Turkey’s Contributions to International Peace-Keeping Operations: Since the proclamation of the Republic, Turkey has pursued a foreign policy advocating the creation and reinforcement of a regional and international climate of peace and welfare based on stability and cooperation. Thus Turkey, in line with its national interests and its international rights and responsibilities, is actively involved in interna-tional activities such as the prevention of clashes, settle-ment of disputes if they can not be prevented, estab-lishment of lasting peace in line with International Law and the principles of the UN Charter, development of dialogue and cooperation, crisis management, and operations to sup-port peace. In this regard, Turkey has made solid and generous con-tributions to international efforts for safeguarding peace since the Korean War. A brigade-size Turkish force composed of 4,500 troops went to Korea in 1950 and fought there with distinction under the UN Command. So far, Turkey’s contributions to a myriad ofoperations in various parts of the world to support peace has involved more than 10,000 military personnel, observers and advisers, as well as air and naval support elements of varying sizes.
Turkey’s contributions to stability and peace in the world are not restricted by military capabilities only. Turkey has also made substantial contributions to civilian police activities which constitute an important component of peace keeping operations. So far, over a thousand Turkish policemen and gendarmes have served in international law enforcement missions. Within the framework of the substantial rise in the number of multinational operations to support peace owing to the recent sudden and rapid transformations in the world, Turkey’s participation in such operations has also increased correspondingly. Presently, Turkey is making comprehensive contributions to the following peacekeeping and police mission operations which are being conducted in various parts of the world under the leadership of the United Nations and NATO: the UN Temporary Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), the UN Observer Mission in Georgia (UNOMIG), the UN Office in Timor-Leste (UNOTIL), the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH), the UN Mission in Kosovo Civil Police Force (UNMIK-CIVPOL), the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), the UN Congo Monitoring Delegation Civil Police Mission (MONUC-CIVPOL), the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL), the UN Operation in Ivory Coast (UNOCI), the UN Mission for Stability in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the UN Mission in Burundi (ONUB), the UN Mission in Sudan (UNMIS), the UN Aid Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA), (ISAF) in Afghanistan, KFOR in Kosovo, the NATO Training Mission (NTM-1) in Iraq, and Operation Active Endeavor (OAE) in the Mediterranean Sea.
Within the frame of considerable contributions to NATO operations, Turkey is participating in KFOR and ISAF with nearly 800 personnel in each, and in the current Effective Effort Operation being executed in the Mediterranean with 104 personnel and a frigate. Also, within the scope of the NATO training mission in Iraq, 110 Iraqi personnel have been trained in Turkey.
Having participated in Operation Concordia in Macedonia, the first military operation the EU conducted between March 31st and December 15th, 2003 utilizing NATO capabilities, and in the police mission Proxima, Turkey is also participating in the EU Police Mission (EUPM) in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the first civilian crisis management operation carried out under the European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). Furthermore Turkey is supporting EUFOR-ALTHEA, the most comprehensive military crisis management opera-tion the EU conducted utilizing NATO capabilities. This opera-tion began on December 2nd, 2004 after the conclusion of SFOR conducted by NATO in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and
includes an Integrated Police Unit to which Turkey also contributes with 255 personnel. Turkey has also supported the improvement of the rapid reaction capabilities being developed by NATO and the EU in order to adjust to today’s rapidly changing security environment and respond more swiftly and effectively to different asymmetric threats. Within this context Turkey has participated in the formation of the NATO Response Force (NRF) and aims to participate in Combat Groups planned to be established by the EU.
The land forces elements of the NATO Response Force were under Turkish command during the first and second (July 2003-June 2004) and eighth term (first half of 2007). Regarding the EU axis, in 2010 Turkey will take part in work to establish a joint combat group with Italy and Romania.