Special Forces Command (Turkey)
The Special Forces Command, nicknamed Maroon Berets because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forces made up of volunteers rigorously selected from all branches of the Armed Forces. The OKK may be considered as the Turkish counterpart of the US Army Special Forces; the Special Forces are not aligned to any of the three branches of the TAF, receiving its orders directly from the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey. Its forerunner was the Special Warfare Department; the Maroon Berets, along with Su Altı Taarruz and Su Altı Savunma, is one of three special units of the Turkish military. Although the Special Forces is considered a division-level formation, this includes non-combatant units and administrative duties personnel as well, the combatant size of the OKK is not greater than 500. Since its creation, the unit has been tasked with fighting terrorism; each member is trained, knows on average 2 languages and can handle a large variety of firearms and equipment.
The unit was founded in 1952 under the name Hususi ve Yardımcı Muharip Birlikleri. It was deployed to have powers to perform covert operations behind enemy lines for intelligence gathering and command operations. Due to the changed military situation after the 1990s, in 1992, their name changed to "Maroon Berets", its current color and name comes from designator of the new unit, Kaşif Kozinoğlu, fan of Turkish football club Trabzonspor. In a bid to gain membership into NATO, Republic of Turkey sent army troops to combat during the Korean War. At the time the United States military didn't have special operations team, the Maroon Berets were the only special operations team to operate in the Korean War. MB officers would operate assault missions into the North Korean territory and would recon and intelligence gathering missions into China. MB commandos were the only foreign armed force; as of this date, the exact details and operations of the MB commandos in the Korean War remains classified. The Maroon Berets remained active in the Turkish Invasion of Cyprus in 1974 and played a major role in the outcome of the war.
Turkish MB commandos priority throughout the war was to eliminate the Greek Junta armed force in Cyprus which would cause the collapse of the Greek Junta Political-Military armed force. The Maroon Berets and the Turkish Army would achieve this through two Invasions Invasion A and Invasion B with invasion scout and reconnaissance missions prior to Invasion A and Invasion B. Maroon Beret commandos would land undetected using high-speed attack boats for Scouting and reconnaissance before the two main Invasion landing, they would sneak for miles giving locations for the main invasion landing vessels to land on, bomb coordinates for the Air Force to strike, map terrain, mark danger zones and hidden minefields for the upcoming invading soldiers and plant charges to blow during the invasion. Their scouting and reconnaissance would last from 3 hours to 3 days; these missions were highly risky and critical for the safety of Turkish Infantry troops and transport vehicles. The Maroon Berets conduct daily operations against the PKK terrorist organization in the ongoing clashes between Turkish Security forces and PKK Terrorists in an effort for an independent Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey and northern Iraq.
Aside from daily operations Maroon Berets participated and led the Turkish Army into battle in 5 Invasions into Northern Iraq as far as 32 kilometers. October 5, 1992, Operation Northern Iraq, in retaliation to simultaneous attacks on 3 Turkish Gendarme Station which left 28 soldiers dead and 125 wounded; the Turkish Military captured 1,232 PKK members and had killed another 1,551. March 20, 1995, Operation Steel in retaliation of a PKK attack which left 64 Turkish soldiers dead and another 185 wounded. Result in the killing of 555 PKK members and the capture and execution of 13. May 12, 1997, Operation Hammer in retaliation a PKK attack which left 114 Turkish soldiers dead and another 338 wounded. Turkish Forces killed captured 415, all to be executed after prison sentences of 25 years. September 25, 1997, Operation Dawn, in retaliation to another attack which killed 31 Turkish soldiers and 91 wounded. Turkish forces killed 865 and captured 37. February 21, 2008 Operation Sun in retaliation to a 5th PKK attack which killed 27 Turkish soldiers.
Turkish Forces would capture 320, to jail. All of the Invasions were led by Maroon Beret commandos followed by Gendarme Commandos and by Army Soldiers, they lead Operation Euphrates Shield and had an important role at Operation Olive Branch. Volunteers face a pass/fail written exam as well as physical and psychological tests; those who pass the exams become special forces candidates. Adequate linguistic skills in at least one foreign language is a plus for admission; the candidates have to complete a challenging training period which lasts around 3.5 years. Many drop out during this intense training period. Training encompasses fitness. Learning foreign languages is a part of the training. During the training, candidates are pushed by their instructors to their limits, both physically and mentally; the training schedule includes all aspe
Amphibious Marine Brigade (Turkish Armed Forces)
The Amphibious Marine Brigade known as Amphibious Commando, is the marine corps unit of the Turkish Naval Forces which consists 4,500 men based in Foça near İzmir, three amphibious battalions, an MBT battalion, an artillery battalion, a support battalion and other company-sized units. The modern history of Turkish Marine Brigade, under the command of the Turkish Amphibious Group, began in 1966 with the formation of Amphibious Marine Infantry Brigade Command's first Amphibious Landing Forces, constituting the 1st Marine Infantry Battalion, was formed with Vice Admiral Kemal KAYACAN's encouragement on 15 September 1966 at the Garrison of Golcuk; the Forces Headquarters was established in Mersin in April 1971. The 2nd Amphibious Marine Infantry Battalion was founded in 1973, the headquarters of the Amphibious Marine Infantry Regiment was constituted on 18 April 1974, completed prior to the Invasion of Cyprus; the Amphibious Marine Infantry Regiment operated on July 20, 1974, during intervention to Cyprus by sea, secured the beachhead and contributed to significant success.
Amphibious Marine Infantry Division participated in the Second Peace Operation, with the success of given tasks fulfilled. Due to the success in Cyprus Peace Operation, on November 15, 1983, Chief of the General Staff awarded the Gold "Outstanding courage and Self-sacrifice" medal. After the invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the 3rd Naval Infantry Battalion, the Amphibious Support Battalion, was formed in 1979 in Izmir; this completed the organization of the unit at the regimental level. In 1980, the 3rd Amphibious Marine Infantry Battalion temporarily deployed to Mersin to complete martial law executive tasks. In the period 1985–1992 many domestic and overseas drills were conducted, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean deterrence tasks were performed successfully. H&K Mark 23 HK MP5 HK 33 MPT-76 FN Minimi Rheinmetall MG 3 SIG Sauer SSG 3000 Barrett M82A1 MKEK JNG-90 RPG-7 MILAN M113 M48A5T2
1974 Cypriot coup d'état
The 1974 coup d'état in Cyprus was a military coup d'état by the Greek Army in Cyprus, the Cypriot National Guard and the Greek military junta of 1967–1974. On 15 July 1974 the coup plotters ousted President Makarios III and replaced him with pro-Enosis nationalist Nikos Sampson as dictator; the Sampson regime was described as a puppet state, whose ultimate aim was the annexation of the island by Greece. The coup was violated human rights laws; the Republic of Cyprus was established in 1960 with the London and Zurich Agreements, the Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots were the two founding communities. However, following constitutional amendments that were proposed by Makarios III and rejected by Turkish Cypriots, intercommunal violence erupted throughout the island, the Turkish Cypriot representation in the government ended due to forced prevention and due to willing withdrawal, Turkish Cypriots started living in enclaves. Greece had established a national policy of enosis to achieve the island's union with Greece since the 1950s.
After 1964, the Greek government tried to control Makarios' policies, following his unwillingness to obey Athens, attempted to destabilize his government. While the Greek policy shifted to a more cooperative one after 1967, when an extremist military junta took power, it supported the far-right EOKA-B group against Makarios. Dimitrios Ioannidis, the de facto leader of the junta, believed that Makarios was no longer a true supporter of enosis, suspected him of being a communist sympathizer. Between 1971 and 1974, five plans were prepared by the Greek government to overthrow Makarios' government. According to Christopher Hitchens, the CIA had contributed financially to anti-Makarios and anti-communist elements in both Greece and Cyprus; the coup was ordered by Dimitrios Ioannidis, the shadow leader of the Greek junta, Greek officers led the Cypriot National Guard to capture the Presidential Palace in Nicosia. The building was entirely burned down. Makarios narrowly escaped death in the attack, he fled the presidential palace from its back door and went to Paphos, where the British managed to retrieve him in the afternoon of 16 July and flew him from Akrotiri to Malta in a Royal Air Force Armstrong Whitworth Argosy transport and from there to London by a de Havilland Comet the next morning.
On 19 July, he attended a United Nations Security Council meeting in New York and made a speech, in which he stated that Cyprus was invaded by Greece. The newly established regime has been described as an extremist puppet regime of the Greek junta. On 15 July, between 8 am and 9 am, the coup leaders proclaimed their victory on the state channel Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation, saying "The national guard intervened in order to solve the problematical situation.. Makarios is dead." However, before his flight, Makarios announced. The new government censored the press and left-wing newspapers stopped being printed. Only right-wing newspapers Machi and Agon continued publishing, their style was propagandistic. Sampson did not announce his intention of enosis in the days following the coup, but instead focused on suppressing any support for Makarios and heavy propaganda to vilify his government. In response, Rauf Denktaş, the leader of the Turkish Cypriot Administration, stated that he believed that the events were among Greek Cypriots and called for Turkish Cypriots not to go out, as well as for UNFICYP to take extensive security measures for Turkish Cypriots.
The Cypriot National Guard made no attempts to enter the Turkish Cypriot enclaves, but raided Greek and Turkish Cypriot homes alike in mixed villages to confiscate weapons. The Turkish government brought claims that ammunition was being carried to Cyprus by Olympic Air to the attention of UNFICYP. Whether the Turkish Cypriots suffered as a direct result of the coup remains controversial, but Sampson was seen as an untrustworthy figure due to his pro-enosis policies and "brutal" role against Turkish Cypriots in 1963. Following the coup, the newly established junta started a crackdown on Makarios supporters, resulting in a number of deaths and a "significant number", according to Frank Hoffmeister, being detained; the number of deaths from the coup remains a disputed issue, as the Republic of Cyprus lists the deaths due to the coup among the missing due to the Turkish invasion. According to Haralambos Athanasopulos, at least 500 Greek Cypriots have been placed on the list of 1617 Greek Cypriot missing people and their deaths blamed on the Turks and Turkish Cypriots.
According to Milliyet on 19 July 1974, violent clashes had broken out in Paphos, excluding Paphos, the death toll due to Greek Cypriot infighting was about 300 civilians and 30 Greek soldiers, whose bodies were brought to Athens. In response to the coup, on 20 July 1974 Turkey invaded the island claiming that the action was compliant with the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee, taking control of the north and dividing Cyprus along what became known as the Green Line, cutting off about a third of the total territory. Sampson resigned, the military regime that had appointed him collapsed, Makarios returned; the Turkish Cypriots established an independent government for what they called the Turkish Federated State of Cyprus, with Rauf Denktaş as president. In 1983 they would proclaim the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus on the northern part of the island, which remains a de facto state. Enosis EOKA B Cyprus dispute Cypriot intercommunal violence Treaty of Guarantee Turkish invasion of Cyprus United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus Rodger P. Davies Republic of
Kythrea is a small town in Cyprus, 10 km northeast of Nicosia. Kythrea is under the de facto control of Northern Cyprus. Kythrea is situated near the ancient city-kingdom of Chytroi, founded by Chytros, grandson of the Athenian King Akamas. According to one tradition, the name Kythrea derives from Chytroi. According to another tradition, it derives from the name of the Greek Ionian island Kythera, from where millstones were transferred to Kythrea's watermills; the small town was watered for millennia by the Kefalovrysos spring. Other forms of the name include Chytri, Cythereia, Chytrides and Chytria. With the spread of Christianity in Cyprus, Chytroi became a bishopric; the first bishop, whose name is known is Pappus, is mentioned in the Life of Epiphanius of Salamis as having been bishop for 58 years of the "miserable town of Chytria", as having died a martyr at some unspecified date, which must have been under either the pagan emperors Licinius or Maximinus II, or the Arian Constantius II. The acts of the Council of Chalcedon show that Bishop Photinus was represented there by his deacon Dionysius, those of the Second Council of Nicaea in 767 that Bishop Spyridon attended in person.
Contemporary documents are lacking concerning Demetrianus, whom Henri Grégoire described as the most obscure of the local saints of Cyprus. The medieval Leontios Machairas is the earliest writer to make a brief mention of his name. According to the oldest Life of Demetrianos, published in the 18th century, he became bishop in around 885, was captured by Arabs and taken to Egypt with many of his faithful, but by his prayers obtained the liberation of all. No longer a residential bishopric, Chytri is today listed by the Catholic Church. Kythrea is a remarkable archaeological area. One outstanding statue discovered in the area is the bronze statue of Roman Emperor Septimius Severus, exhibited in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia; the Kythrea municipality was established in 1915. The town is administered by the Turkish Cypriot Municipality of Değirmenlik founded in 1975; the current mayor is Ali Karavezirler from the Republican Turkish Party. He was elected to the post in garnering % 54.1 of the votes. He replaced the mayor elected in 2014 from the same party.
Displaced inhabitants of Kythrea, now located in Nicosia and elsewhere, maintain a municipality in exile. It shares premises with the similarly-displaced municipality of Lapithos at 37 Ammochostou Street, Nicosia. After its Greek Cypriot inhabitants were displaced in August 1974, the town was repopulated by displaced Turkish Cypriots; the main origin of the Turkish Cypriots that settled in the town is the village of Alaminos, but inhabitants of many other villages were relocated here. There are some Turkish people that have settled in the town as well hailing from the Mersin Province. Prior to the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Kythrea was the home of the football club AEK Kythreas. Değirmenlik Environment and Publicity Association was founded in 2008. Değirmenlik Association of Culture and Arts is a non-governmental organization, active in the town, it annually organizes the Festival of Culture and Arts since 2009; the members of the association participate in festivals abroad. The Municipality of Değirmenlik has a folklore group, open to children.
Değirmenlik Sports Club was founded in 1975, now in Cyprus Turkish Football Association K-PET 1st League. Kythrea's Sadik Cemil Football Stadium has "FIFA Recommended Star 2"-standard; the town has "Değirmenlik High School". Kythrea is twinned with: Gebze, Turkey Canik, Turkey
Turkish invasion of Cyprus
The Turkish invasion of Cyprus, code-named by Turkey as Operation Attila, was a Turkish military invasion of the island country of Cyprus. It was launched on 20 July 1974, following the Cypriot coup d'état on 15 July 1974; the coup had been ordered by the military Junta in Greece and staged by the Cypriot National Guard in conjunction with EOKA-B. It installed the pro-Enosis Nikos Sampson; the aim of the coup was the Union of Cyprus with Greece, the Hellenic Republic of Cyprus to be declared. In July 1974, Turkish forces invaded and captured 3% of the island before a ceasefire was declared; the Greek military junta was replaced by a democratic government. In August 1974 another Turkish invasion resulted in the capture of 40% of the island; the ceasefire line from August 1974 became the United Nations Buffer Zone in Cyprus and is referred to as the Green Line. Around 150,000 people were expelled from the occupied northern part of the island, where Greek Cypriots constituted 80% of the population.
A little over a year in 1975 60,000 Turkish Cypriots, amounting to half the Turkish Cypriot population, were displaced from the south to the north. The Turkish invasion ended in the partition of Cyprus along the UN-monitored Green Line, which still divides Cyprus, the formation of a de facto autonomous Turkish Cypriot administration in the north. In 1983 the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus declared independence, although Turkey is the only country that recognizes it; the international community considers the TRNC's territory as Turkish-occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of European Union territory since Cyprus became its member; the invasion's Turkish Armed Forces code name was Operation Atilla. Among Turkish speakers the operation is referred as "Cyprus Peace Operation" or "Operation Peace" or "Cyprus Operation", as they claim that Turkey took military action on the pretext of a peacekeeping operation.
In 1571 the Greek-populated island of Cyprus was conquered by the Ottoman Empire, following the Ottoman–Venetian War. After 300 years of Ottoman rule the island and its population was leased to Britain by the Cyprus Convention, an agreement reached during the Congress of Berlin in 1878 between the United Kingdom and the Ottoman Empire. Britain formally annexed Cyprus on 5 November 1914 as a reaction to the Ottoman Empire's decision to join the First World War on the side of the Central Powers. Article 20 of the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923 marked the end of the Turkish claim to the island. Article 21 of the treaty gave Turkish nationals ordinarily resident in Cyprus the choice of leaving the island within 2 years or to remain as British subjects. At this time the population of Cyprus was composed of both Greeks and Turks, who identified themselves with their respective "mother" countries. However, the elites of both communities shared the belief that they were more progressive and therefore distinct from the mainlanders.
Greek and Turkish Cypriots lived side by side for many years. Broadly, three main forces can be held responsible for transforming two ethnic communities into two national ones: education, British colonial practices, insular religious teachings accompanying economic development. Formal education was the most important as it affected Cypriots during childhood and youth. British colonial policies promoted ethnic polarization; the British, many believe, applied the principle of "divide and rule", setting the two groups against each other to prevent combined action against colonial rule. For example, when Greek Cypriots rebelled in the 1950s, the colonial office expanded the size of the Auxiliary Police and in September 1955, established the Special Mobile Reserve, made up of Turkish Cypriots, to crush EOKA; this and similar practices contributed to inter-communal animosity. Although economic development and increased education reduced the explicitly religious characteristics of the two communities, the growth of nationalism on the two mainlands increased the significance of other differences.
Turkish nationalism was at the core of the revolutionary program promoted by the father of modern Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and affected Turkish Cypriots who followed his principles. President of the Republic of Turkey from 1923 to 1938, Atatürk attempted to build a new nation on the ruins of the Ottoman Empire and elaborated the program of "six principles" to do so; these principles of secularism and nationalism reduced Islam's role in the everyday life of individuals and emphasized Turkish identity as the main source of nationalism. Traditional education with a religious foundation was discarded and replaced with one that followed secular principles and, shorn of Arab and Persian influences, was purely Turkish. Turkish Cypriots adopted the secular program of Turkish nationalism. Under Ottoman rule Turkish Cypriots had been classified as a distinction based on religion. Being secular, Atatürk's program made their Turkish identity paramount, may have further reinforced their division from their
Cyprus the Republic of Cyprus, is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, southeast of Greece. The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium BC. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium BC; as a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878.
Cyprus was placed under the UK's administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and was formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an "extension of Anatolia" by them. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960; the crisis of 1963–64 brought further intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, which displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots into enclaves and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece; this action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus in the following month, after a ceasefire collapsed, the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots.
A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute; the Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which remain under the UK's control according to the London and Zürich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, comprising about 59% of the island's area. Another nearly 4% of the island's area is covered by the UN buffer zone; the international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union.
Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. With an advanced, high-income economy and a high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone; the earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the 15th century BC Mycenaean Greek, ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot", written in Linear B syllabic script. The classical Greek form of the name is Κύπρος; the etymology of the name is unknown. Suggestions include: the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree, κυπάρισσος the Greek name of the henna tree, κύπρος an Eteocypriot word for copper, it has been suggested, for example, that it has roots in the Sumerian word for copper or for bronze, from the large deposits of copper ore found on the island. Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus" shortened to Cuprum.
The standard demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and Cyprian are used, though less frequently; the earliest confirmed site of human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos, situated on the south coast, indicating that hunter-gatherers were active on the island from around 10,000 BC, with settled village communities dating from 8200 BC. The arrival of the first humans correlates with the extinction of the dwarf hippos and dwarf elephants. Water wells discovered by archaeologists in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old. Remains of an 8-month-old cat were discovered buried with a human body at a separate Neolithic site in Cyprus; the grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old, predating ancient Egyptian civilisation and pushing back the ear