Gendarmerie General Command

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Gendarmerie General Command
Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı
Emblem of the Turkish Gendarmerie.png
Emblem of the Gendarmerie General Command
  • 1839 (as Ottoman Gendarmerie)
  • June 10, 1930 (as Gendarmerie Organisation)
  • 1956 (as Gendarmerie General Command) [1]
CountryFlag of Turkey.svg  Turkey
Type Gendarmerie
RoleParamilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.
Size276,320 sworn members [2]
1,475 Armored and utility vehicles
59 Helicopters
Part of Ministry of the Interior (in peacetime)
Turkish Armed Forces (in wartime)
Headquarters Ankara
Colors Red & Blue         
Commander-in-Chief President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Minister of the Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu
Chief of the General Staff General Yaşar Güler
Commander General Arif Çetin
Chief of Staff Lt. General İbrahim Yaşar
Flag Flag of Turkish General Command of Gendarmerie.svg

The Gendarmerie General Command (Turkish : Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı) is a service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for the maintenance of the public order in areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of police forces (generally in rural areas), as well as assuring internal security and general border control along with carrying out other specific duties assigned to it by certain laws and regulations. The Gendarmerie is essentially a governmental armed security and law enforcement force of military nature.

Turkish language Turkic language mainly spoken and used in Turkey

Turkish, also referred to as Istanbul Turkish, and sometimes known as Turkey Turkish, is the most widely spoken of the Turkic languages, with around ten to fifteen million native speakers in Southeast Europe and sixty to sixty-five million native speakers in Western Asia. Outside Turkey, significant smaller groups of speakers exist in Germany, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Northern Cyprus, Greece, the Caucasus, and other parts of Europe and Central Asia. Cyprus has requested that the European Union add Turkish as an official language, even though Turkey is not a member state.

Turkish Armed Forces Combined military forces of Turkey

The Turkish Armed Forces are the military forces of the Republic of Turkey. They consist of the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. The Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard, both of which have law enforcement and military functions, operate as components of the internal security forces in peacetime, and are subordinate to the Ministry of Interior. In wartime, they are subordinate to the Army and Navy. The President of Turkey is the military's overall head.


It also operates the Askeri İnzibat provost service, policing the armed forces and two special forces brigades called Jandarma Özel Harekat Komutanlığı and Jandarma Özel Asayiş Komutanlığı.

The Askeri İnzibat or AS.İZ, is the Military Police of the Turkish Armed Forces and constitute a very small dedicated force which handles military security and military crimes. Their area of jurisdiction is generally limited to military bases. Their competence to identify and arrest military criminals in civilian areas has been transferred to Gendarmerie and police units. Some of the other duties they perform are, protection and VIP detail provided to important bases or commanders, control of traffic inside the bases and providing security in military courts. They can be identified using the very obvious “AS. İZ.”, printed in large letters across the front of their helmets.

As a part of the Turkish Armed Forces, the General Command of the Gendarmerie is subordinate to the Turkish General Staff in matters relating to training and education in connection with the Armed Forces, and to the Ministry of the Interior in matters relating to the performance of the safety and public order duties. The Commander of the Gendarmerie reports to the Minister of the Interior.

The Ministry of the Interior is a government ministry office of the Republic of Turkey, responsible for interior security affairs in Turkey.

The Gendarmerie has its roots in the Ottoman Empire military law enforcement organization "Subaşı" (later known as the "Zaptiye"), which carried out security and safety services. A similar, earlier force was called "Şurta" during the medieval Seljuq Empire.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.


Ottoman era

After the abolition of the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire in 1826, military organizations called Asâkir-i Muntazâma-i Mansûre, Asâkir-i Muntazâma-i Hâssa, and, in 1834, Asâkir-i Redîfe were established to deliver security and public order services in Anatolia and in some provinces of Rumelia.

Auspicious Incident The Auspicious Incident Vaka-i Hayriye "Fortunate Event" was the forced disbandment of the centuries-old Janissary corps by Sultan Mahmud II on 15 June 1826

The Auspicious Incident was the forced disbandment of the centuries-old Janissary corps by Sultan Mahmud II on 15 June 1826. Most of the 135,000 Janissaries revolted against Mahmud II, and after the rebellion was suppressed, its leaders killed, and many members exiled or imprisoned, the Janissary corps was disbanded and replaced with a more modern military force.

Anatolia Asian part of Turkey

Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, the Anatolian peninsula or the Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Armenian Highlands to the east and the Aegean Sea to the west. The Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland.

Rumelia Ottoman possessions in the Balkans

Rumelia, also known as Turkey in Europe, was the name of a historical region in Southeast Europe that was administered by the Ottoman Empire, mainly the Balkan Peninsula. Rumelia included the provinces of Thrace, Macedonia and Moesia, today's Bulgaria and Turkish Thrace, bounded to the north by the rivers Sava and Danube, west by the Adriatic coast, and south by the Morea. Owing to administrative changes between 1870 and 1875, the name ceased to correspond to any political division. Eastern Rumelia was constituted as an autonomous province of the Ottoman Empire by the Treaty of Berlin in 1878. Today, in Turkey, the word Trakya (Thrace) has mostly replaced Rumeli (Rumelia) when referring to the part of Turkey which is in Europe, though Rumelia remains in use in some historical contexts.

British Officers in the Ottoman Gendarmerie, 1904 British Officers in the Ottoman Gendarmerie Graphic June 25 1904.JPG
British Officers in the Ottoman Gendarmerie, 1904

Since the term Gendarmerie was noticed only in the Assignment Decrees published in the years following the declaration of Tanzimat in 1839, it is assumed that the Gendarmerie organization was founded after that year, but the exact date of foundation has not yet been determined. Therefore, taking the June 14 of "June 14, 1869", on which Asâkir-i Zaptiye Nizâmnâmesi was adopted, June 14, 1839 was accepted as the foundation date of the Turkish Gendarmerie. [4]

Edict of Gülhane 1839 Ottoman edict that ushered in the Tanzimât period

The Gülhane Hatt-ı Şerif(Supreme Edict of the Rosehouse) or Tanzimât Fermânı(Imperial Edict of Reorganization) was a proclamation by Ottoman Sultan Abdülmecid I in 1839 that launched the Tanzimât period of reforms and reorganization in the Ottoman Empire. The 125th anniversary of the edict was depicted on a former Turkish postcard stamp.

Tanzimat Ottoman Empire reform period, 1839-1876

The Tanzimât was a period of reform in the Ottoman Empire that began in 1839 and ended with the First Constitutional Era in 1876.

After 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War, Ottoman prime minister Mehmed Said Pasha decided to bring some officers from Britain and France to establish a modern law enforcement organization. After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the Gendarmerie achieved great successes, particularly in Rumelia. In 1909, the Gendarmerie was affiliated with the Ministry of War, and its name was changed to the Gendarmerie General Command (Ottoman Turkish : Umûm Jandarma Kumandanlığı).

Gendarmerie units both sustained their internal security duties and took part in the national defence at various fronts as a part of the Armed Forces during the World War I and the Turkish War of Independence.

Republic of Turkey

The Gendarmerie organization achieved its current legal status after Law No. 1706 entered into force on June 10, 1930. In 1939, the Gendarmerie organization was restructured, having three groups: Fixed Gendarmerie Units, Mobile Gendarmerie Units, and Gendarmerie Training Units and Schools.

Law No. 6815, which entered into force in 1956, assigned the Gendarmerie General Command duties such as protecting borders, coasts and territorial waters, and fighting smuggling, which had been previously carried out by the Gümrük Umum Kumandanlığı that was a military organization at the level of division in affiliation to the Ministry of Customs and Monopoly.

In 1957, Gendarmerie Border Units were transformed into brigades, and Gendarmerie Training Brigades were established.

In 1961, Gendarmerie Regional Commands were established.

In 1968, the first Gendarmerie Aviation Unit was established in Diyarbakır under the name of Light Helicopter Company Command.

In 1974, Gendarmerie Commando Units and Gendarmerie Aviation Units took part in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Law No. 2692 which entered into force in 1982 assigned the duty of protecting the coasts and territorial waters to the Coast Guard Command.

Law No. 2803 on the Organization, Duties and Responsibilities of the Gendarmerie entered into force in 1983.

Law No. 3497 entering into force in 1988 assigned the duty of protecting the land borders and ensuring their security to the Land Forces Command, but Gendarmerie General Command still holds the responsibility for some parts of the Iranian and Syrian borders and the whole Iraqi border.

Gendarmerie Criminal Department was founded in Ankara in 1993 and Gendarmerie Regional Criminal Laboratory Superiorities were founded respectively in 1994 in Van, in 1998 in Bursa and in 2005 in Aydın. Crime Scene Examination Teams, Explosive Material Disposal Units, Fingerprints and Palm Prints Branches and Crime Scene Examination Units were also established.

Since 1984, Gendarmerie units have been the most important element of the conflict against Kurdish separatists.

In 2017, around 310 civilians, including 90 children and women, have been killed by the Turkish gendarmerie at the Syrian-Turkish border since the beginning of the Syrian civil war. [5]


The Turkish Gendarmerie comprises the following commands: [6]

The General Command is composed of: [7] [8]




Submachine guns

Assault and battle rifles

Machine guns

Sniper rifles

Rocket and grenade launchers



Armored personnel carriers
Sisu Nasu Tracked transport vehicle Sisu NA 110.JPG Flag of Finland.svg  Finland Tracked All-Terrain VehicleNA-140 BT47
Kirpi 2012 Eurosatory BMC trucks.JPG Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey MRAPKirpi 4x4200Based on the Israeli Hatehof Navigator. [12]
Cobra Paradbaku98.jpg Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey MRAPCobra I200Its suspension / wheel base is based on the American HMMWV which led some to mistakenly claim that Turkey actually uses the HMMWV as one of its utility vehicles. [13]
Cadillac Gage Commando Cadillac Gage V-150 do Exercito portugues.jpg Flag of the United States.svg  United States Armored Personnel CarrierV-150S124Lacking a dedicated vehicle for its reconnaissance battalions, Turkey ordered 124 LAV-150 vehicles in 1992 from the Cadillac Corporation. [14]
Otokar ZPT Mosul, Iraq.jpg Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Armored Car250After the cancellation of Akrep, Otokar started to produce cheaper alternative for the law enforcement agencies and the army. ZPT is based on Shorland S-55.
BTR-60 BTR-60PB NVA.JPG Flag of Russia.svg  Russia Armored Personnel CarrierBTR-60PB323 [6] Bought from ex-GDR stockpile after German unification.[ citation needed ] All modernized.
Condor Malaysian Condor.jpg Flag of Germany.svg  Germany Armored Personnel CarrierCondor 125 [6]
Dragoon Tanqueta militar.JPG Flag of the United States.svg  United States Armored Personnel CarrierDragoon 30060
UH-60 Black Hawk Sikorsky S-70A-24A Black Hawk, Mexico - Air Force AN2158152.jpg Flag of the United States.svg  United States/Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Utility helicopterS-70A27Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.T-70 variant in use. 30 more on order
UH-1 Huey Agusta-Bell AB-205 MM80547 Esercito.jpg Flag of the United States.svg  United States/Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Utility helicopterAB-20513Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.
TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK BG12-1001 (14662033896).jpg Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Attack helicopterT1296 [15] .
Mil Mi-17 PLA Mil Mi-17-1 at Chelyabinsk Shagol Air Base.jpg Flag of Russia.svg  Russia/Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey Utility helicopterMi-17 IVA18Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.
Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles
Bayraktar Tactical Armed Bayraktar TB2.jpg Flag of Turkey.svg  Turkey UAVTB212


NATO codeOF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
Turkey-army-OF-10.svg Turkey-army-OF-9.svg Turkey-army-OF-9a.svg Turkey-army-OF-8.svg Turkey-army-OF-7.svg Turkey-army-OF-6.svg Turkey-army-OF-5.svg Turkey-army-OF-4.svg Turkey-army-OF-3.svg Turkey-army-OF-2.svg Turkey-army-OF-1.svg Turkey-army-OF-1b.svg Turkey-army-OF-0.svg Various
[note 1]
Mareşal [note 2] Genelkurmay
[note 3]
Flag of Turkey.svg Turkey
Army-TUR-OR-09.svg Army-TUR-OR-08.svg Army-TUR-OR-07a.svg Army-TUR-OR-07b.svg Army-TUR-OR-06a.svg Army-TUR-OR-06b.svg TR-Army-OR5a.svg Army-TUR-OR-05.svg TR-Army-OR4a.svg Army-TUR-OR-04.svg No insignia
Astsubay Kıdemli
Astsubay Kıdemli
Astsubay Kıdemli
Çavuş Uzman

See also


  1. Student officer insignia designates school grade rather than military seniority.
  2. Title; Honorary or posthumous rank; war time rank; ceremonial rank
  3. Chief of the Army General Staff. The background color may be different if he is not from air forces or navy. If he has been promoted to Mareşal on duty, he wears OF-10 insignia only.

Related Research Articles

Military police Police organization part of the military of a state

Military police (MP) are law enforcement agencies connected with, or part of, the military of a state.

Jandarma İstihbarat ve Terörle Mücadele or Jandarma İstihbarat Teşkilatı is the controversial wing and intelligence agency of the Turkish Gendarmerie. JİTEM was active in the Kurdish–Turkish conflict. After the Susurluk scandal, former prime ministers Bülent Ecevit and Mesut Yılmaz have confirmed the existence of JİTEM.

General Staff of the Republic of Turkey position

The General Staff of the Republic of Turkey presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey, comprising the Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Force and Special Forces. The General Command of the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard, which operate as parts of the internal security forces in peacetime, are subordinate to the Army and Navy Commands, respectively, in wartime, and both have law enforcement and military functions.

Turkish Air Force Air warfare branch of Turkeys armed forces

The Turkish Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. The Turkish Air Force can trace its origins back to June 1911 when it was founded by the Ottoman Empire, however, the air force as it is known today did not come into existence until 1923 with the creation of the Republic of Turkey.

Coast Guard Command (Turkey)

The Coast Guard Command is the coast guard service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces. During peacetime, the Turkish Coast Guard is under the command of the Ministry of the Interior. However, during emergency and wartime it falls under the command of the Turkish Armed Forces.


Counter-Guerrilla is the Turkish branch of Operation Gladio, a clandestine stay-behind anti-communist initiative backed by the United States as an expression of the Truman Doctrine. The founding goal of the operation was to erect a guerrilla force capable of countering a possible Soviet invasion. The goal was soon expanded to subverting communism in Turkey.

Security Forces Command

The Security Forces Command is the military and security force of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, whose independence is recognized only by Turkey and which the United Nations considers to be a Turkish-occupied territory. It is a 9,000 strong force primarily made up of conscripted Turkish Cypriot males between the ages of 18 and 40. It is a combined arms force, with land, air and naval elements.

Law enforcement in Turkey is carried out by several departments and agencies, all acting under the command of the Prime Minister of Turkey or mostly the Minister of Internal Affairs.

Special Forces Command (Turkey)

The Special Forces Command, nicknamed Maroon Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forces made up of volunteers rigorously selected from all branches of the Armed Forces. The OKK may be considered as the Turkish counterpart of the US Army Special Forces.

International Association of Gendarmeries and Police Forces with Military Status

The International Association of Gendarmeries and Police Forces with Military Status, is an association of national gendarmeries or affiliate corps.

Provost (military police) military police officer

Provosts are military police whose duties are policing solely within the Armed Forces, as opposed to gendarmerie duties in the civilian population. However, many countries use their gendarmerie for provost duties.

Ankara Güvercinlik Army Air Base

Ankara Güvercinlik Army Air Base, is a military airport of the Turkish Army located in Güvercinlik of Etimesgut district, 10 km (6.2 mi) west of Ankara in central Turkey.

Necdet Özel Turkish general

General Necdet Özel is a Turkish Army general, who served as the 28th Chief of the General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces. He also served as the commander of the Turkish Land Forces. General Necdet Özel is only the second in this position not to have NATO experience.

The Ottoman Gendarmerie, also known as zaptı, was a security and public order organization in the 19th-century Ottoman Empire. The first official gendarmerie organization was founded in 1869.

Police Special Operation Department

Police Special Operations Department or Police Special Action shortly as PÖH is the police tactical unit of the General Directorate of Security.

The Gendarmerie Special Public Security Command or shortly as JÖAK, is the domestic special forces unit of the Gendarmerie General Command. It has several missions which include counter-terrorist actions, underwater operations, hostage rescue, riot control, and other high-threat criminal actions. Members of the unit receive extensive training at the Jandarma School at Foça and also from selected Army instructors. All teams companies work under the direction of the police and gendarmerie regions to which they are assigned, but can also receive tasking from the Jandarma Headquarters in Ankara.

National Guard Forces Command

The National Guard Forces Command of the Russian Federation is the gendarmerie component of the National Guard of Russia, created through a presidential decree on April 5, 2016. It is a gendarmerie organized on paramilitary lines with its mission to ensure public order, national security and defense against terrorism.


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