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The military power of the Turkish Republic: Imperial past and the geopolitical ambitions of modernity
Material posted: Grinyaev SergeyPublication date: 17-04-2018

The Middle East Institute with the support of his leadership published a two-volume specialists in Oriental Professor of the Military University of the Ministry of defence of the Russian Federation, candidate of political Sciences, associate Professor Ganieva Tahir Aliev and candidate of political Sciences, associate Professor of Zadonsk, Sergei Mikhailovich "Military power of the Turkish Republic".

On a wide range of Russian and foreign publications-the unique features of modern military development of the Turkish Republic. A comprehensive political-military analysis of the military power of Turkey and the estimation of the total defense capacity and its elements. Discusses the history and current state of the Turkish armed forces, military-political and military-doctrinal views of the Turkish government, the armed forces, special operations forces of the armed forces of the country, peculiarities of structure and functioning of the control system of the armed forces as a key element, without which a modern army of any state is not able to perform its tasks, etc.

The authors were able to reveal the many facets of the military power of Turkey. In the work examined in detail the relations with the West. In particular it is noted that the foreign policy of the Turkish state has two main vectors: American and European. While relations with the United States as a major world power and a major NATO ally, are seen as fundamental in foreign policy. Bilateral cooperation includes political, economic, military and military-technical spheres.

However, aggressive US policy in the region is largely not in the interest of the Turkish leadership. This primarily concerns the military pressure on Iran and Syria, as well as "flirting" Americans with Iraqi Kurds, which does not allow the command of the Turkish armed forces to take resolute steps to eliminate bases and camps of Kurdish separatists in Northern Iraq. Their tasks in Northern Syria, Turkey has decided, agreeing with Russia. However, Ankara is aware that without Washington's support, she will have to face serious political and economic problems and leave their hopes for regional leadership.

Currently, the leading position in the Turkish arms market traditionally occupied by the United States, England, France, Germany. In recent years, there is activity, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Ukrainian companies. The Russian leadership is considering capacity and potential of the Turkish arms market, considering the military-technical cooperation /VTS/ with Turkey as the major trends in the relations between the two countries.

Russia can be considered Turkey as a possible supplier of weapons, the main guarantor of diversification of sources of weapons and military equipment in the case of regular pressure from the Western allies in the event of contradictions on regional issues. As practice shows, the deepening of Russian-Turkish relations in mutually beneficial military-technical sphere entirely depend today on developments in the bilateral political relations and relations in the military field.

The study of foreign authors to which they referred in their work the authors consider the labour, suggests that the national security of Turkey is possible only in the presence of a powerful, well-trained and equipped armed forces.

Accordingly, as shown by the authors of the study, the state consistently implements the plan and program military construction, aimed at further strengthening of the armed forces by ensuring their appropriate funding, execution programs, procurement and modernization of armament and military equipment, optimization of the organizational structure and management system.

According to Turkish command, at present, the indicators of combat composition and strength of the national armed forces close to the optimum and in the medium term do not need to change. With older samples of VVT are output from the fighting strength as their replacement with new weapon systems.

After the completion of the restructuring and modernization of the armed forces, the ground forces must be ready to command highly maneuverable military operations in various conditions of environment. This is planned to be achieved by equipping associations, formations and units with new weapons and military equipment. Their composition should increase the share of modern tanks (such as Altay, Leopard 2A4, M-60T ("Sabra" Mk.III) armoured fighting vehicles (BMP "Tulpar", "Pars", ACV-300ZMA, FNSS armored personnel carrier (AAPC), "Eider"), artillery, rocket and missile systems on self-propelled chassis (type 155 mm self-propelled howitzers T-155 "Firtina", MLRS TR-300 "Kasirga" WS-1A, PU TR-600), anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, and attack helicopters of army aviation (T-129).

In the air force is envisaged to significantly improve the combat capabilities of tactical aviation at the expense of adopting the 4++ generation aircraft and 5th generation and also forces and means of air defense by modernizing the fleet, improving the airport network, system and control, improving combat training of flight and technical staff.

Military-political leadership of the country carried out activities aimed at creating a modern naval force. The main directions of development of the Navy are reforming the organizational structure, adopting new models of weapons and military equipment (type frigates (FR) URO type "Heybeliada") and modernization (such as FR URO type "Barbaros" ("MECO"-200-II) and FR URO type "Yavuz" ("MECO"-200), diesel-electric submarines of project U-209\1400.

As rightly argued by the authors, analysis of the military-political situation in the world and the region has led Turkish experts to the conclusion that the new tendencies of its development has made fundamental adjustments to the questions of the role and place of Ukraine in the system of regional security, but also changed the nature of opposing threats.

The internal security threat "according to tradition" as radical Islamism, Kurdish separatism and the leftist activities of the ultra left groups. However, they are treated as real and important than the external, which at this stage are considered to be potential. For the first time identified a direct correlation between internal and the new (asymmetric) threats that are listed in the following order: international terrorism, drug trafficking, illegal migration and human trafficking, the threat of nuclear proliferation in the region, the problem of water shortage, increasing dependence on imports of primary energy, about 75% of which is imported from abroad.

As for external threats, Turkey does not consider any of the neighbouring countries as a potential military adversary. However, the characteristics of the relations with the States along the borders stresses that from some of them can still be "private threats and challenges" to its national interests and security. Their reflections are intended to be used primarily by political and diplomatic methods, supported, however, by maintaining the proper level of "deterrent", which is based on the combat power of the armed forces.

Of special interest are examined by the authors of the special service of the country. As the authors note, the role of the special services in support of foreign policy objectives of the country and its national security has increased in recent decades. Activities of special services helps to eliminate the threats to national security, neutralize internal and external challenges to social development and the activities of state institutions, thus increasing their capacity at the regional and international arena.

As an important element of national security decisions and foreign policy objectives of the country the book covers the national intelligence organization of Turkey, operating on behalf of the Turkish People with relevant tasks and powers, is designed to implement on a national scale the collection of intelligence information, information and data relating to national security, and thereby to contribute to counter guided from outside and inside the country implemented or planned activities, encroach on the unitary and secular character of the Turkish Republic, its very existence, its independence and security, its constitutional order and all components of its national power.

Another important structure is and intelligence agencies of the Turkish armed forces, which occupy a Central place in the system of state security which identified not only with current legislation, which determines the dominant position of the intelligence community national intelligence agencies, but a significant volume of tasks, developed infrastructure, sufficient funding and extensive technical capabilities.

As noted in their study, the authors, in the interests of ensuring national security policy, civil and military leadership of the country also attaches particular importance to effective operation of the military intelligence, which works closely with bodies strategic intelligence of the armed forces of NATO and especially the U.S. military intelligence. Military intelligence Turkey carries out constant control over the activities of neighbouring countries and the armed forces of the countries, where Turkey has direct strategic and geopolitical interests.

The depth and volume of conducted by the authors allows to draw concrete conclusions. Turkey today from the state politically, economically and militarily dependent on the West countries, progressively transformirovalsya in the state exercising independent from its Western partners, foreign and domestic policy. One of the distinguishing features of this policy is systematically implemented strategy of Islamization of the legal and political life of society, relying still on the European democratic values.

However, the strengthening of the role of Islam in the life of society gradually leads to the fact that the Turkish army for decades a Bastion of secularism, today is gradually starting to support Islamist party and becomes an instrument of its influence both inside the country and in the region of the Middle East in General.

The above facts allow us to conclude that the application of Turkey for regional leadership, despite all the complexities of the geopolitical situation in the region sound quite serious and have a real basis with sometimes have one of the strongest armies in the military-political bloc of NATO, which at the present stage is one of the important factors affecting the situation in the vast region of the Middle East.

The book, written in vivid, accessible language, will be of interest to Orientalists, political scientists, specialists in military Affairs on the modern history of Turkey, as well as by General readers interested in the problems of internal, external and military policy of countries in the Middle East, especially Turkey.

It should be noted that Military University of the Ministry of defense, where are the authors of the books considered to be scientific and analytical school, one of the centers of military-political study and analysis of foreign countries not only of the Russian military, but in Russia as a whole.

Sergei Grinyaev


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