THE GENDARMERIE OF THE TURKISH REPUBLIC
The Gendarmerie of the Turkish Republic is an armed general law enforcement organization, which maintains security, safety and public order and executes the duties ascribed to it by other laws. The Gendarmerie General Command is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior.
The Gendarmerie Organization, which was established in 1839, has survived until today after passing through a number of phases. Having been reformed as a result of the search for a new and permanent law enforcement organization following the abolishment of janissary system, the Gendarmerie Organization has become renowned in the history thanks to the excellent achievements they got in the defence of the homeland in a number of fronts while performing security and public order duties during the First World War and the Turkish War of Independence.
After the Republic was proclaimed, the gendarmerie stations, which were on duty throughout the country, began to serve people as the gates of the state opened to citizens in the most remote parts of the country in addition to carrying out security and public order duties. People began to identify Gendarmerie with the state itself.
Having made great achievements thanks to its distinguished commando components, the Gendarmerie units made significant contributions to bring peace and harmony in the island during Cyprus Peace Operation.
The Gendarmerie Organization, ensuring the security of lives and properties of people with a great devotion in the struggle to render ineffective the terrorist organizations, will continue its efforts with the same resolution and determination as well. In the fight against the terrorists, the self-sacrifice of the Turkish Gendarmerie and the angelic souls of our martyrs who passed away for the sake of their homeland will stand almost as a monument against the evil forces harbouring evil intentions towards the indivisible integrity of our country.
Among the duties of the Gendarmerie; maintaining safety, public security and order, forbidding, pursuing and investigating smuggling; taking and applying necessary measures to prevent crimes; ensuring the external protection of the state penitentiaries; the duties apart from the judicial and military duties that are assigned by the orders and decisions regarding the fulfilment of other legislation provisions constitute its administrative duties; with regard to any crime, implementing the procedures specified under relevant laws and executing judicial services related to these procedures form its judicial duties and the duties which are carried out for fulfilment of military services assigned by legislation compose its military duties.
The Gendarmerie General Command, organized in parallel with the size of its responsibility area, is comprised of central and provincial organizations, internal security units, Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy and training units, logistic support units, aviation units and other units established according to the characteristics of the duties.
The Gendarmerie Internal Security Units are established in order to carry out the security and public order duties. These units include Gendarmerie Regional Commands, Provincial Gendarmerie Commands, District Gendarmerie Commands and Gendarmerie Station Commands.
In Turkey, there are Provincial Gendarmerie Commands in each city named after the city and District Gendarmerie Commands in the districts named after the district.
The District Gendarmerie Commands perform their security and public order duties through the Gendarmerie stations for 24 hours a day. The personnel at the Gendarmerie stations which are the symbols of the Gendarmerie Organization serve in a spirit of enthusiasm and excitement regardless of any deprivation, challenge and impossibility with a high sense of duty, self-sacrifice and courage and constitute the guarantee of peace and security in our country.
Furthermore, in order to become closer to the citizens during the execution of duties, the Gendarmerie Public Order Check Points are established at resort areas, critical crossroads and highway entries and exits.
In addition to these units, there are also special units organized according to the expertise area required under the Gendarmerie General Command. These units are equipped with special weapons, vehicles, instruments and equipment.
Security and public order services at inland waters are carried out by the Gendarmerie Public Order Boat Commands.
The duties of controlling and organizing traffic and intervening in traffic crimes are performed by the Gendarmerie Traffic Teams round-the-clock at the highways established by the protocols in the responsibility areas of the Gendarmerie General Command.
The Gendarmerie Motorcycled Public Order Teams are established at the District Gendarmerie Commands that are determined by taking into account the population density, resort areas and requirements of the duty in order to carry out preventive law enforcement services, respond to the incidents in a shorter time and execute protection, road security and control patrols.
The Gendarmerie Mounted Units are effectively used in performing patrolling services at resort areas, forestlands, recreation spots and museums (Topkapı Palace), and in performing preventive law enforcement services.
The Gendarmerie Dog Components are effectively utilized in rendering early warning for public order and security duties and patrolling services, ensuring security in response to sabotages, suspicious and risky conditions, searching for narcotic, psychotropic substances and explosives together with land mines, finding the location of survivors in case of natural disasters, finding missing persons and clarifying the incidents of arson.
The Underwater Search and Rescue Teams which are completely equipped according to the requirements of the work carry out duties of searching and finding underwater and afloat forensic evidences at inland waters and intervening in natural disasters and inundation.
The Gendarmerie General Command attaches great importance to the prevention of environmental pollution. In that sense, the Environmental Protection Teams under necessary Provincial Gendarmerie Commands serve in order to prevent environmental pollution and promote environmental awareness.
Among the duties of the Gendarmerie regarding the state penitentiaries are taking measures for the external security and protection of the state penitentiaries, dispatching and transferring the prisoners and convicts to the courthouses, health institutions and another penitentiary, preventing the prisoners and convicts’ prison-breaking who are under their responsibility and preventing the entry of weapons, equipment and goods which are prohibited in the penitentiaries.
The security of the facilities contributing greatly to the national economy such as certain airports, transmitter stations of Turkish Radio and Television Company, dams, some critical facilities like petroleum production and filling centers and petroleum and natural gas pipelines is ensured by taking special protection measures by the Gendarmerie units established for this purpose.
The Gendarmerie Search and Rescue Teams employed in the places where skiing tourism is widely popular have necessary training on struggling with heavy winter conditions and skiing as well as driving oversnow vehicles, first aid and mountaineering.
These teams carry out their duties of locating missing persons, rescuing people who are stuck under avalanche and transferring the sick and injured with the help of specially-trained search and rescue dogs and come to help citizens in their most troublesome times.
The fact that the Gendarmerie personnel employed especially in the resort areas know foreign languages well, facilitates the communication with the tourists and thanks to the secure environment maintained by the Gendarmerie personnel, the development of tourism which is contributing to the national economy is greatly supported.
It is aimed to project the Gendarmerie Station buildings in the resort areas in compliance with the surrounding architecture.
The most significant element in the notification of the Gendarmerie by the citizens about the incidents of security and public order is “156 Gendarmerie Hotline”. The hotline, established at all Provincial Gendarmerie Commands as well as at some District Gendarmerie Commands where the incidents of security and public order intensively occur, can be reached round the clock.
Moreover, “The System for Positioning of Urgent Calls”, established under the Operations Centres of all Provincial Gendarmerie Commands has been developed and utilized at “www.jandarma.gov.tr” and “www.jandarma.tsk.tr” through the link of “156 Gendarmerie Hotline” in order to reach the survivors/victims of a disaster, who call the “156 Gendarmerie Hotline” and ask for help from the Gendarmerie units, within the shortest time possible and to view the information on the map by ascertaining the location of the fixed lines and the mobile phones of these people.
The Gendarmerie Integrated Communications and Information System (JEMUS) project, which is the first and greatest public security communications project, has been developed in order to have the capabilities provided by the latest communication and information system technologies at the Gendarmerie General Command and to convey information in an uninterrupted, simultaneous, proper and secure way to the smallest Gendarmerie unit under any condition.
With the JEMUS project, it is possible for the pedestrian and motorcycled patrols to make inquiries about people and license plates by the vehicle and mobile radios and for the Operations Centres to respond to the notices on the “156 Gendarmerie Hotline” by employing pedestrian and motorcycled patrols closest to the scene through the Vehicle Tracking System. Moreover, the License Plate Recognition System is used in order to find stolen – missing vehicles and to improve the efficiency in the combat against terrorism and organized crimes. In this system, the license plates of the vehicles are automatically recognized, the license plates are instantly questioned in the vehicle databases and the units are cautioned on the wanted vehicles with audio – visual alarms.
Besides its security and public order services, the Gendarmerie Organization also fights against separatist and subversive terrorism activities with a great sense of self-sacrifice.
In the anti-terrorist operations, specially trained commando units are primarily assigned. In that sense, Gendarmerie Commando and Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units have been established at the Gendarmerie General Command within the structure of necessary Regional, Provincial and District Gendarmerie Commands in order to utilize them in the anti-terrorist operations and significant public order disturbances that exceed the capabilities of internal security units.
Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units are composed of voluntary, courageous, experienced, physically strong and competent personnel who have successfully completed the commando course and Anti-Terrorist Operation Course provided at the Gendarmerie Commando School and Training Centre Command. Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units have a distinguished place in the anti-terrorist operations as the units that can move night and day in any territorial and weather conditions and have the capability of deploying to great distances on foot thanks to their light equipment and resistance. Within the context of professionalization, the necessary training on the branches requiring specialization is provided by the Gendarmerie Commando School Command.
Other than the Gendarmerie Commando and Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units, the Gendarmerie Commando Special Public Order and Rescue Brigade Command, which is directly subordinated to the Gendarmerie General Command headquarters and composed of professional personnel, executes operations anywhere in the country that exceed the capabilities of other Gendarmerie units and require special training, weapons, equipment and superior abilities; performs search and rescue activities in natural disasters, accidents, incidents or disappearances as well as the operations of rescuing hostages; carries out anti-terrorist operations and maintains security and public order in tough environmental conditions.
The ranked personnel of the Gendarmerie General Command who are the guarantors of our peace and security are trained at the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy in accordance with a progressive and modern training and education system that is updated in parallel with the social needs and requirements as well as the duties continuously changing and diversifying. All kinds of technological means are also used during the training in order for the Gendarmerie personnel to receive training as proficiently as possible.
Within the framework of Military Training Cooperation Agreements and Protocols signed with friendly and allied countries, training is provided to the guest military personnel coming from friendly and allied countries to Turkey at the training centres within the Gendarmerie General Command and at the Gendarmerie and Coast Guard Academy. Moreover, consultancy services on training and other activities are provided by the Gendarmerie personnel assigned to the requesting countries.
On the other hand, the conscripts who will complete their military services within the Gendarmerie are trained at the Gendarmerie Training Units. The conscripts at the training units are trained in the branches of Commando, Public Order Team, Public Order, Prison Guard, Military Driver, Tourism, and Communications in accordance with the characteristics of the unit to which they are assigned.
The logistical support needed by the Gendarmerie units in the execution of all these difficult duties is provided by the Gendarmerie Logistics Command.
Thanks to its widespread organization and extensive capabilities, the Gendarmerie Logistics Command plans and provides the logistical support required by the Gendarmerie units, headquarters and commands for a variety of activities from construction to production, from repair to storage and from transportation to supply and also from maintenance to ceremony and band services without any delay. Moreover, training is given for the purpose of having competent personnel who are specialized in their fields and who have good knowledge on the legislation in order to meet training requirements of the units and commands regarding logistics in a fast, economical and effective way. The Gendarmerie technical and auxiliary arms officers and NCOs are trained at the Gendarmerie Technical and Auxiliary Arms Training Center Command which was established within the Gendarmerie Logistics Command.
The Gendarmerie Band Command, characterized as a symphonic band, performs Turkish Music as well as the songs listened interestedly all around the world with choreographies and attracts great attention with its activities both at home and abroad and thus, greatly contributes to the publicity of the Gendarmerie General Command.
The Gendarmerie Band Command performs polyphonic music in a contemporary and modern way and plays an important role in the popularization of military band music with its performances in the official and military ceremonies as well as concerts and records.
The Gendarmerie General Command needs a powerful air support in accordance with the characteristics of its responsibility area. In that sense, the first aviation unit of the Gendarmerie General Command was established in Diyarbakır in 1968 under the name of the Light Helicopter Company for the purposes of dispatching units, security and public order, reconnaissance and surveillance, evacuation of the sick and injured.
In order to meet the expanding air support need, the organization all over the country was enhanced and the Gendarmerie Aviation became a significant air force with the participation of technologically modern aircrafts to the fleet.
The Gendarmerie Aviation Units, besides combating against terrorist, execute the duties of air transportation, command and control, reconnaissance and surveillance, security and public order services, aerial supply, medical evacuation, natural disasters, humanitarian aid and search and rescue throughout the country round-the-clock.
In order to train pilots and helicopter technicians that the Gendarmerie General Command needs, Education Division at the Gendarmerie Aviation Department was turned into the Gendarmerie Aviation School Command as of 27th June 2013.
In order to clarify incidents by using scientific methods and to identify and bring the suspects to justice, the Gendarmerie Forensic System has been established which is composed of the Forensic Department, Forensic Laboratories, Forensic Sections, Crime Scene Investigation Teams and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams.
The Gendarmerie Forensic Department became a member of the European Network of Forensic Scientific Institute (ENFSI) in 1998 which was established in order to ensure exchange of information and coordination between laboratories. The Gendarmerie Forensic Department is accredited in terms of its quality management system and examination and analysis methods.
The Crime Scene Investigation Teams (CSIT) working under the Provincial and District Gendarmerie Commands systematically examine the crime scene by means of technical and scientific methods; properly gather physical evidences; pack and send them to forensic laboratories. “The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams”, which have been established in tourism regions, regions with a concentration of terror incidents and big cities, dispose of explosive ordnances.
Smuggling is important due to its being a financial resource for organized crime and terrorist groups, damaging to public finance because of tax losses as well as causing economic and social damages in the society. Additionally, some smuggling types such as drug, tobacco and tobacco products and alcohol also threaten community and human health substantially.
The Gendarmerie General Command aiming at serving as a model law enforcement wages an exemplary struggle in the area of fighting against Smuggling and Organized Crimes. In this regard, the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department (ASOCD) provides high level training to its personnel in order to increase the effectiveness of combating against crime and criminals, carries out anti-smuggling and organized crime duties assigned to it by means of employing modern vehicles, equipment and contemporary investigation techniques within the framework of current legislation and in coordination with national and international institutions and organizations.
Drug trafficking is one of the most important financial resources of the terrorist groups and ASOC Department and ASOC units continue struggling against this trafficking type successfully with the support of operational units.
The analysis are carried out in the field of anti-smuggling and organized crime by using advanced softwares and works for revealing crime, crime connections and criminal organizations are performed. By examining past smuggling incidents, profiles of smugglers, used routes and tactics are found out and measures are developed according to the acquired information.
In order to carry out the duties and responsibilities in the area of immigrant smuggling and human trafficking within the legal framework and in accordance with effectiveness, accountability and representational criteria, “Combating against Immigrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking Department” has been established. Activities are ongoing for establishing Immigrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking Branches in the cities where immigrant smuggling and human trafficking crimes are intense and Immigrant Smuggling and Human Trafficking Sections in the districts where these crimes are intense.
One liaison personnel as the representative of the Gendarmerie General Command has been permanently assigned to the General Directorate of Immigration Administration, which has been set up for ensuring coordination between law enforcement units and related public institutions, developing measures and following the implementation of these measures so as to struggle against regular and irregular immigration.
Today, contemporary methods used in combating against crime have replaced conventional methods. The most important difference between the contemporary methods in combating against crimes and the conventional methods, that have reached today by being continuously implemented, in which personal intuition and experiences of the personnel are highlighted and institutional memory is less used, is that crime analysis based on information is more extensively employed in the prevention of crimes and in the fight against criminals. In that sense, “Crime Analysis and Evaluation Branch” (SADEŞ) was established under the Gendarmerie General Command headquarters.
By assessing the results of its analysis, SADEŞ contributes to the development of methods in the fight against crimes and criminals, the identification of the regulations required in the organization and necessary specialization fields and also the development of training programs.
The Gendarmerie General Command Personnel Recruitment Center Command was established in order to increase the quickness and quality in the personnel recruitment activities, minimize work force and time loss and this Command carries on its activities in Beytepe Martyr Lieutenant General İsmail SELEN Quarters.
“The Branch on the Fight against Domestic Violence and Juveniles” in the Gendarmerie General Command Headquarters and “Juveniles and Women Sections” in Provincial Gendarmerie Commands carry out the duties of protecting juveniles, preventing them from committing crimes and implementing procedures regarding juveniles who are forced to commit crimes and need to be protected and also regarding women who are victims of domestic violence.
The Gendarmerie Museum is established in order to reflect the developments in periodical order beginning with the foundation of the Gendarmerie organization; to exhibit its activities, heroic deeds, services in the history; to protect all kinds of military cultural assets related to the Gendarmerie by collecting them and to transfer them to the future generations. The Gendarmerie Museum in the Beytepe Martyr Lieutenant General İsmail SELEN Quarters in Ankara has the status of “The First Class Military Museum” and is open to public.
In the period beginning from 1839, when the Gendarmerie was founded, until present time; the names of officers, non-commissioned officers, specialized gendarmerie, civil servants, workers, specialized sergeants and conscripts of the Gendarmerie Organization who willingly sacrificed their lives in the struggle for the sake of indivisible integrity of the state, unity of nation, security and public order were immortalized with the “Gendarmerie Martyrs’ Memorial” opened in the Martyr Lieutenant General İsmail SELEN Quarters. The Gendarmerie Museum and the Gendarmerie Martyrs Monument are free of charge and open to local and foreign people during the working hours.
Since 1998, the Gendarmerie General Command has been a chief member of the Association of the European and Mediterranean Gendarmeries and Law Enforcement Forces with Military Status (FIEP), which was established in order to ensure cooperation and exchange of experience among the European and Mediterranean countries in 1994.
On 27th May 2010, the Gendarmerie General Command became an observer member of European Gendarmerie Force established in 2004 in order to maintain public security and order in the crisis regions of the world. Only the member states of the European Union can be the chief member of the European Gendarmerie Force.
Moreover, in order to strengthen the relationships among the Law Enforcement Forces with Military Status in Eurasia and ensure the exchange of information and experience, activities related to establishing of “the Association of Eurasian Law Enforcement Forces with Military Status (TAKM)” continue under the leadership of the Gendarmerie General Command and with the participation of the Azerbaijani Interior Troops Command and the Kazakhstani National Guard Command.
The Gendarmerie General Command contributes by assigning units and personnel within the framework of the Peace Support Operations under UN, EU and NATO in order to prevent crisis in various regions of the world and to rebuild regional peace. Moreover, activities related to assigning Gendarmerie personnel to the positions of counsellor in the Ministry of Interior, protective mission positions in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UN and NATO positions that will be formed in variousl countries in the world.
The Turkish Gendarmerie, always striving for the peace and security of the society ever since it was established, has adopted a society assisted public order service in which individuals, institutions and property rights are protected and the approach of security for freedom is accepted within the framework of the rule of the law and human rights and freedoms as the primary goal. In that sense, it will continue its activities in the future in line with its vision in order to be “an exemplary law enforcement force which conducts respected, reliable and high-class service with an anthropocentric mentality, contemporary management and mission in both national and international fields”.
The Gendarmerie of the Turkish Republic, taking its strength from the sincere support of Turkish people, does not refrain from any kind of self-sacrifice while performing its duties in accordance with the laws.
As ATATÜRK, the founder of the Turkish Republic stated, “the Gendarmerie, always consecrated to its land, nation and republic with devotion and fidelity, is an army of law and a model for modesty, self-sacrifice and abnegation!”