CONTRIBUTION OF THE TAF TO PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS
In the post-Cold War era, such risks and threats as terrorism and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction as well as national and regional crises and conflicts came to the fore and in this context, there has been an increase in the peace support operations.
During his meeting with Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs who visited Ankara in 1937, Atatürk touched on the world policy and expressed his thoughts as follows:
"All humankind should be regarded as a human body and every nation should be considered as a limb of this body. All limbs are affected by the pain at the fingertip of a body. If there is a distress in any part of the world, we should not say 'what's that to me'. If there is such a distress, we must address it as if it personally affected us."
In the light of our great leader Atatürk's above quoted words, Turkey takes part in peace support missions within the framework of its international obligations, national interests and capabilities.
The peace support activities, to which the Turkish Armed Forces contributes can be divided in two main headings as the peace support operations it participates with an unit and as the international observer missions it participates at staff members level.
Turkey's contribution to the protection of world peace began in 1950 when it participated in the Korean War.
In the period between January 02, 1993 and February 22, 1994, Turkey sent a mechanized company in support of the humanitarian aid and peace support operation called Unified Task Force (UNITAF) which was conducted under UN Security Council Resolution 794 in order to stop the hostilities in Somalia and create a secure environment for conducting humanitarian aid operations. After the transition from UNITAF to UNOSOM II , a Turkish lieutenant general commanded the new peace force in the period between May 04, 1993 and January 18, 1994.
In the period between August 04, 1993 and December 31, 1995, Turkey assigned a mechanized regiment to peacekeeping mission (UNPROFOR) deployed by UN Security Council Resolution 743 dated February 23, 1992 in order to establish safe areas and protect these areas for finding a solution to the Bosnian-Herzegovina problem.
After NATO was charged with the task of implementing Dayton Peace Agreement (December 14, 1995) first the Implementation Force (IFOR) and then the Stabilization Force conducted operations in the region.
Turkey reinforced its regiment assigned to UNPROFOR and elevated it to the level of a brigade that it assigned to IFOR from December 20, 1995. After the ISAF mission was completed on December 20, 1996 and the SFOR mission was launched, this brigade was assigned to the SFOR mission.
Following the reduction in SFOR force level in parallel to the improvements happening in the region over time, Turkey's brigade-level contribution was gradually decreased to the battalion level. On December 02, the Stabilization Force mission was formally concluded and its duties were handed over to EUFOR Operation Althea which still continues.
Apart from the operations UNPROFOR and IFOR, the Operation Sharp Guard was conducted by the Standing Naval Force Mediterranean (STANAVFORMED) in the Adriatic under UN Security Council Resolutions 713, 757, 787, 820 and 943 (1992) in order to enforce compliance with economic sanctions and weapons embargo against the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
Turkey contributed to the operation between July 13, 1992 and October 02, 1996 with the destroyer TCG Kocatepe.
Turkey also contributed to the air power established to provide the UN Protection Force, NATO Implementation Force and NATO Stabilization Force deployed to Bosnia- Herzegovina with air support. Turkey also participated in the Operation "Deny Flight", conducted to control the airspace of former Yugoslavia, between April 12, 1993 and December 21, 1995 with a F-16 Fleet deployed in Italy.
Following the deterioration of the situation in Albania, UN Security Council delegated its power to OSCE by its Resolution 1101 dated March 28, 1997 and an multinational Italy-led force was established in order to ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian aid to this country.
Turkey provided this force with amphibious ships TCG Ertuğrul ve TCG Karamürselbey accompanied by TCG Yavuz ve TCG Trakya frigates and 753 military personnel between April 16-August 01, 1997.
The Operation "Essential Harvest" was conducted to disarm the armed forces in Macedonia. From August 2001 Turkey contributed to the multinational brigade established in Macedonia within the scope of the operation with a company team. The Operation "Essential Harvest" ended on September 27, 2001 and Turkish company team returned to Turkey on October 06, 2001.
Subsequently, NATO established a new force to support international monitors in Macedonia and the Operation "Amber Fox" officially started on September 27, 2001. Turkey provided service in the headquarters of this force. Immediately after the completion of the operation, the Operation "Allied Harmony" started under NATO's lead and lasted until March 31, 2003. Turkey made staff contribution to this operation.
Turkey provided personnel support for the Operation "Concordia" which was the first military EU operation, on December 15, 2003.
Turkey assigned Gendarmerie personnel to Proxima Police Mission launched by EU in Macedonia on December 15, 2003. The said personnel successfully completed their duty on December 15, 2005.
UN Security Council established UN Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo by its Resolution 1279 for the elections held in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and supported by the European Union (EU). Turkey has supported the mission for four months in the period between July 30-November 30, 2006.
One C-130 military transport aircraft which was assigned by Turkey served in Libreville/Gabon between July 21-December 01, 2006. Additionally, one military officer was also assigned to the Operational Command in Germany in support of the above-mentioned operation, while another military officer was appointed to the Joint Force Air Component Command deployed in Libreville/Gabon.
Adopting UN Security Council Resolution 1590 of 24 March 2005, the UN Mission in Sudan was established in Hartum, capital of Sudan. UNMIS ended on 27 July 2010.
Turkey made HQ staff contribution to this mission between 25 April 2005 and 27 July 2010.
NATO’s Training Mission in Iraq (NTM-I) was established in 2004 based on UN Security Council Resolution 1546 and the Statement on Iraq of NATO İstanbul Summit. The mission ended in December 2011.
Turkey made personnel contribution to NTM-I between 2004 and 2011.
As the internal disturbances in Libya threatened international peace and security, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) adopted resolution 1970 and 1973(2011). In accordance with these Resolutions, Turkey contributed to Operation Unified Protector- OUP launched in Libya between 29 March-31 October 2011 with four frigates, a submarine, a logistic support vessel, six F-16 fighters, two KC-135 tanker aircraft, Special Forces staff and helicopters deployed in vessels, Underwater Attack (SAT), Amphibious and Underwater Mission Teams.
NATO provided training and transportation support to African Union between June 2005- December 2007. In this process Turkey contributed with one C-160 transport aircraft between 24-29 October 2006.
In addition, Turkey made personnel contribution to UNAMID between 2006-2011.
As a result of the increasing piracy starting from January 2008 in Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, the busiest trade route, the United Nations submitted a request to NATO, and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization took a decision to commission the Standing NATO Marine Group-2 (SNMG-2) to escort World Food Program vessels under Operation Allied Provider, and the Turkish Naval Forces participated in this operation with a frigate.
In the following process the operation was expanded in a way to cover also counter-piracy in Gulf of Aden, the Arabian Sea and off the coast of Somalia and took the name of Operation Ocean Shield. The Operation Ocean Shield was executed by SNMG-1 and SNMG-2 for a six-month rotation. Turkish Naval Forces contributed to Operation Ocean Shield, SNMG-2 with frigates and HQ personnel. In accordance with the prerequisites of preliminary Action Plan and upon NATO’s decision, the Operation Ocean Shield-OOS was formally ended on 15 December 2016.
UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) was established on 29 March 2002 with UNSC Resolution 1401. Turkey contributed to the main HQ of UNAMA in Kabul between 2012-2015 with one HQ personnel in the post of military advisor.
Operation Active Endeavour was executed in the Mediterranean starting from 26 October 2001 with floating/diving/flying element contributions of the countries and by using surge operations and Standing NATO Marine Groups 1 and 2 (SNMG1/SNMG2) against terrorism under Article 5 of NATO following 11 September 2001 attacks against the US. The purpose of Operation Active Endeavor is to display unity of the alliance, combat terrorism and to deter, defend and disrupt terrorist activities in operation area.
Force requirements of the operation were planned to be met by the contributions of the deployed vessels conducting their planned missions in the Mediterranean, surge operations to be executed as well as surveillance activities of the marine and air vehicles and the contributions of the on-call units and the non-NATO countries.
Turkey contributed to the operation for the year 2015 with one submarine for two terms each of which is 10 days, one corvette or an assault boat on-call at the port, one fuel tanker, flight missions of reconnaissance & surveillance and airborne early warning, use of Aksaz Naval Base and Port of Mersin for logistic purposes. Moreover, intelligence collected by our nationally controlled assets conducting various missions in the Mediterranean as well as the intelligence collected within the scope of the Operation Black Sea Harmony and the Operation Mediterranean Shield is submitted to the related NATO authorities.
On 09 November 2016 within the framework of naval security operations it was replaced by non-Article 5 Operation Sea Guardian.
Turkey still contributes to several peace keeping operations executed in Bosnia Herzegovina, Kosovo, Iraq Afghanistan, Lebanon and offshore and territorial waters of Somalia.
Peace force mission in Bosnia-Herzegovina was handed over to European Force- EUFOR established by the European Union on 02 December 2004 by UNSC Resolutions 1551(2004) and 1575 (2004).
Turkey is the second largest personnel contributor to EU-led Operation Althea which has been executed since 02 December 2004. Turkey contributes the operation with one Maneuver Company and five liaison monitoring teams consisting 242 personnel. Turkish unit is deployed in Sarajevo.
NATO-led Kosovo Peace Force (KFOR) was established on 12 June 1999 deriving its mandate from UN Security Council Resolution 1244 to maintain safety in Kosovo.
Turkey immediately sent troops to Kosovo right after the UN Security Council Resolution was promulgated. Completing its deployment between 01-13 July 1999, the Turkish Battalion Task Force Command established the core of current Kosovo Turkish Military Delegation Committee Directorate. Since then the Turkish Armed Forces have continued to provide assistance to Kosovo in every field and the Turkish military personnel serving subordinate to Kosovo Turkish Military Delegation Committee Directorate fulfilled all submitted tasks successfully working cooperatively with the units and personnel of other countries.
KFOR is composed of approximately 3.600 troops provided by 27 countries (19 NATO and 8 non-NATO countries) and executed with two multi-national combat groups.
The Turkish National Military Representation to Kosovo, located in Prizren and comprised of 321 personnel, conducts missions throughout Kosovo with one motorized infantry company, six liaison and monitoring teams as well as other support elements. In addition, Turkey makes contributions to the operations in KFOR HQ located in the capital Pristina with its effective posts. At present, Turkey is the fifth nation among those nations that mostly contribute to the operations in terms of personnel. Upon NATO's request, our one battalion was assigned as Operational Reserve Battalion within KFOR on September 01, 2020.
UNMIK mission was established in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 1244, dated 10 July 1999. Based on the request by the UN, Turkish officers have been performing duties as UNMIK Military Liaison Officer since 2011.
In order to provide support to Afghan Interim Administration for the purpose of ensuring security, the ISAF was established in accordance with the Bonn Agreement dated 5 December 2011 and the UNSC Resolution 1386, dated 20 December 2001, and started to operate in 16 January 2002 under the leadership of United Kingdom.
While, in the beginning, the area of responsibility of ISAF Operations was only limited with the capital Kabul and its environs, it was expanded in way to cover the whole Afghanistan following the UNSC Resolution 1510, dated 18 October 2003.
Being one of the countries supporting ISAF operations actively from the beginning, Turkey; took the leadership of ISAF-II successfully with a 1300-personnel support between June 2002 and February 2003; commanded 8000 personnel, 1450 of which were Turkish, from 30 nations with its 3rd Army Corps Command between February-August 2005 during ISAF-VII, while at the same time Turkey was operating the Kabul International Airport that was under NATO command and control structure. In addition, between 4 August 2008 and 4 February 2009, the ISAF HQ was supported by the 100 personnel of the 3rd Army Corps Command and, starting from January 2014, ISAF HQs were supported by the 3rd Army Corps Command for one year, and the Commander of the 3rd Army Corps Command served as the ISAF Chief of Staff.
Turkey took over the leader country responsibility of the Kabul Regional Command that is one of the six regional commands of the ISAF operations in 1 November 2009. This mission was conducted until 31 December 2014, being extended by one-year periods.
Turkey has been in Afghanistan to; support the Afghan administration, treating equal to people whatever their ethnicity is; train the Afghan National Security Forces and provide assistance to Afghan nation in terms of security, stability and development. Because of the national restrictions of Turkey; Turkish troops do not take part both in activities out of their area of responsibility and other mine cleaning, counter-terrorism counter-narcotics activities.
Turkey provided support to Afghan nation between 2010-2014 through the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) established in Sheberghan in the province of Jowzjan in the north of Afghanistan and between 2010-2014 through the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) established in Wardak province.
One of those many missions that Turkey undertook in Afghanistan is to make Afghan National Security Forces sufficient enough to ensure the security of Afghanistan on their own. In addition, the basic training of NCOs of the Afghan National Army was provided by TAF between 2010-2011 in the Gazi Military Training Centre opened in Kabul for this purpose.
The operations of International Security Assistance Force-ISAF ended in 31 January 2014. The Resolute Support Mission (RSM) that started to operate in 1 January 2015 in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2189 (2014) dated 12 December 2014 is, on the other hand, a noncombatant mission.
Within the framework of RSM, Turkey has undertook the following missions:
• The command of Train, Assist and Advise Command of Kabul (TAAC-C),
• Operational and force protection services at the Hamid Karzai Afghanistan International Airport (HKIA),
• Provision of personnel support to the Train, Assist and Advise Command- (North/TAAC-N) and
• Provision of personnel support to the RSM Headquarters.
• It is envisaged that the total number of personnel in Afghanistan will be 648 during the RSM 2019-2020 period.
In accordance with the UNSC Resolution 1701 dated 11 August 2006, it was decided to establish an international security force in Lebanon for the purpose of peace building and peace keeping, and following the declaration of ceasefire between parties in 14 August 2006, the resolutions were put into practice.
Turkey has been making contributions to UNIFIL operations since 15 October 2006, having sent a Turkish Naval Forces frigate to UNIFIL Maritime Task Force. Between 20 October 2006 – 2 September 2013, a Turkish Engineering Company, being deployed in a base zone near the city of Sur, performed duties within the context of UNIFIL. In addition, those elements that have joined UNIFIL Operations in accordance with the procedures and principles determined by UN have the permission to use the Mersin International Port (MIP).
Among those support activities by the Turkish Engineering Company in Lebanon were the construction of a headquarters building, waste water pipeline, heliport, electricity lines, office for maintenance and repair facilities and undergrounding the communication lines. In addition, other countries performing duties in Lebanon were provided with engineering support by Turkish Engineering Company in various projects.
At present, support is provided to the operations with one frigate. Also, two Turkish officers perform duties in UNIFIL HQ.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) was established in accordance with the UNSC Resolution 2102 (2013) dated 2 May 2013. Based on the request by UN, personnel from Turkey have been working in the UNSOM Military Advisor post since 2015 on a rotational basis.
Lastly, within the UNSC Resolution 2442 (2018), Turkey assigned the TAF maritime elements, along with the naval forces of other friendly and allied nations, to Gulf of Aden, territorial waters and offshore areas of Somali and adjacent regions in order to support international efforts made for the purpose of countering piracy/sea piracy and armed robbery.
Turkey makes contribution to the activities in the region by assigning vessels under Combined Task Force-150/151 or by means of vessels under national control. Turkey is assuming command of CTF-151 Command six times now.
Operation Active Endeavour was transformed into Operation Sea Guardian under maritime security operations by excluding from the scope of Article 5 (five). It has been conducted since 9 November 2016.
Under OSG, support operation for ensuring situational awareness in the sea, support operation for countering terrorism and operation for capacity building for maritime security have been conducted.
Turkey contributes to OSG with a submarine, a frigate, a corvette, a Maritime Patrol Aircraft (4 sorties/month), air warning control flights (1-2 sorties/month) and Aksaz Naval Base. In addition, Turkey serves as Maritime Special Forces Component Command through the Mobile Training Teams of Maritime Security Center of Excellence.
As a naval component of Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) subordinate to NATO Response Force (NRF), Standing Naval Force (SNF) offers a high-quality maritime capability to the operations within Article 5 and other crisis response operations.
Turkey makes a significant contribution to the Standing Naval Task Force, as is the case in the Sea Guardian Operation. Within this scope, a frigate contribution are made to SNMG-2 four times a year in 2-3 month periods and one frigate contribution to SNMG-1 in 2-3 month periods. In addition, mine hunting vessel is assigned to SNMCMG-2 4-5 times a year in 2-3 month periods.
In 2014 NATO Wales Summit, in order to ensure stability and security and prevent potential crises, it was agreed that “Defence Capacity Building (DCB) Initiative” would be launched in terms of ensuring training, advising and support for partnership nations in the fields of defence and security.
Georgia, Jordan, Moldova, Tunisia Iraq are among DCB process. Turkey has been providing training and advice to the nations concerned and has committed to transferring 1.1 million Euros to DCB Trust Fund. The amount transferred so far is 550.000 Euros.
Turkey has undertaken the responsibility of leading nation in the field of "aviation" and contributes to DCB activities in Georgia with expert personnel in the fields of “Maritime Security”, “Military Police” and “Aviation.” Furthermore, a contribution in the amount of 200.000 Euros has been made within the scope of Joint Training and Evaluation Center (JTEC) activities.
Turkey has made contribution to Moldovan DCB Package by filling the posts of “Strategic Threats and Military Risks Expert” and “Legal Expert” and transferred 100.000 Euros for the field of Military Medicine.
Under Iraqi DCB activities, Turkey has made contribution to NTCB-I activity launched in January 2017 by filling the post of “Senior Advisor Explosive Hazard (OF5)”. After this activity was transformed into NATO Iraq Mission in 2018, Turkey contributed to regional crisis establishments. Besides, it is planned to provide training to Iraqi Security Forces and Mobile Training Team (MTT) pledged to be sent and to make contribution to ensure the security of Taji Area and force protection unit. Specialists have been assigned to teams which are set up for the search and disposal of IEDs in Iraq.
100.000 Euros was transferred to Jordan National Security and Crisis Centre in Jordan.
We have been supporting the Operation Sea Guardian and flights under Assurance Measures along with our National AEW&C aircrafts.
Some of the flights under Assurance Measures Tailored to Turkey by NATO AWACS (E-3A) aircrafts and all the flights under Global Coalition Against DAESH have been conducted from FOB-Konya.
Moreover, aerial refueling support is provided to NATO AWACS aircrafts flying over Romania under Assurance Measures.
When DAESH terrorist organization lost its impact on Iraq substantially, NAC decided to transform NATO Training and Capacity Building - Iraq (NTCB-I) into NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) in January 2018.
Turkey contributes to NATO Mission Iraq (NMI) with 25 staff personnel and force protection unit of 61 men. The staff personnel started its NMI mission, but they were gradually withdrawn following the developments in January 2020.
After the Iran-Iraq War, UNIIMOG mission was established in order to observe that the parties would comply with the truce and to supervise the withdrawal of the units. Turkey assigned a military observer to the mission between August 1988 and May 1991.
In order to deter border violations by observing the demilitarized zone in Iraq-Kuwait border and to report hostile acts, UNIKOM was established in April 1991.
Turkey made contribution to UNIKOM between May 1991 and March 2003.
UNOMIG was established under the resolution 858 of UN Security Council dated 24 August 1993. Turkey provided personnel to the mission closed in 2009 between 1994 and 2009.
TIPH was established following the negotiations conducted between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization in the years between 1985 and 1997.
Turkey provided personnel to the international observer post called TIPH between February 1997 and April 2008.
Turkey provided personnel to the Verification Mission established in Kosovo between May and September 1999.
Owing to the flow of refugee arising out of the Russian Federation’s operation to Chechnya, Turkey provided personnel to OSCE Border Monitoring Operation established in Georgia- Chechnya border between February 2000 and December 2004.
This Mission was expanded by amending its terms of reference in 2004. In this regard, Turkey provided personnel to OSCE Border Monitoring Operation established to monitor the developments in Georgia between June 2006 and 2009.
A UN mission called UNTAET was established in 1999 in order to ensure peace, security and stability in East Timor. This Mission was called UNMISET after East Timor gained its independence in May 2002.
Turkey made contribution (to UNTAET and UNMISET respectively) between 2000 and May 2004.
Turkey made contribution to “Military Advisors Team” of UN Mission in Bosnia- Herzegovina between January 2001 and January 2002.
In coordination with UN, EU launched a police mission in Kinshasa of Democratic Republic of the Congo since April 2005. Turkey provided personnel to this mission between June 2006 and June 2007.