Daily Management Review

Women To Be Inducted In Turkish Army For Combat Positions, Fight Terrorists And Defend Borders


Women To Be Inducted In Turkish Army For Combat Positions, Fight Terrorists And Defend Borders
Turkey has decided to recruit 8.000 women gendarmes for combat positions who would also be delegated boarder control duties in the Turkish army. Turkey has suffered from both internal and regional conflicts.
Holding the defense of the country on its Southern borders with Syria and Iraq and the role of combating terrorism would be the two major duties of these new female recruits who would serve under the banner of the Gendarmerie Command and would be non-commissioned officers.
It may be recalled that the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have spilled into Turkey.
A directive by the government in Turkey said that the same level of commando training as men would be imparted to these female recruits. They would also be deputed in frontlines in many areas which would also include terrorism hit places.
Applications for the posts would begin in a few weeks government communique said.
Local press reports stated that the women soldier will also serve "in safeguarding public order, combatting illegal border crossings and trafficking and the protection of penitentiary facilities".
"There is a need for more women in the gendarmerie as it is serving as a police force in rural areas and sectors which are affected by terrorist activities in the southeast," which is primarily a Kurdish populated and impoverished area due to long drawn wars in Turkey, said Professor Haldun Yalcinkaya from the Ankara TOBB university.
Female soldiers are believed to be more capable of handling of and efficient in instances of dealing with the local people and the sensitivities associated with them, explained the military expert.
It has been 33 years that demands for Kurdish self-rule inside Turkey by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which initially was a fight for independence, has led to continuous fighting with the Turkish army. One of the characteristics of the rebel group is that it has inducted women into its fighting force and eliminated the patriarchy of the battlefield.
"Enrolling more women in the gendarmerie would make a difference as they can interact with women in provinces that are conservative and socially very much male oriented. It will confirm the changing paradigm against PKK terrorism," pointed out Yalcinkaya.
The government wants to increase the number of women fighters in the Gendarmerie from the actual 828 to 8.828. Despite the fact that there are a number of F-16 women fighter pilots in the Turkish air force, there are only 3 per cent women in the Turkish army – mostly in non-combat positions. The Turkish army is the second-largest standing force in NATO.