- Under Article 5 of the Turkish Constitution it is the fundamental aim and duty of the State “to safeguard the independence and integrity of the Turkish Nation, the indivisible unity of the country, the Republic and democracy, and to ensure the welfare, peace and happiness of the individuals and society.”
- In parallel with carrying out duties charged upon the State by the said Article, Article 117 of the Constitution regulates the matters of ensuring the national security. This Regulation provides that the “Commander-in-Chief is an integral part of the spiritual existence of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and is represented by the President and that the President is responsible to the Grand National Assembly for ensuring national security and preparing the Turkish Armed Forces for national defence and that the Chief of General Staff is the commander of the Armed Forces and performs its Commander-in-Chief duties on behalf of the President in wartime.
- In this context, Presidential Decree No. 1 regulates the terms of reference of the General Staff and Services as follows:
- “General Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force are subordinate to the Minister of National Defence. If the President considers it necessary, he may directly receive information from the Chief of General Staff and Commanders of Services as well as their subordinates and directly gives them orders. These orders are immediately followed without seeking approval of any authority.
- General Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force are individually subordinate and responsible to the Minister of National Defence.
- The organizational structures of the General Staff, Army, Navy and Air Force are shown within the staff and organizational chart.
- Chief of General Staff decides principles and priorities as well as main programs related to personnel, intelligence, operations, organisation and training services for the war readiness of the armed forces and submits them to approval of the Minister of National Defence. In this context;
- Chief of General Staff ensures that the intelligence, operations, organisation and training services are provided through the Army, Navy and Air Force as well as agencies subordinate to the General Staff.
- Personnel services are provided pursuant to specific laws and the Presidential Decree.
- He reports the principles, priorities and main programs he decided for logistic and procurement services and his proposals for training and education services in the military schools to the Ministry of National Defence which will provide these services.
- Consideration is sought from the Chief of General Staff for the determination of military aspects of the agreements and treaties to be concluded in international field and their implementation terms. If necessary, he participates in these meetings or sends representatives.
- Chief of General Staff may personally enter into direct correspondence or may keep up contact with related ministries, departments and agencies or through the persons or agencies he will authorize on the matters under his area of responsibility and authority.
- In this context, the fundamental mission of Turkish Armed Forces is defined as follows;
- “The mission of the Armed Forces is to defend Turkish territory against the foreign-borne threats and dangers; to ensure that the military strength is maintained and strengthened to ensure deterrence; to carry out the missions abroad assigned by the decision of Grand National Assembly of Turkey, and to assist in ensuring international peace” under Article 35 of Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Code 211.
- Article 36 of Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Code 211 provides for that “the Armed Forces is assigned to the duty of learning and teaching art of war. Facilities and formations necessary to carry out this mission is established and necessary measures are taken.”
In addition to these missions, the Turkish Armed Forces;
Supports law enforcement bodies in preventing all acts disturbing public order in the event that the governors, in accordance with Article 11/D of the Provincial Administration Act 5442, “request assistance through the fastest means possible from the Ministry of Interior and, when necessary, the nearest army, naval and air forces unit commands, including the border units of the General Command of Gendarmerie or the Army in order to utilize the law enforcement bodies of other provinces and other forces assigned for this purpose on the grounds that they are unable to preclude or assess that it is not likely to preclude possible incidents or to suppress incidents using the forces at their own disposal, or if they are unable to apply the preventive measures or assess that it is not likely to apply the measures, they have taken, with these forces,”
- Conducts the tasks assigned in accordance with the Article 11/J of the Provincial Administration Act 5442 that reads “when required for counterterrorism in situations that exceed the usual capability of the law enforcement agencies and in the event that terrorist acts disrupt the public order seriously; upon the proposal by the Ministry of Interior and the approval by the President”, exercising the authority entitled within the scope of Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Code No 211 and the authority entitled to the law enforcement forces for ensuring the general security,
- Furthermore, supports the law enforcement bodies in ensuring public order and security, in accordance with Article 1 of the National Police Law 3201, providing that the Minister of Interior“ responsible for public order and security of the country shall execute these duties through Turkish National Police and the General Command of Gendarmerie or, when necessary, through the whole municipal police,” and “if necessary utilize the military force by the resolution of the President,”
- After declaring a state of emergency due to the fact that “there are clear signs indicating widespread violent movements aiming to remove the free democratic order established by the constitution and fundamental rights and freedoms and that the public order is seriously disrupted because of social violence” and, in the event that the governors “call upon the military units to provide support” in accordance with Articles 21 and 22 of the State of Emergency Law 2935, these military units shall support the law enforcement bodies in preventing the incidents by “using the powers granted under the Turkish Armed Forces Internal Service Code and the powers that the law enforcement bodies are entitled to ensure general security,”
- Supports disaster relief efforts for earthquake, fire, flood, landslide, rockfall, avalanche, etc. in accordance with Article 112 of the Internal Service Code 211 and Article 7 of the Act 7269 on Relief Efforts by Measures Taken due to Disasters Affecting Common Life,
- Protects and provides security of the land borders in accordance with Article 2 of the Act 3497 on Protection and Security of the Land Borders.