To ensure that the public order, safety and security are maintained and to fulfil the duties assigned to it through other laws and regulations.
Those two fundamental categories outline the duties attributed to an armed, military law enforcement agency.
The Gendarmerie of the Turkish Republic is a security force and a law enforcement agency which accomplishes such duties in a significant part of the Turkish Republic.
Historical Development of the Gendarmerie
In effect, it has always been essential and customary for the Turkish Nation which established powerful states in the history to preserve the security and public order within the borders of the country.
For instance, the security and public order services were organized distinctly in accordance with the administrative qualities of each settlement during the reign of the Ottoman Empire, which is known to have been one of the most powerful states all through the history.
According to the abovementioned organization, the chief administrator responsible for the coordination and fulfilment of those services was called “Kadi” in Districts, “Mirliva” or “Sancakbeyi” in Sanjaks (Provinces), and “Mirmiran” or “Bey” in States.
In Istanbul, however, Janissaries known as “Karakullukcu” used to perform such services.
In respect of occidentalisation movement and reforms that were brought by Tanzimat (Administerative Reforms) as of 1839, a new military law enforcement class have occured which was managed by one center and whose main duty was to maintain internal security and order. During the World War I and, later on, the Turkish War of Independence, the Gendarmerie undertook a more critical responsibility. That is; while it performed its duties and responsibilities for the preservation of the internal security, it also played an outstanding role in the defence of the home. Following the foundation of the Republic, the organization was harmonized with the newly adopted administrative system. Although the organization was newly formed as a whole, the only thing that did not change was the selfsacrificing effort of the Gendarmerie units.
Until 1983, the Gendarmerie executed its activities under the law of 1930. Later on, it was reorganized in accordance with the requirements of the period through the law on ” the Organization, Duties and Powers of Gendarmerie” which was passed and put into force in 1983.
The Gendarmerie General Command
The Gendarmerie of the Turkish Republic is an armed and military organization of security and law enforcement, which maintains security, safety and public order in its responsibility area and executes the duties ascribed by laws and regulations.
The Gendarmerie General Command has affiliation with the Turkish General Staff in terms of training and education in addition to the fulfilment of duties assigned by the military laws and regulations and it is subordinated to the Ministry of Interior with regard to security and public order services.
Among the duties of the Gendarmerie; maintaining safety, public security and order, fighting against smuggling, taking necessary measures to prevent crimes and ensuring the external protection of the state penitentiaries constitute its administrative duties. With regard to any crime, implementing the procedures specified under relevant laws and executing judicial services related to these procedures make up its judicial duties. The duties which are derived from the military legislation provisions and assigned by the General Staff compose its military duties. Finally, the duties apart from the administrative, judicial and military duties that are assigned by the orders and decisions regarding the fulfilment of other legislation provisions form its other duties.
The Gendarmerie General Command, organized in parallel with the size of its responsibility area, is comprised of headquarters and subordinated units, internal security units, schools and training units, logistic support units, aviation units and other units established according to the characteristics of the duties.
The Gendarmerie General Command conducts the internal security units through the Gendarmerie Regional Commands. By taking into account the security and public order situation, transportation and territorial conditions; several Provincial Gendarmerie Commands are affiliated to the Gendarmerie Regional 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 carry out their security and public order duties through the Gendarmerie stations round-the-clock. The personnel in the Gendarmerie stations, 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 represent the guarantors 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 equipments.
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 in the responsibility areas of the Gendarmerie General Command.
The Gendarmerie Motorcycled Public Order Teams are established within 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 proactive 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, recreation spots and museums (Topkapı Palace), protecting wildlife and preventing environmental crimes at the hunting areas and forests.
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, completely equipped according to the requirements of the work, carry out duties of searching and finding underwater and afloat criminal evidences in natural disasters such as flood and inundation and searching and rescuing people in the water crying for help.
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.
Through the environmental management authorities assigned in the units, an effective environmental management is aimed by ensuring that waste control and management are carried out in accordance with the legislation.
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, equipments 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 centres 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 sick and injured people with the search and rescue dogs specially trained for this purpose and come to help citizens in their most troublesome times.
The Gendarmerie personnel, employed especially in the resort areas, know the foreign languages well and this facilitates their communication with the tourists and thanks to the secure atmosphere ensured by the Gendarmerie personnel, the development of tourism which is contributing to the 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 personnel by the citizens about the incidents of security and public order is “156 Gendarmerie Hotline”. The hotline, currently established in all Provincial Gendarmerie Commands as well as in some District Gendarmerie Commands where the incidents of security and public order are intensively observed, is reached for 24 hours without interruption.
Moreover, “The System for Positioning of Urgent Calls”, established under the Operations Centres of all Provincial Gendarmerie Commands is developed and utilized in the websites of “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 positioning the mobile phones of these people.
The Gendarmerie Integrated Communications and Information System (GICIS) project, which is the first and greatest public security communications project of Turkey, is developed in order to have the capacity provided by the state of the art communication and information system technologies in the Gendarmerie General Command and to convey information in an uninterrupted, simultaneous, proper and secure way to the smallest Gendarmerie unit under any circumstances.
With the GICIS project, it is possible for the patrols on foot and motorcycled patrols to make inquires about people and license plates by means of the vehicle and mobile radios and for the Operations Centres to respond to the notices on the “156 Gendarmerie Hotline” by employing patrols on foot 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.
The Gendarmerie organization fights against separatist and subversive terror activities with a sense of self-sacrifice besides its conventional security and public order duties.
In the anti-terrorism operations, specially trained commando units are primarily assigned. In that sense, Gendarmerie Commando and Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units are established in the Gendarmerie General Command within the structure of necessary Regional, Provincial and District Gendarmerie Commands in order to utilize them in the anti-terrorism 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 successfully completed commando courses. Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations units have a distinguished place in the anti-terrorism 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.
Other than the Gendarmerie Commando and Gendarmerie Commando Special Operations Units, the Gendarmerie Commando Special Public Order Command, that 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-terrorism operations and ensures security and public order in tough environmental conditions.
The Gendarmerie Staff, the guarantors of our peace and security, are trained at the Gendarmerie Schools Command which has a progressive and modern training and education system that is updated in parallel with the social needs and requirements in addition to the duties continuously changing and diversifying. All kinds of technological means are also used during the training, so that the Gendarmerie personnel could be trained as proficiently as possible.
Military personnel of friendly and allied countries and guest students coming from beyond our boundaries are trained at the training centres and schools within the Gendarmerie Schools Command. Until 2014, (975) guest military personnel from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Algeria, the Peoples Republic of China, France, Gambia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mauritania, Ukraine, Jordan, Pakistan, Tunisia and Turkmenistan were trained.
On the other hand, the conscripts, who complete their military services within the Gendarmerie, are trained at the Gendarmerie Training Units. One of the principal aims of the Gendarmerie Training Command is to offer training and education to the training units under its command and to provide training support to the units required for individual training, unit training and joint training.
The conscripts in the training units are trained in the relevant specialization areas (Commando, Border, Special Public Order, Public Order, Tourism, Penitentiary Guard, Communications, Driver, etc.) in accordance with the characteristics of the unit to which they will be 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 gives the logistical support required by the Gendarmerie units, headquarters and commands in various activities from construction to manufacture, from maintenance to storage and from transportation to supply without any delays. 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 and also 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 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 Command became a significant air force with the participation of technologically modern aircrafts to the fleet.
The Gendarmerie Aviation Units, besides combating against terrorism, 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 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 Criminal System has been established which is composed of the Criminal Department, Criminal Laboratories, Fingerprint Examination and Archive Sections, Criminal Sections, Crime Scene Investigation Teams and Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams.
The Gendarmerie Criminal Department became a member of the European Network of Forensic Scientific Institute (ENFSI) in 1998, established in order to ensure exchange of information and coordination between laboratories. The Gendarmerie Criminal 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 are responsible for systematically examining the crime scene by means of technical and scientific methods; properly gathering physical evidences; packing and sending them to criminal laboratories. “The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Teams”, which have been established in tourism regions, regions with a concentration of terror incidents and big cities, disposes of explosive ordnances.
As a result of the developments in the technology, types and methods of crime differentiate and increase day by day. The law enforcement forces have to apply modern methods necessitated by the information age in order to enhance its capacity in the fight against crime and criminality, mainly against organized crimes.
In this regard, the Anti-Smuggling and Organized Crime Department (ASOCD) ensures the high level training of 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 employing modern vehicles, equipments and contemporary investigation techniques within the framework of current legislation and in coordination with national and international institutions and organizations.
Turkey is intensively subject to any kind of organized crime activities and smuggling, mainly in narcotic and psychotropic substances and immigrant trafficking due to its geographical location as well as the effective usage of informatics and technological developments by the criminal groups. Thus, the law enforcement forces are required to have specialized and experienced personnel together with flexibility in the combat against crime and criminality. ASOC Department and ASOC units, established for this purpose, perform the duties of combating against smuggling and organized crime with their professional personnel.
Moreover, in order to increase the effectiveness of the fight against international crimes and criminality, the incidents having international connections are clarified and people who committed crimes and escaped abroad are caught and extradited through the National Bureau Gendarmerie Liaison Officer employed in the General Directorate of Security, Interpol-Europol Sirene Department.
In respect to liaison, one person 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.
For the purpose of protecting juveniles, preventing them from committing crimes, implementing procedures regarding juveniles who are forced to commit crimes and need to be protected and also regarding women who are victims of violence, “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 are established.
As an indication of the importance attached to the human rights by the Gendarmerie General Command, the Gendarmerie Human Rights Violations Examination and Evaluation Centre (GEND-HRVEEC) is constituted and it is responsible for receiving complaints and applications pursuant to a specific system concerning the allegations of human rights violations that may occur during the execution of the duties; investigating these allegations and in case of their accuracy, informing to related judicial and administrative authorities for the purpose of initiating judicial and administrative investigations within the legal framework.
The applications to the JIHIDEM are accepted for 24 hours a day and the applicant is informed about the procedures and the result.
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 Anıttepe Lieutenant General Naci TINAZ Quarters.
Furthermore, for the purposes of establishing a well communication channel between the personnel who is in commander position and the personnel who is in non-commissioned officer and specialized gendarmerie status and thus finding more correct/right solutions for the requests and developments of these personnel, the Gendarmerie General Command constitutes Non-Commissioned Officer and Specialized Gendarmerie cadres.
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 Monument” 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.
The Gendarmerie General Command band, characterized as a symphonic band, performs popular works from all around the world with choreographies, attracts great attention with its activities both at home and abroad and thus, greatly contributes to the publicity of the TAF in terms of art.
The Gendarmerie General Command Band 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.
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. The chief members of this Association are France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Morocco, Romania and Jordan; the associated members are Chile, Argentina and Qatar.
On 27 May 2010, the Gendarmerie General Command became an observer member of European Gendarmerie Force established in 2004 in order to ensure public security and order in the crisis regions of the world. The full members of the European Gendarmerie Force areFrance, Italy, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Romania and Poland; the associated member is Lithuania.
Moreover, the Gendarmerie General Command carries on its activities as the founder member of “the Association of Eurasian Law Enforcement Forces with Military Status (TAKM)” which was established among the Gendarmerie General Command and Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan law enforcement forces with military status under the leadership of the Gendarmerie General Command in order to strengthen the relationships among the Law Enforcement Forces with Military Status in Eurasia and ensure the exchange of information and experience.
The Gendarmerie General Command contributes by assigning units and personnel in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo and Afghanistan 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.
The personnel of the Armed Forces of Friendly and Allied Countries receive training in line with the quotas allocated by the Turkish General Staff within the framework of Military Training Cooperation Agreements and Protocols. Within this scope, guest military personnel from Albania, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Algeria, China, France, Gambia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Jordan and Mauritania have been trained up to now in the training-education institutions of the Gendarmerie General Command. Within the framework of site trainings, the Gendarmerie personnel still give training and provide consultancy for the other activities in Azerbaijan and Gambia.
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 the most respected, the most reliable and the most excellent 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!”
The website: www.jandarma.tsk.mil.tr