Gendarmerie General Command

The Gendarmerie General Command (Turkish: Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı) is a service branch of the Turkish Armed Forces responsible for the maintenance of the public order in areas that fall outside the jurisdiction of police forces (generally in rural areas), as well as assuring internal security and general border control along with carrying out other specific duties assigned to it by certain laws and regulations. The Gendarmerie is essentially a governmental armed security and law enforcement force of military nature.

Gendarmerie General Command
Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı
Emblem of the Gendarmerie General Command
  • 1839 (as Ottoman Gendarmerie)
  • June 10, 1930 (as Gendarmerie Organisation)
  • 1956 (as Gendarmerie General Command)[1]
Country Turkey
RoleParamilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.
Size170,295 sworn members + 80,000 to 90,000 Village guards.[2]
1,475 Armored and utility vehicles
59 Helicopters
Part ofMinistry of the Interior (in peacetime)
Turkish Armed Forces (in wartime)
ColorsRed & Blue         
EngagementsTurkish invasion of Cyprus
Kurdish-Turkish conflict
Turkish involvement in the Syrian Civil War
Commander-in-ChiefPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan
Minister of the InteriorMinister Süleyman Soylu
Chief of the General StaffGeneral Yaşar Güler
CommanderGeneral Arif Çetin
Chief of StaffLt. General İbrahim Yaşar

It also operates the Askeri İnzibat provost service, policing the armed forces and two special forces brigades called Jandarma Özel Harekat Komutanlığı and Jandarma Özel Asayiş Komutanlığı.

As a part of the Turkish Armed Forces, the General Command of the Gendarmerie is subordinate to the Turkish General Staff in matters relating to training and education in connection with the Armed Forces, and to the Ministry of the Interior in matters relating to the performance of the safety and public order duties. The Commander of the Gendarmerie reports to the Minister of the Interior.

The Gendarmerie has its roots in the Ottoman Empire military law enforcement organization "Subaşı" (later known as the "Zaptiye"), which carried out security and safety services. A similar, earlier force was called "Şurta" during the medieval Seljuq Empire.


Ottoman era

After the abolition of the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire in 1826, military organizations called Asâkir-i Muntazâma-i Mansûre, Asâkir-i Muntazâma-i Hâssa, and, in 1834, Asâkir-i Redîfe were established to deliver security and public order services in Anatolia and in some provinces of Rumelia.

Since the term Gendarmerie was noticed only in the Assignment Decrees published in the years following the declaration of Tanzimat in 1839, it is assumed that the Gendarmerie organization was founded after that year, but the exact date of foundation has not yet been determined. Therefore, taking the June 14 of "June 14, 1869", on which Asâkir-i Zaptiye Nizâmnâmesi was adopted, June 14, 1839 was accepted as the foundation date of the Turkish Gendarmerie.[4]

After 1877–1878 Russo-Turkish War, Ottoman prime minister Mehmed Said Pasha decided to bring some officers from Britain and France to establish a modern law enforcement organization. After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, the Gendarmerie achieved great successes, particularly in Rumelia. In 1909, the Gendarmerie was affiliated with the Ministry of War, and its name was changed to the Gendarmerie General Command (Ottoman Turkish: Umûm Jandarma Kumandanlığı).

Gendarmerie units both sustained their internal security duties and took part in the national defence at various fronts as a part of the Armed Forces during the World War I and the Turkish War of Independence.

Republic of Turkey

The Gendarmerie organization achieved its current legal status after Law No. 1706 entered into force on June 10, 1930. In 1939, the Gendarmerie organization was restructured, having three groups: Fixed Gendarmerie Units, Mobile Gendarmerie Units, and Gendarmerie Training Units and Schools.

Law No. 6815, which entered into force in 1956, assigned the Gendarmerie General Command duties such as protecting borders, coasts and territorial waters, and fighting smuggling, which had been previously carried out by the Gümrük Umum Kumandanlığı that was a military organization at the level of division in affiliation to the Ministry of Customs and Monopoly.

In 1957, Gendarmerie Border Units were transformed into brigades, and Gendarmerie Training Brigades were established.

In 1961, Gendarmerie Regional Commands were established.

In 1968, the first Gendarmerie Aviation Unit was established in Diyarbakır under the name of Light Helicopter Company Command.

In 1974, Gendarmerie Commando Units and Gendarmerie Aviation Units took part in the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

Law No. 2692 which entered into force in 1982 assigned the duty of protecting the coasts and territorial waters to the Coast Guard Command.

Law No. 2803 on the Organization, Duties and Responsibilities of the Gendarmerie entered into force in 1983.

Law No. 3497 entering into force in 1988 assigned the duty of protecting the land borders and ensuring their security to the Land Forces Command, but Gendarmerie General Command still holds the responsibility for some parts of the Iranian and Syrian borders and the whole Iraqi border.

Gendarmerie Criminal Department was founded in Ankara in 1993 and Gendarmerie Regional Criminal Laboratory Superiorities were founded respectively in 1994 in Van, in 1998 in Bursa and in 2005 in Aydın. Crime Scene Examination Teams, Explosive Material Disposal Units, Fingerprints and Palm Prints Branches and Crime Scene Examination Units were also established.

Since 1984, Gendarmerie units have been the most important element of the conflict against Kurdish separatists.

As of September 2017, around 310 civilians, including 90 children and women, have been killed by the Turkish gendarmerie at the Syrian-Turkish border since the beginning of the Syrian civil war.[5]


The Turkish Gendarmerie comprises the following commands:[6]

  • Personnel
  • Intelligence
  • Operations
  • Logistics

The General Command is composed of:[7][8]




Submachine guns

Assault and battle rifles

Machine guns

Sniper rifles

Rocket and grenade launchers



Armored personnel carriers
Sisu Nasu FinlandTracked All-Terrain VehicleNA-140 BT47
Kirpi TurkeyMRAPKirpi 4x4200Based on the Israeli Hatehof Navigator.[12]
Cobra TurkeyMRAPCobra I200Its suspension / wheel base is based on the American HMMWV which led some to mistakenly claim that Turkey actually uses the HMMWV as one of its utility vehicles.[13]
Cadillac Gage Commando United StatesArmored Personnel CarrierV-150S124Lacking a dedicated vehicle for its reconnaissance battalions, Turkey ordered 124 LAV-150 vehicles in 1992 from the Cadillac Corporation.[14]
Otokar ZPT TurkeyArmored Car250After the cancellation of Akrep, Otokar started to produce cheaper alternative for the law enforcement agencies and the army. ZPT is based on Shorland S-55.
BTR-60 Soviet Union/ GermanyArmored Personnel CarrierBTR-60PB323[6]Bought from ex-GDR stockpile after German unification. All modernized.
Condor GermanyArmored Personnel CarrierCondor 125[6]
Dragoon United StatesArmored Personnel CarrierDragoon 30060
UH-60 Black Hawk United States/ TurkeyUtility helicopterS-70A27Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.T-70 variant in use. 30 more on order
UH-1 Huey United States/ TurkeyUtility helicopterAB-20513Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.
TAI/AgustaWestland T129 ATAK TurkeyAttack helicopterT1296[15].
Mil Mi-17 Russia/ TurkeyUtility helicopterMi-17 IVA18Avionics upgraded by Aselsan.
Unmanned Aircraft Vehicles
Bayraktar Tactical TurkeyUAVTB212


NATO codeOF-10OF-9OF-8OF-7OF-6OF-5OF-4OF-3OF-2OF-1OF(D)Student officer
[note 1]
Mareşal[note 2] Genelkurmay
[note 3]
Orgeneral Korgeneral Tümgeneral Tuğgeneral Albay Yarbay Binbaşı Yüzbaşı Üsteğmen Teğmen Asteğmen Harbiyeli
No insignia
Astsubay Kıdemli
Astsubay Kıdemli
Astsubay Kıdemli
Çavuş Uzman
Onbaşı Er
  • OF3, OF2, & OR2 translate to "Head of 1000", "Head of 100", and "Head of 10" respectively.

See also


  1. Student officer insignia designates school grade rather than military seniority.
  2. Title; Honorary or posthumous rank; war time rank; ceremonial rank
  3. Chief of the Army General Staff. The background color may be different if he is not from air forces or navy. If he has been promoted to Mareşal on duty, he wears OF-10 insignia only.


  1. "Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı". Archived from the original on 20 November 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  2. "TSK Mevcut Personel Sayısını Açıkladı". Aktif Haber. 2 January 2014. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  3. "Türk Silahlı Kuvvetlerinin Barışı Destekleme Harekâtlarına Katkıları". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
  4. "THE SHORT HISTORY OF THE GENDARMERIE GENERAL COMMAND". Archived from the original on June 25, 2012. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
  5. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2017-09-13. Retrieved 2017-09-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. Pike, John. "Jandarma". Archived from the original on 2009-09-03. Retrieved 2015-12-01.
  7. "Organizational Structure". General Command of Gendarmerie. Archived from the original on 2009-07-21. Retrieved 2008-11-22.
  8. John Pike. "Turkey - Gendarmerie General Command Jandarma Genel Komutanlýðý". Archived from the original on 11 January 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  9. "Jandarma Komutanligi". Turkish Gendarmerie. Archived from the original on 2014-12-14. Retrieved 2013-10-22.
  10. "'Hayata Dönüş' ilk kez gün ışığına çıktı". 7 July 2009. Archived from the original on 6 October 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2015.
  11. Archived September 12, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  12. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2016-06-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. "Otokar Cobra is a true all-terrain fighting machine". Fox News. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 20 September 2015.
  14. "LAV-150". The actual source is by Army Guide _ but its been black listed for an unknown reason. Archived from the original on 4 February 2016. Retrieved 29 January 2016. External link in |work= (help)
  15. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2018-11-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.