The General Staff of the Republic of Turkey (Turkish: Türkiye Cumhuriyeti Genelkurmay Başkanlığı, abbreviation: T.C. Gnkur. Bşk.) presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkey, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force. The General Command of the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard, which operate as parts of the internal security forces in peacetime, are subordinate to the Army and Navy Commands, respectively, in wartime, and both have law enforcement and military functions.
Chief of the General Staff
The Chief of the General Staff is the Commander of the Armed Forces. The current Chief of the General Staff is Necdet Özel. According to the Constitution of Turkey, the Chief of the General Staff reports to the Prime Minister during peacetime and serves as Commander of the Turkish Armed Forces. During peacetime, the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard, as part of the internal security forces, are affiliated with the Ministry of Interior Affairs at peacetime, whereas at war-time, they fall under the Army Command and Navy Command, respectively.
In times of war, the Chief of the General Staff assumes the authority of Commander in Chief on behalf of the President. Commanding the Armed Forces and establishing the policies and programs related with the preparation of personnel for combat, intelligence, operations, organization, training and logistic services are the responsibilities of the General Staff. Furthermore, the General Staff coordinates the military relations of the Turkish Armed Forces with its counterparts in the member states of NATO and other friendly nations. The Chief of the General Staff holds the fifth-highest rank, behind the President of the Republic, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Speaker of the Grand National Assembly and the Prime Minister, on the protocol of the Republic of Turkey.
The hierarchy, representation and employment of the Turkish Armed Forces within the state organization is regulated by the constitution of Turkey. According to the constitution, the office of the 'Commander in Chief' is represented in the spiritual entity of the Grand National Assembly. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President as the Commander of the Armed Forces and reports to the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Grand National Assembly for national security and the preparation of the Turkish Armed Forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare a state of war and send the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey require a vote of approval from the Turkish Parliament.
The Chief of the General Staff is responsible to the Prime Minister and is charged with the overall command and control of the Armed Forces. He is also responsible for conducting the military operations effectively, and the operational readiness of the Armed Forces.
The commanders of the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) report directly to the Chief of the General Staff. The General Staff and the Ministry of National Defense work in close coordination and cooperation to fulfill their respective responsibilities.
Organization of the National Defense of Turkey
|Chief of the General Staff||Minister of National Defense|
|Commander of the Army||Commander of the Navy||Commander of the Air Force|
|General Commander of the Gendarmerie||Commandant of the Coast Guard|
List of Chiefs of the General Staff
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