Presidential Guard Regiment (Turkey)

Presidential Guard Regiment (Turkish: Cumhurbaşkanlığı Muhafız Alayı) was a military unit stationed in Çankaya Köşkü, the official residence of the Prime Minister of Turkey and until 2014 the official residence of the President of Turkey. The Guard Regiment was the only unit in the Land Forces of Turkish Armed Forces to wear turquoise and white ceremonial uniforms.

Presidential Guard Regiment
Cumhurbaşkanlığı Muhafız Alayı
Active18 July 1920 – July 2016
(99 years, 4 months)
Disbanded2016
Country Turkey
Branch Turkish Land Forces
TypeRegiment
RolePresidential protection, honor guard
Size2,500
Garrison/HQÇankaya Köşkü
Commanders
Current
commander
Colonel Muhsin Kutsi Barış

History

The Turkish Presidential Guard Regiment was established in July 1920 under President Atatürk. Its original role was to provide security in Ankara, in what was then a small and isolated city. As a battalion sized unit it saw active service during the war with Greece.

In 1927 the Guard Battalion, as it was then known, was expanded to 2,500 men and renamed as the Presidential Guards Regiment. During World War II the unit was expanded again and restructured as a brigade and then a division. In 1948 it was reduced to battalion strength and in 1953 merged with the separate Parliamentary Guard Battalion, under its final title of Presidential Guard Regiment.

Primarily visible as a ceremonial and honor guard unit, the regiment included a horse mounted escort. Under President Erdoğan during 2015 the Guard provided small detachments in various historic Ottoman costumes at public functions.[1]

Disbandment

Following the abortive coup attempt of 2016, almost 300 members of this unit were arrested. Shortly thereafter, the Turkish government announced that the entire Presidential Guard Regiment was to be disbanded.[2][3] The former ceremonial functions of the Presidential Guard Regiment are now performed by units of the Turkish Gendarmerie.

References

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