Jumptonavigation Jumptosearch SecurityForcesCommandGüvenlikKuvvetleriKomutanlığı">
|Security Forces Command|
|Güvenlik Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı|
|Commander||Major General Baki Kavun|
|Conscription||8 to 15 months|
|History||Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT)|
The Security Forces Command (Turkish: Güvenlik Kuvvetleri Komutanlığı) is the military and security force of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, whose independence is recognized only by Turkey and which the United Nations considers to be a Turkish-occupied territory. It is a 9,000 strong force primarily made up of conscripted Turkish Cypriot males between the ages of 18 and 40. It is a combined arms force, with land, air and naval elements.
Even before independence, the Turkish Cypriot community maintained its own paramilitary force (the Türk Mukavemet Teşkilatı or TMT), trained and equipped by the Turkish Army. In 1967 this force was renamed the Mücahit (fighter), and in 1975 the Mücahit was renamed the Turkish Cypriot Security Force. In 1974, Turkey led a land invasion of Northern Cyprus with the aim of protecting the Turkish minority population after a Greek-inspired coup brought a threat of union of the island with Greece. Since then there have been no major fighting on Cyprus and the nation continues to be an independent country, though strongly linked with Turkey militarily and politically.
The Turkish Cypriot Security Force is under the command of an officer of the Turkish Army. The officer is appointed by the Turkish Armed Forces and holds the rank of major general, whereas the head of the Turkish military forces in Northern Cyprus holds a higher rank as lieutenant general.
According to observers a large part of its budget was covered by the Turkish army, upon which it depended for training and equipment. It is also believed that the majority of its officers came from the ranks of the Turkish Army officer corps on temporary leave from their regular duties and its operations were controlled by the Turkish army.
As of 2009, the strength of this force was believed to be about 9,000. It was organized into fifteen battalions in two brigades, infantry battalions armed with light weapons plus some artillery units equipped with mortars.
Although legally separate from the Turkish Army on the island, the Turkish Cypriot Security Force was believed to remain under the de facto operational control of the Turkish forces. It also depended on Turkey for training and equipment. Most of its officers were regular Turkish Army officers on secondment. Observers believed that many of its expenses were absorbed by the Turkish Army.