How Strong Is Turkey’s Military?

How Strong Is Turkey’s Military?


The gateway between Europe and Asia Turkey is both a key member of NATO and a major power in the Middle East But just how strong is Turkey’s military? Turkey provides the second largest military in NATO after the U.S with over 700,000 military personnel Of those, around half are militarily active Compulsory service for a year is required for all males between the ages of 20 and 41 Women can serve as well, but only as officers As well as increasing involvement in war-torn neighboring Syria the country has troops based in Qatar, Somalia, Iraq and the disputed state of Northern Cyprus Over the last 10 years the country’s military spending has increased by 46% It’s current expenditure of $18.2bn is the 15th highest in the world and around 2.2% of the country’s GDP Turkey has nearly 2,500 combat tanks, and around
9,000 armored fighting vehicles The country’s tank fleet is currently made up of American M-48s and M-60s and German Leopard 1s and Leopard 2s Istanbul is now producing its first indigenous battle tank, Altay with the production of 250 tanks set to be completed by the end of 2019 Turkey has the strongest naval force in the
Eastern Mediterranean with 24 frigates frigits and corvettes 19 fast attack missile craft and 12 submarines Construction is underway on the country’s first
aircraft carrier TCG Anadolu which will become the flagship of the Turkish Navy once completed in 2021 The Turkish Air Force has 270 F-16 fighter aircraft but is currently planning an overhaul Turkish military officials hope to build a new-generation of dual-fighter jet fleet in time for the country’s centennial in 2023 comprised of F-35 stealth fighters from the U.S and the indigenous TF-X air superiority fighter But recently the country has been shifting away from NATO and seeking alliances elsewhere In 2017 Turkey signed a deal with Russia to buy nearly $2bn worth of s-400 anti-aircraft missiles The move has unnerved U.S. defense officials with Congress likely to block the transfer of
F-35 fighters But new planes aren’t Turkey’s biggest problem it’s a lack of pilots A failed military coup in 2016 saw the country’s leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan dismiss a number of key military figures including more than 300 F-16 pilots To make up the shortage an emergency decree was published in 2017 announcing that scores of former fighter pilots faced a mandatory recall or risked losing their licenses Whilst Turkey has no nuclear weapons of its own 90 U.S. B61 bombs are stored at their Incirlik Air Base Of these 40 are allocated for use by the Turkish Air Force in the event of nuclear conflict but their use requires the approval of NATO The Incirlik Air Base also houses several thousand
U.S. military personnel and is an important base for U.S. aircraft operating over Syria and Iraq Since the failed coup in 2016 the military’s political influence has been reduced and the government now has greater freedom to shape Turkey’s defense policies and priorities The biggest of these is Kurdish resistance in the country where Kurds make up 18% of the population Those calling for Kurdish secession have been labelled as terrorists and one of the main reasons Turkey intervened in the Syrian civil war is a fear the nation’s sizable Kurdish population will gain greater control from the power vacuum in the war-torn nation Whilst Turkey’s deteriorating relationship with the West could have an adverse effect on their involvement in NATO going forward their forays into Syria and Iraq reveal the country is positioning itself as a
major regional power in the Middle East

2 thoughts on “How Strong Is Turkey’s Military?

  1. Second best army in NATO getting slapped by Syria a country that has faced a civil war. By the national army of Libya still getting slapped in Tripoli and finally by Kurds. Starting an invasion at syria with out air superiority what an army 😂😂

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