Military Wiki
Gendarmerie General Command
Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı
Common name Jandarma
Agency overview
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
National agency Turkey
General nature
  • Law enforcement
  • Gendarmerie
Specialist jurisdiction Paramilitary law enforcement, counter insurgency, armed response to civil unrest, counter terrorism, special weapons operations.
Operational structure
Members 205,103 [1]
Elected officer responsible Minister of the Interior, Süleyman Soylu
Agency executive General Arif Çetin, Commander of the Gendarmerie
Parent agency Ministry of İnterior
Armored and utility vehicles 1,475
Helicopters 59

The Turkish Gendarmerie (Turkish language: Jandarma Genel Komutanlığı: Gendarmerie General Command) is a law enforcement agency of Turkey and it is 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 along with carrying out other specific duties assigned to it by certain laws and regulations. It also has a special forces brigade called Jandarma Özel Harekat . The Gendarmerie is an armed security and law enforcement force of military nature. The General Command of the Gendarmerie is subordinate to the Ministry of Interior. The Commander of the Gendarmerie is responsible to the Ministry of Interior.

The military law enforcement organization which carried out security and safety services was called “Şurta” in Seljuks, “Subaşı” under the reign of Ottoman Empire, was later called “Zaptiye” and subsequently in recent history “Gendarmerie”.


Ottoman era

British Officers in the Ottoman Gendarmerie, 1904

After the abolition of Janissary corps 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 states of Rumeli.

Since the term Gendarmerie was noticed in the Assignment Decrees published in the years following the Tanzimat Declaration, it is assumed that the Gendarmerie organization was founded after the Tanzimat Declaration of 1839, but the exact date of foundation has not been determined yet. 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.[2]

After 1877–1878 Ottoman – Russian War Prime Minister Sait Pasha decided to bring some officers from England and France to establish a modern law enforcement organization.

After the Young Turk Revolution in 1908 Gendarmerie achieved great successes, particularly in Rumeli. In 1909 Gendarmerie was affiliated to the Ministry of War, and its name was changed to the Gendarmerie General Command (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

Gendarmerie vehicle, 2011

Gendarmerie vehicle and a trooper 2011

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 as Fixed Gendarmerie Units, Mobile Gendarmerie Units and Gendarmerie Training Units and Schools.

Law No. 6815 which entering into force in 1956 assigned the Gendarmerie General Command such duties as protecting borders, coasts and territorial waters and fighting smuggling which had been previously carried out by 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 up to now, Gendarmerie units have been the most important element of the fight against Kurdish separatists.


The Turkish Gendarmerie comprises the following commands:[3]

  • Personnel
  • Intelligence
  • Operations
  • Logistics

The General Command is composed of:[4]

  • The headquarters
  • Internal security units
  • Border units
  • Training units
  • Gendarmerie schools
  • Administrative and logistics support units

Main equipment

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Small arms

Name Type Caliber Origin Notes
P90 Personal defense weapon 5.7mm  Belgium
MKA 1919 Semi-automatic shotgun 12ga  Turkey
G41 Assault rifle 5.56mm  Germany/ Turkey License produced by MKEK.
RPK Light machine gun 7.62mm  Soviet Union From Ex-East German inventory.
M16A1 Assault rifle 5.56mm NATO United States
HK23E Light machine gun 5.56mm  Germany/ Turkey Produced under license by MKEK
PKM General purpose machine gun 7.62mm  Soviet Union From Ex-East German inventory.
HK 69 Single-shot grenade launcher  Germany 40mm grenade launcher


Turkish Gendarmerie
Armored personnel carriers
323 BTR-60PB (8x8) (upgraded)
35 RN-94 (6x6) (out of service)
250+ Otokar Akrep (4x4)
200+ Otokar Cobra (4x4)
60 Dragoon 300 (AFV) (4x4)
25 Condor (APC) (4x4)
35 UR416 (4x4)(out of service)
200 Cadillac V150/S (4x4)
300+ Shorland S55 (4x4)
200+ BMC Kirpi Mrap (4x4)
47 Sisu Nasu
28 S-70A Blackhawk (Avionics upgraded by Aselsan)
13 AB-205 (Avionics upgraded by Aselsan)
18 Mi-17 IVA (Avionics upgraded by Aselsan)

See also


External links

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