National and regional crises and conflicts have come to the forefront in post-Cold War era, along with the risks and threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction. As a result of these new security requirements, peace support operations have increased significantly.
Atatürk expressed his opinions about world politics on the occasion of a visit by Romania's Minister of Foreign Affairs in 1937 as follows:
"All of humanity should be viewed as a single body, and each nation should be regarded as an organ of that body. The pain that a finger suffers affects the entire body; thus, we should not disregard troubles occurring in any part of the world. If there is a disturbance anywhere, we should be involved in it as if it happened to us."
Acting on the above-mentioned words of Atatürk, the Great Leader, Turkey has participated in many peace support missions in accordance with its international responsibilities, national interests and capabilities.
Turkey's contributions to peace support operations can be classified under two headings: peace support operations in which military units participate and other international missions to which military personnel are assigned as international observers.
The contribution of Turkey to the protection of world peace began in 1950 when she joined the Korean War.
Turkey participated in the humanitarian assistance and peace support operation called UNITAF to stop the enmity in Somalia and ensure a safe zone in accordance with Resolution 794 of UN Security Council with one mechanized company between 02 January 1993 and 22 February 1994. A Turkish lieutenant general assumed the command of the peacekeeping force, which was generated following the reorganization of UNITAF as UNOSOM II, between 04 May 1993 and 18 January 1994.
With a view to find a solution for Bosnia and Herzegovina conflict, Turkey primarily assigned a regiment-level task force to UNPROFOR which was organized in accordance with UNSC Resolution 743 dated 23 February 1992 in order to create safe zones and protect them between 04 August 1993 and 20 December 1995.
Once NATO charged the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreement (14 December 1995), first IFOR, and then SFOR was formed and an operation was conducted in the region.
Turkey raised its regiment assigned to UNPROFOR to brigade level through reinforcements and assigned it to IFOR as of 20 December 1995. Following the completion of IFOR operation on 20 December 1996 and assignment of SFOR operation, this brigade was assigned to Stabilization Force.
In line with the recovery made in the region in time, a reduction in SFOR was made and within this scope the Turkish brigade was gradually downsized to a battalion. SFOR mission was handed over to ongoing EU Force-led ALTHEA Operation on December 2, 2004.
In parallel with UNPROFOR and IFOR Operation, Shape Guard Operation was executed by Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) in Adriatic Sea in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 713, 757, 787, 820 and 943 to support arms embargo and economic sanctions on former Yugoslavia Federal Republic.
Turkey contributed to the Sharp Guard Operation conducted by STANAVFORMED between 13 July 1992 and 02 October 1996.
Turkey also contributed to the air force established to provide air support to UNPROFOR, IFOR and SFOR assigned in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Turkey participated in operation Deny Flight conducted to control the airspace over former Republic of Yugoslavia with one F-16 squadron deployed in Italy.
Following the conflict in Albania, UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1101 in order to ensure safe distribution of humanitarian assistance on March 28, 1997 and formed a multinational force under Italy’s leadership, handing authority over to OSCE.
Turkey contributed to the multinational force with TCG Ertuğrul, TCG Karamürselbey amphibious ships and 753 personnel escorted by TCG Yavuz and TCG Trakya frigates from 16 April to 01 August 1997.
Operation Essential Harvest was conducted for disarming the armed forces in Macedonia. The multinational brigade formed in Macedonia within the scope of this operation had been supported with one company team as of August 27, 2001. Essential Harvest ended on September 27, 2001 and Turkish Company Team returned to Turkey on October 6, 2001.
Subsequently, NATO formed a new power to support the international observers in Macedonia and started conducting Operation Amber Fox on September 27, 2001. Turkey served at the headquarters of this mission. Operation Allied Harmony, which started immediately after the completion of operation and continued under the command of NATO until March 31, 2003, was supported with staff personnel.
Turkey contributed to the operation taken over and conducted by EU by the name of “Concordia” on December 15, 2003 with personnel support.
Turkey assigned Gendarmerie personnel to Proxima Police Power established by EU in Macedonia on December 15, 2003 and the personnel accomplished its mission on December 15, 2005.
Based on UNSCR 1279, MONUC had been reinforced by the European Union (EU) for 4 months from 30 July to 30 November 2006 to assist the electoral process in that country.
A C-130 cargo aircraft and 15 crew members were deployed by Turkey to serve in Libreville/Gabon from 21 July to 01 December 2006. In addition, within the scope of this operation, one officer was assigned to Operational Command in Germany, while another officer worked in the Joint Force Air Component Command in Libreville/Gabon.
United Nations Mission in Sudan (UNMIS) was established in Hartum, the capital of Sudan, following the resolution of UNSCR1590 dated March, 24 2005.
Turkey has participated in this mission with staff personnel between April 25, 2005 and July 27, 2011.
In accordance with UNSCR1546 and NATO Istanbul Summit "Iraq Declaration", NATO Training Mission-Iraq was established in 2004. The mission came to an end in December 2011.
Turkey provided personnel support to NTM-I Mission between 2004 and 2011.
As a result of the fact that the turmoil in Libya posed a threat to global peace and international security, UN Security Council adopted Resolutions 1970 and 1973 in 2011. Based on the resolutions of UN Security Council, Turkey participated in the NATO Operation Unified Protector (OUP) in Libya and contributed the OUP with four frigates, one submarine, one logistic support ship, six F-16 air defence aircraft, two KC-135 tanker aircraft, one Special Forces staff personnel, ship based helicopters, Underwater Demolition Team and Amphibious and Underwater Teams between 29th March and 31st October 2011.
NATO contributed to African Union between June 2005 and December 2007 in terms of training and transportation. During that period Turkey participated in transportation with a C-160 transport aircraft between 24 and 29 September 2006.
Turkey contributed to UNAMID with personnel between 2006 and 2011 as well.
Turkey is currently contributing to peace support operations conducted in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Somalia territorial waters and off the coast of Somalia.
In accordance with UNSCR 1551 (2004) and 1575 (2004) peacekeeping force operation in Bosnia-Herzegovina was handed over to European Union Force (EUFOR) formed by EU on 02 December 2004.
Turkish Armed Forces contributes to Operation Althea, which has been conducted under EU leadership since 02 December 2004, with a total number of 243 personnel comprised of one maneuver company and five Liaison/Observation Teams. The Turkish contingent is stationary in Sarajevo.
The duration of operation was extended on 11 November 2014 for a year in accordance with UNSCR 2183.
Kosovo Force was established under NATO leadership in accordance with UNSCR 1244 resolution dated 12 June 1999 to provide security in Kosovo.
Turkey has immediately sent troops after the issue of UN Resolution. Accordingly, Turkish Battalion Task Force Command completed its deployment on July 01-13, 1999 and constituted the core of Kosovo Turkish Representation Committee. Turkish Armed Forces has so far supported Kosovo in all fields and Turkish military personnel serving at the Turkish Representative in Kosovo accomplished all missions assigned in cooperation with other countries' contingents and staff.
KFOR operation is currently performed by two Multinational Battle Groups (East and West) which have approximately 5000 personnel from 31 nations. Turkish Representation Committee carries out its mission with one maneuver company, six liaison and observation team and support elements including 369 personnel deployed in Prizren. Turkey also contributes to the command and control of the operation with effective staff serving at KFOR Headquarter located in Pristina.
UNMIK was established on 10 June 1999 by UNSCR 1244. In accordance with the demand by UN, a staff member was assigned by Turkey in the post of UN Kosovo. Mission Military Liaison Officer has been on duty for one year since 2011.
International Security Assistance Force was established under Bonn Treaty dated 05 December 2001 and UN Security Council Resolution 1386 dated 20 December 2001 in order to assist the Afghan Interim Government in providing security and it began to operate under the leadership of the United Kingdom on 16 January 2002.
At the beginning, ISAF area of responsibility was only limited to Kabul - the capital of Afghanistan- and its surroundings, this area was later expanded by the UNSCR 1510 dated 18 October 2003 to include the whole Afghanistan.
As one of the countries that have actively contributed to ISAF operation from the very beginning, Turkey successfully led ISAF-II with 1300 personnel in the period between June 2002 and February 2003. During the ISAF VII term, Turkey commanded 8000 personnel from 30 countries, including 1450 Turkish personnel through the Third Corps Command between February and August 2005. Kabul International Airport under NATO command and control was also operated by Turkey during the same period. ISAF Headquarters were supported by 100 Turkish personnel of the Third Corps Command during the period between 04 August 2008 and 04 February 2009. 3rd Corps Command supported ISAF HQ for one year period and Commander of 3rd Corps Command assumed Command of the Chief of Staff of ISAF HQ.
Turkey took over the leadership of Kabul Regional Command, one of the six regional commands of ISAF on 1 November 2009. This mission is extended for one-year periods. Turkey assumed the leadership until 31 December 2014.
Turkey has her presence in Afghanistan in a way to be equal to all segments of Afghan people regardless of their ethnicity so as to support Afghan government, train Afghan Security Forces and help Afghan people with security, stability and development. Due to Turkey's national caveats, Turkish troops are not deployed outside the area of her responsibility and does not conduct counter terrorism and counter narcotic operations.
Turkey through Regional Construction Team, which was founded in Shibirgan in the province of Jowzjan in the north of Afghanistan (2010-2014) and Regional Construction Team founded in Wardak supported Afghan people between 2006 and 2013.
One of the duties that Turkish Armed Forces has undertaken in Afghanistan is to make Afghan Security Forces reach a level able to ensure its security on its own. Hence, the initial training of Afghan National Arm’s non-commissioned officers is being given by Turkish officers at Gazi Military Training Centre run by Turkish Armed Forces in Kabul between 2010 and 2011.
International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) ended on 31 January 2014. Resolute Support Mission which started on 01 January 2015 in accordance with the Resolution 2189 (2014) of United Nations Security Council dated 14 December 2014 is a non-combatant mission.
Within the framework of Resolute Support Mission, Turkey.
• assumed the Train, Assist and Advise Command Capital (TAAC-C),
• began to operate Kabul Afghanistan International Airport (KAIA),
• provided advisers for Afghan Schools/Institutions,
• contributed to Train, Assist and Advise Command Capital with Staff Officers and to 209th Corps of Afghanistan with advisers,
• It is assumed that total number of personnel will be approximately 900 during Resolute Support Mission.
UNAMA was established on 28 March 2002 by UNSCR1401. Turkey contributes to the headquarters of UNAMA in Kabul with one personnel assigned as military consultant as of 2012.
UNSCR 1701 dated 11 August 2006 calls for the deployment of an international force in Lebanon in order to establish and maintain peace in the region. The resolution began to be implemented after the announcement of cease fire between the parties on 14 August 2006.
Turkey has contributed to UNIFIL Operation with one frigate from Turkish Naval Forces Command under the command of UNIFIL Naval Task Force since 15 October 2006. Turkish Construction Company deployed in base zone near Tyre city and it has been in operation under the command of UNIFIL between 20 October 2006 and 02 September 2013. Moreover, the elements participating in operation are allowed to use the Mersin Port within the framework of principles determined by the UN.
Currently one frigate/one corvette/one fast attack boats based on the planning done depending on the seasonal conditions are contributing to the operation. Also, two Turkish officers are on duty at the headquarters of UNIFIL.
Lebanon Turkish Construction Company has provided support such as; headquarter building construction, waste water line construction, bypass construction, helicopter pad construction, electricity line construction, maintenance building construction and construction of underground communication lines. Lebanon Turkish Construction Company also has contributed to other countries in Lebanon with various projects.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in accordance with the Resolution 2102 (2013) of United Nations Security Council on 02 May 2013. One personnel from Turkey has been assigned to the post of UNSOM Military Adviser upon the request of UN.
In accordance with 2184 Resolution of UN Security Council (2014), Turkey has assigned naval components of Turkish Armed Forces to Aden Gulf, Somalia territorial waters and high seas off the coast and adjacent areas with allied countries' naval forces in order to support international endeavors carried out to fight against armed robbery and piracy.
Turkey is contributing to the activities in the region with warship within the scope of NATO Operation Ocean Shield and Combined Task Force 151 (CTF-151).
Turkey assumed the command of CTF-151 for three times and NATO Operation Ocean Shield once.
Turkey participated in the UN Iran-Iraq Military Observer Group, which was formed to supervise the compliance of the sides with the cease-fire agreement and to monitor the withdrawal of troops, with military observers from August 1988 to May 1991.
UNIKOM was established in April 1991 to deter border violations and report hostile acts observing the demilitarized area on Iraq-Kuwait border.
Turkey contributed to UNIKOM between May 1991 and March 2003.
UNOMIG was established on 24 August 1993 based on the UNSCR 858. From 1994 to 2009, Turkey assigned personnel to this mission which was terminated in 2009.
TIPH was established as result of the negotiations of Israel and Palestine Liberation Organization conducted between 1985 and 1997. Turkish Armed Forces contributed to Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) from February 1997 to April 2008.
Turkish personnel were assigned to the verification mission in Kosovo from May to September 1999.
Turkish contributed to the Border Monitoring Operation in Georgia which was established due to the flow of refugees resulting from Russian Federation's operation in Chechnya on Georgia-Chechnya border from February 2000 to December 2004 with personnel support.
Mission was expanded by changing its tasks and responsibilities in 2004. In this framework, Turkey assigned personnel to the mission that was organized by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe to monitor the developments in Georgia during the period between June 2006 and 2009.
For the purpose of ensuring peace, security and stability in East Timor, a UN mission by the name of UNTAET was established in October 1999. In May 2002, when East Timor gained independence, the mission was renamed UNMISET.
Turkey contributed to this mission (formerly to UNTAET and later on to UNMISET) between February 2000 and May 2004.
UNMIBH Military Advisors Team was contributed from January 2001 to January 2002.
EU, UN started police mission in the Democratic Republic of the Kinshasa/Congo as of April 2005 in coordination with each other. Personnel support was provided for the mission between June 2006 and June 2007.