Turkey ranks second in the list of the most powerful militaries in the Middle East. Here are some data.
$18.1 billion defense budget
410,500 active frontline personnel
The Turkish Armed Forces is composed of a mix of conscript and professional soldiers. Conscription lasts up to a year, though it can be avoided by paying a fee. Turkey is a member of NATO, and it also contributes operational staff to the Eurocorps multinational army initiative. NATO has stationed Patriot missiles within the country as a defense against missile attacks from Syria.
Since 1998, Turkey has attempted to modernize its military, which has started production of a native next-generation tank. Turkey produces a lot of advanced defense technology in-country now, Megahan says: “We’re seeing more Turkish-made systems in the Turkish military, whereas before it was a lot of American equipment.”
Turkey is also committed to purchasing the F-35 fifth-generation fighter jet, and it produces a range of parts for the aircraft in an attempt to bolster its avionics industry. The country also fields a fleet of more than 200 F-16s.
The Turkish Armed Forces have not been involved in a traditional war since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. However, Turkey’s enormous and NATO-allied military has battled an asymmetric Kurdish separatist movement since the 1980s.
Key allies: The US, as well as dozens of European militaries — Turkey is the only NATO member in the region.
Source: Business Insider UK 2014