Forces in the Turkish-Administered Area
In 1990 the dominant military force in the
northern sector of the island remained, as it had been
Turkish invasion of 1974, the 28th and 39th infantry
the Turkish Army, backed by an independent armored brigade
artillery support. The 28th division was headquartered at
(Pasaköy) to the northeast of Nicasia, and the 39th
Morphou (Güzelyurt). The corps reserve was at Kythrea
to the northeast of Nicasia. The Turkish contingent was
officially as the Cyprus Turkish Peace Force. The original
40,000 troops was reduced shortly after the 1974 invasion.
1990, Turkish defense authorities claimed that the Cyprus
contingent amounted to only 17,500, whereas Greek Cypriot
authorities placed its strength at 35,000. Independent
believed that the force numbered about 30,000.
The Turkish detachments on Cyprus were part of the
Aegean Army command structure, with headquarters at zmir
Turkish mainland. However, the commander of the Turkish
reported directly to the Turkish General Staff in the
Ankara. The commander on Cyprus as of late 1989 was
General Sabahattin Akinci. Although responsible for all
questions, Akinci was not directly involved in political
northern Cyprus. The principal missions of the Turkish
contingent were to maintain the security of the Turkish
community, defend the borders established in 1974, protect
any Greek Cypriot guerrilla attacks or other cross-border
and assist in the training of members of the Turkish
Details on the arms and equipment of the Turkish Army
were not available, although they were known to include
M-48 tanks and M-113 APCs of United States origin, as well
105mm, 155mm, and 203mm guns and howitzers. The forces
supplied with 40mm antiaircraft guns and, according to
sources, the Milan antitank missile. Turkey had
armored inventory in the late 1980s with M-48A5 tanks that
upgraded and mounted with 105mm guns as part of a major
modernization program throughout the Turkish Army. As of
Turkish forces on Cyprus were believed to have more than
converted M-48s and 100 of the original M-48s and M-47s.
Turkish forces were also equipped with light aircraft and
UH-1D helicopters, operating from a newly constructed
Lefkoniko (Geçitkale). Small groups of combat jet aircraft
Turkish Air Force occasionally appeared at the new field,
was based there.
Even before independence, the Turkish Cypriot community
maintained its own paramilitary force (the TMT), trained
equipped by the Turkish Army contingent on the island. In
force was renamed the Mücahit (fighter), and in 1975 the
was renamed the Turkish Cypriot Security Force. As of
strength of this force was believed to be about 4,000. It
organized into seven infantry battalions armed with light
plus some artillery units equipped with mortars.
The Turkish Cypriot Security Force was commanded in
1989 by an
officer of the Turkish Army, Brigadier General Bilgi
had both operational and administrative responsibilities,
as control over the police force. The commander was
the prime minister of the self-proclaimed "Turkish
Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC") through the minister of foreign
and defense, Kenan Atakol. A unified military-civilian
staff of the ministry was responsible for defense policy
strategy. Although legally separate from the Turkish Army
island, the Turkish Cypriot Security Force was believed to
under the de facto operational control of the Turkish
also depended on Turkey for training and equipment. Most
officers were regular Turkish Army officers on secondment.
announced budget for 1990 was US$3.9 million, an unusually
amount, representing only 1.5 percent of the total
budget. Observers believed that many of its expenses were
by the Turkish Army.
Turkish Cypriot males were liable to conscription at
eighteen for a twenty-four-month period of service.
soldiers served in the reserves until the age of fifty.
of first-line and second-line reserves was estimated at
10,000, respectively, as of 1989.
Data as of January 1991