Turkey to bring big changes in fight against terrorism

Turkey has announced plans to overhaul its counterterrorism operations system in the fight against separatist violence of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

The government has revealed that they are to abandon the methods used by the General Staff for the past 25 years. The Police Special Operations Units and Gendarmerie Special Operations Units will now take control of the task of terrorism in Turkey. In the new system, army units under the General Staff will have no major responsibilities in fighting terrorism.

In their weekly meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chief of General Staff Işık Koşaner held a terrorism summit in which key decisions were discussed. This comes shortly after statements released by the government to say more effective methods will be pursued in combating terrorists after an attack on a military unit in Silvan.

A major part of the restructuring, border units will be formed consisting of around 5,000 professional soldiers from the Gendarmerie General Command. This effectively ends the General Staff’s longstanding leadership in anti-terrorism operations – marking the beginning of a new era in fighting terrorism after 25 years.

Another key decision from the government is the decision to deploy police units specialising in anti-terrorist operations to urban areas in Turkey.

Another big change from the government is the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). The UAVs currently take 45 minutes to transmit data to the Turkish Land Forces once a terrorist activity has been detected. Under the new changes, the data will be transmitted to the Turkish Air Force’s Batman air base which will allow Turkish Air Force units to act within a 15 minute timeframe once a terrorist act has been discovered.

Lastly the government will implement a general directorate for border security as part of the EU membership process – tasked with the prevention of smuggling.

The reorganisation of the Turkish military will help to fight terrorism and further bring peace to the region. Turkey is developing at a rapid pace and is starting to become a real force as a country on all fronts.

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