Turkish military forces in Northern Cyprus
The Turkish military forces in Northern Cyprus (Turkish: Kıbrıs'taki Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri), officially Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Command (Turkish: Kıbrıs Türk Barış Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı) is the Turkish garrison on Cyprus. In 1974 Turkish troops invaded Cyprus following a Greek Cypriot coup d'état (organized and supported by the Greek government, which was still in the hands of a military junta) which wanted to force union with Greece, occupying the northern third of the island. The invasion force, which consisted of about 40,000 soldiers and 200 tanks, subsequently was reduced to a garrison of 17,000 troops. It outnumbers the Greek military contingent on the island, which is supplemented by the Greek Cypriot National Guard consisting of 12,000 active and 75,000 reserves. Air reinforcement of the Turkish troops can be effected, if necessary, within hours.
|Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Command|
|Kıbrıs'taki Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri|
Logo of the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Command
|Allegiance||Turkish Armed Forces|
|Engagements||Turkish invasion of Cyprus|
|Commander||Lt. Gen.Tevfik Alga|
|Chief of staff||Col. Sedat Özüer|
Turkey maintained the Cyprus Turkish Regiment (Kıbrıs Türk Alayı) in the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus. On 16 August 1960, the brigade was organized as follows:
- Günyeli Group (Günyeli Grubu)
- 2nd Infantry Company (2 nci Piyade Bölüğü)
- 3rd Infantry Company (3 ncü Piyade Bölüğü)
- Heavy Weapons Company (Ağır Silah Bölüğü)
- Ortaköy Group (Ortaköy Grubu)
- 1st Infantry Company (1 nci Piyade Bölüğü)
- 4th Infantry Company (4 ncü Piyade Bölüğü)
- Regimental HQ Company (Alay Karargâh Servis Bölüğü)
Invasion of Cyprus
- An airborne (parachute) brigade (Commander: Brig. Gen. Sabri Evren)
- A commando brigade (Commander: Brig. Gen. Sabri Demirbağ')
- A Special Strike Force Landing Brigade (Turkish Marines) (Commander: Brig. Gen. Süleyman Tuncer)
- The 39th Infantry Division (Commander: Maj. Gen. Bedrettin Demirel)
- The 28th Infantry Division (Commander: Maj.Gen. Osman Fazıl Polat)
- Cyprus Turkish Peace Force Command
- 28th Infantry Division - headquartered at Asha (Paşaköy) to the northeast of Nicosia, and the
- 39th Infantry Division - headquartered at Camlibel within the district of Girne.
- 14th Armoured Brigade - also in Asha (Paşaköy) with M48 Patton & M60 Patton tanks.
- A Special Force Regiment
- An Artillery Regiment
- Naval units
The corps reserve was at Kythrea (Değirmenlik) to the northeast of Nicosia.
- 28th Mechanized Infantry Division (Paşaköy Kyrenia) - may only be at brigade strength
- 39th Mechanized Infantry Division (Çamlıbel, Morphou) - may only be at brigade strength
- 14th Armoured Brigade (Degirmenlik, Nicosia)
- 49th Special Force Regiment
- 41st Commando Regiment
- 109th Field Artillery Regiment
- 190th Marines Battalion
- Communications Battalion
- Central Command Military Police Battalion
- Logistics Support Group (Kyrenia)
The original force of 40,000 troops was reduced with Turkish authorities claiming that the Turkish force in Cyprus had been reduced to 17,500 in the 1990s. However, according to the UN Secretary-General “It is estimated that in recent years there have been in the northern part of the island a little under 30,000 armed forces of the Republic of Turkey (Turkish Forces) making it one of the most militarized areas in the world in terms of numbers of troops and numbers of civilian population. Recently moreover there have been indications that the total numbers of Turkish forces on the island may have increased” S994/680 7.6.1994.par.28.
Turkish forces in Cyprus are part of the Turkish Aegean Army which is headquartered at Izmir in Turkey. However, the commander of the Turkish troops reports directly to the Turkish General Staff in the capital, Ankara. The force is responsible for all security and is not directly involved in political matters of northern Cyprus.
Since 16 August 1974, the Turkish Army has retained control of the northern 40% of Cyprus.
Equipment in Northern Cyprus
Armoured Personnel Carriers
- AS532 Cougar - 30
- Turkey: A Country Study, p.350. Kessinger Publishing, 2004. ISBN 1-4191-9126-8
- "Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot Press and Other Media, 98-11-19".
- Cyprus Mail, Thursday, November 19, 1998
- Phileleftheros, Wednesday, November 18, 1998
- Cyprus News Agency, October 8, 1998
- Cyprus News Agency, November 21, 1997
- Cyprus News Agency, October 27, 1997
- The Military Balance 1996/97, The International Institute for Strategic Studies, London.
- 2004 - 2005 Defence Bible (Stratigiki)
- "Cyprus, 1974", by T. Cooper and N. Tselepidis, published October 28, 2003 for ACIG.org.
- 2007 letter from Cypriot Government to UN, giving details of Turkish forces in Cyprus
- The Cyprus Conflict A website with a selection of details, reports, documents, and personal accounts on the Cyprus dispute
- Chronology - Cyprus Issue
- Aspects of the Cyprus Problem from The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office
- Association Of Turkish Cypriots Abroad, A non-party-political organization with the aim of partitioning Cyprus