Turkey does not have. It replaces the clear understanding that the world around is hostile and unfair, and the Turkish soul no one understands. As a result, even the current attempts to create a registry real threats to Turkish national state lead to the fact that the generals and politicians continue to insist on the need to keep the number of a huge army at this level to be able to conduct operations simultaneously in all directions. And this, in turn, requires a high mobilization of public participation, which is achieved not only artificially created by the high prestige of the army, but a composite system of military education.
Now military lyceums and gymnasia (similar to Suvorov schools) turned to the poor youth in the social Elevator, along with the schools of Imam-hatibu (especially in Eastern Anatolia). However, there is a system of redemption for those Turkish citizens, who for more than six months a year living abroad, but the prices are, as they say, bite. As a result, over the last twenty years, the staff have changed radically, and the army turned into the workers and peasants, however, in the Turkish variant became predominant layer of young people with initial religious education. They mainly occupy the non-commissioned officers ‘ positions of commanders of platoons, companies and batteries. A certificate is given to graduates of schools kara harp okulu – something like “Lieutenant courses”. While the morale of the Turkish soldiers is constantly growing methods frontal propaganda in the style of the TV series “the Magnificent century”: “En buyuk Asker bizim Asker (i.e., the greatest soldier is our soldier).
Museum of weapons
Cleaning professional staff that Erdogan started at the end of the failed military coup threatens to exacerbate the situation, as the level of professional and even just General education, not only soldiers, but also non-commissioned and commissioned officers is clearly not up to the standards required in a modern army. Especially considering the upgrade that Turkey urgently needed.
Wild numbers – more than 6,000 tanks and armored vehicles, of which more than 3,700 tanks – are evil and do not reflect the real situation. A large part of this farm – stuff that you can use in guerrilla warfare against the Kurds, but in more serious collisions, it is of little avail. Even the well-known invasion of Turkish forces into Iraq, which so unnerved the international community, at times reminiscent of the parades of vintage cars. It was impossible to look without tears and on the frames of local television, which columns are “Vietnam veterans” – American tanks M48 and M68, reactivated from the warehouses.
It is worth to mention the events of 1998, when almost happened to the Turkish-Syrian war. Then Ankara has accused Damascus of harboring Kurdish militants, driven to the border of the almost 50-strong group, but it was formed from the other parts and all the same instances of armored equipment, suitable only for the Museum in Kubinka. In 1994, when a quick victory of the Armenians in Karabakh and around it led to the collapse of the Azerbaijani army, and the road to Baku was practically opened, Turkey was also on the verge of having to intervene. But in the end, field army a simulated attack on the Armenian border, which is defended by Russian border guards, and no amplification from Western Anatolia did not. If sluggish to hunt the Kurds of obsolete equipment and new recruits if not always, but enough, clashes with border troops of the Russian Federation has been a problem from a purely military point of view, not only political. Policy, by the way, the Turks never stopped. In the same 1998, only collective promise of several Arab States, including Libya and Lebanon) to support Damascus has restrained Ankara from active duty.
In 2015, the Turks successfully relocated from part of the 1st field army in Eastern Thrace (European possessions of Ankara) at the location of 2nd army on the Syrian border, about 1,000 armored vehicles that looked dangerous – the Syrian army is less than in Turkish times. But in fact it was all “avtohlama”, only numbers and is able to capture the imagination. Of course, for the region where modern weapons is only in Israel, it is possible to calculate a serious force. But just in case, if you forget about the rapid rearmament of Syria and Iran with Russian funds, including anti-tank.
The only successful application of Turkey military forces in modern times – the Cyprus operation in 1974, is now in the propaganda as a shining example of successful amphibious operations and the ringing of the victory of the Turkish arms. In reality, the Turkish troops crushed the Turkish Cypriot and a few Greek part number and demonstrated phenomenal error. Why is only one “sea battle” in Paphos, when the Turkish air force put to the bottom of the Turkish naval squadron.
The Greeks, knowing that Turkish intelligence is listening to Cypriot air, has launched a misinformation on arrival to the island reinforcements from Rhodes. Ankara has raised almost 50 planes to ward off the mythical Greek fleet, but found the pathos of three of their own destroyers, “Adatepe”, “Kocatepe” and “Tinaztepe”, attacking them in spite of Turkish flags, and other markings. The Turkish aircraft had no radar identification systems, and destroyers were from a height indistinguishable from similar Greek, and to test targets in the heat of the moment no one. Not saved the situation and brought down a little earlier on Cyprus Turkish pilot who tried to land on the radio to dissuade colleagues from attack. Over him just laughed – “well, the Greek-Turkish says,” and then smashed the pride of its own fleet with the Ottoman enthusiasm. Two destroyers were seriously damaged and barely made it to shore, “Kocatepe”, in which the first bomb demolished a military post (the main superstructure, which ship and managed), couldn’t resist (the rest were shot and even the kind of shot down one F-104 American production) and eventually went down with the captain and 78 sailors. The survivors were picked up by an Israeli gunboat. Turkish newspaper a couple of days trumpeted the triumphal “the destruction of the Greek fleet, while the Israelis did not bring the survivors from the “Kocatepe” in Haifa. After that, all mention of “the naval battle of Paphos” disappeared forever from the pages of the Turkish Newspapers.
Landing on the island also suffered heavy losses, and only the numerical advantage then allowed the Turks to retain a foothold in 300 metres. On the offensive they were able to go soon after the landing of the second echelon, but the loss (especially in armor) was still on the rise. At some point the Turks had a ten-fold advantage in tanks, but the Cypriots fought one trophy “Patton” M48 (in service with the Turkish army these, again, stand still) and three even more ancient “thirty.” Greek artillery battery was destroyed by the Turks in the best traditions of the Ottoman middle ages – a surprise attack by stealth after the Declaration of the armistice.
Turkish command of a lifetime to remember this lesson, however, decided to interpret in their favor. Since then, the Ankara followed the path of quantitative increase of the army, raising the prestige of military service, but not particularly investing in weapons. In some parts seriously used rifles during the First world war, and this situation did not change until the early 90-ies.
Chiller waged war with the Kurds and the Armenian secret army for the liberation of Armenia all her understanding of methods, among which it was a place of terror, and military operations. First she gave preference to terror, openly encouraging the activities of the “Grey wolves” and other extreme right-wing and creating a system of cooperation between the authorities with the so-called “Deep state” network of organized crime politicized and conspiratorial neo-fascist organizations. Unleashed “Deep state,” the terror was accompanied by mass killings of government opponents, Kurds, Armenians and Iranian smugglers. This whole system was discovered by accident in the town of Susurluk in the tractor crashed into a car, which drove the leader of the “Grey wolves” Abdullah Catli, his girlfriend Goncha Us (aka “beauty Queen” and “hit woman Turkish mafia”), the Deputy chief of Istanbul police hüseyin Kocada and head of the Pro-Turkish Kurdish militia Sagat Bucak. So we began to open all the layers of activities of the “Grey wolves”, which pulled in a lot of conspiracy theories, each one more frightening and exciting. And what is most interesting, and most of them turned out to be true, including the part Cally in the drug trade, the assassination attempt on the Pope and bahcelievler massacre” – the mass murder of students-the”leftists”.
But MS Chiller in the terrorists was not disappointed. She sympathized with brutal bandits romantic biographies, funeral which said feelingly. Moreover, it did not stop her to achieve the signing of the Protocol on integration with the EU (there are more questions to Europe, as the open glorification of thugs and terrorists bad fit even in old ideas of Europeans about the beautiful not to mention modern ideas). And in parallel to start a massive rearmament retarded, but a very large Turkish army periodically bright features on the Kurds of the new “mobile” tactics of warfare in difficult terrain.
That’s when the Chiller is in the Turkish army and a relatively modern German tanks “Leopard” – the fruit of cooperation with the EU. But still “Leopards” are in the minority, and the staffing includes only two full mechanized brigades (one of them, the 28th, in Ankara), and tank crews understaffed, if we forget about the 14th brigade in Cyprus. In the same period began and the attempts to create a military program, not only on re but also the formation of its own military-industrial complex. To practical results, it came just under Erdogan, who, however, was not able to concentrate on one thing and sprayed the resources and means almost all the species and genera of troops. As usually happens in such cases, nothing good came of it. Program Gem Milli (“national ship”) degenerated into the construction of two corvettes of project 511 “Heybeliada” and “büyükada’s (2011 and 2013, respectively, although Heybeliada planned to float in 2008). All the power of the Turkish shipyards were abandoned for the modernization of old American frigates of the “Oliver H. Perry” and submarines to level 4+.
The weakest link
It is considered that Turkey has almost total supremacy in the Black sea due to the large number of his group and 13 submarines of various degrees of preservation. In reality, the Turkish Navy never intended for the conduct of any active operations in the Black sea, and completely imprisoned under the protection of the Straits and the operations in the Aegean against Greece. The experience of the Cyprus war to convince Ankara that the outcome of the confrontation with the Greeks will depend on who will transfer the reserves. As a result, Turkey, for decades increased the physical number of vessels that at the critical moment to destroy the Greek troops in the sea. Under the same operation was formed and so impressive by the standards of the two pools – the Black and Aegean seas – the underwater connection. In the military concept finally written in the early zero years, provided that the whole Armada should be used to attack a naval enemy troops almost at the stage of its loading and the sea. Under this task, and formed special forces and naval infantry in Izmir.
The Greeks in response have gone the other way. They began to build strength not sea invasion and air. In General, the arms race between the two countries is reminiscent of the war in Wonderland. The Greek army, for example, is almost similar to the Turkish in character and forms of organization, even of the armored forces they are identical (all the same “Vietnam veterans” in mass and a little “Leopards”), and although in recent years the Greeks inclined to the partial conversion on the basis of Russian armored vehicles, they interfere with the notorious NATO standards. In turn, Turkey willingly buys Russian armored personnel carriers, but they are used only in the gendarmerie there is no need to follow the NATO schedule.
When Athens decided to change the tactics of airborne troops and air suppression of enemy, Ankara suddenly realized that she had practically no modern air defense. Now air defense is the weakest link of the Turkish army, if we talk only about technology. Everything really looks like on modern equipment, belongs to the NATO structures and is subject to, including a radar station on the mountain Carsac. The Turks began to hastily copy foreign designs, primarily cheap Chinese, but ambitious plans to create a defense to the tangible result, yet again, failed.
The same goes for most aircraft. All Turkish air force – various modifications of the F-16, upgraded by local craftsmen and assembled under license at local factories. They coexist with more old instances, and plans to transfer to the latest American F-35 still remain plans. By the way, this plane is too overrated, a lot of claims in the USA, and all the stories about his total superiority over the rest of the world is based on pure PR. Against Greece, Syria and Iran, that might work, but against Armenia and its Russian “air umbrella” anymore.
Actually, since 2003, all widely announced plans for rearmament “Erdogan” has resulted in a strange or expenses, either in pure PR. A classic example is the notorious tank “Altay”, looks suspiciously like South Korean counterpart and unlikely to resist Russian models (not even the “Armata”), as well as modern anti-tank weapons.
One of the main problems of the Turkish army remains a “lack of understanding” of the armed forces, it 1974 did not participate in the conflicts that would require the coordination of land forces and rocket artillery. Only now we are talking about equipping something like a battery RZSO, but nobody taught Turkish officers to coordinate its work with major artillery units. And no one will teach, as in the notorious “NATO standards” this form of fire support is also not provided, as deemed “obsolete”.
But the war around Turkey are very different from the exciting chase for volatile Kurdish troops in the mountains. The same Syrian army has successfully learned to use the Russian missile system and to support land forces, and as a separate firing unit can destroy a couple of minutes, entire battalions of the enemy.
Units of self-propelled guns of caliber above 100 mm in the composition of the Turkish army is not as a phenomenon that is only going to form in the course of the reform, but it is not clear from what. Available conventional field artillery and RZSO – the last century. Not even modern self-propelled mortar, and the regular anti-tank company teams (one per team), again, only now planned to provide outdated American “ТOW-2” based on the BTR. About this kind of troops like medium-range missiles can only dream about.
We repeat: all this machine, according to military doctrine, has to fight on several fronts and flexibly move in space with difficult terrain. The latter is especially touching, as the yet to be formed technical company, and only plans to establish its own production of self-propelled ferry-bridge machines.
All this, of course, not a reason to write off the sixth army from the accounts, the more that the neighbors are not doing better, and mobilization of potential and fighting spirit with her only rival Iran. In addition, the political leadership of Turkey tend to not care about international obligations even in the framework of NATO and to change the rules of the game inside the unit at its discretion. By and large, Ankara has no plans of coordinating with the Alliance with the participation of its military in any local conflict on their own initiative. And in this situation the Turkish army is going to take strength and pressure. At the local level this might work.
* Organization in respect of which the court accepted entered into legal force decision on liquidation or ban the activities on the grounds stipulated by the Federal law “On countering extremist activity”Related posts: