Reshuffled Turkish Armed Force raises concern for NATO

CCTV News

Following Turkey’s attempted coup over the summer, more than 100,000 people were suspended, fired or even arrested, including thousands from the police and Turkish Armed Forces. They are arrested for constituting a threat to national security and for their suspected affiliation with the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization (FETO).

Turkey has since also increased its military activity inside and outside its borders, leaving many to speculate how affected the combat effectiveness is of one of NATOs largest armies.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports.
Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Reshuffled Turkish Armed Force raises concern for NATO

Reshuffled Turkish Armed Force raises concern for NATO

Following Turkey’s attempted coup over the summer, more than 100,000 people were suspended, fired or even arrested, including thousands from the police and Turkish Armed Forces. They are arrested for constituting a threat to national security and for their suspected affiliation with the Fethullah Gulen Terror Organization (FETO). Turkey has since also increased its military activity inside and outside its borders, leaving many to speculate how affected the combat effectiveness is of one of NATOs largest armies. CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports.

In the aftermath of the July 15 abortive coup attempt by rogue members of the military, mass purges dismissed more than 40 percent of the Turkish Armed Forces or TSK.

The ranks most affected were generals and admirals. Of the 325 generals in Turkey’s army, air and naval forces at the time of the coup, over 45 percent were discharged.

Along with the compromised reputation of the Turkish military, the purges worried the West of human rights abuses, while NATO was left questioning how effective one of their biggest military allies could now be.

Yet none of this appeared to worry the Turkish government.

“If we look at the relevant numbers, you see that there used to be 11.000 contractual soldiers. But two days ago the number of contractual soldiers reached 16.000. That’s a 45% increase. After the coup attempt on the 15th of July, the army understood that it could find soldiers easier than it used to be,” İbrahim Kaza, a retired lieutenant colonel said.

Earlier this year, the TSK announced that less recruits were signing up than ever before and launched a recruitment campaign in an effort to pull more men and women in. But on the night of July 15th, nationalist pride was at it’s historic highest.

Meanwhile, Brigadier generals were rapidly replaced and Colonels were quickly promoted. Others may also return to their positions as investigations into hundreds of staff still being detained conclude; those who are cleared are offered their jobs back.

This all comes at a time when more and more soldiers are needed for operations at home and abroad.

Yet despite this uptick, the frequent threat of terrorism along with Ankara’s ramping up of military operations in Syria and Iraq, appears to have damped that post-coup enthusiasm.


Joshua Walker on Turkish army’s capabilities

For more on Turkey’s armed force capabilities, CCTV America’s Asieh Namdar spoke with Joshua Walker, the Transatlantic Fellow at German Marshall Fund.