Defense Reform

On the website of the Center for Strategic Research of ASSAM Justice website, an article was published on the Defense Reform shared by the President on August 22, 2014, also included the legislative gap, and need for our company's area of activity. Because of the importance of the article, we quote from it the following...


Defense Reform Report


Great nations have also great responsibilities. Carrying great responsibilities requires great power, no doubt. Without military power, there is no greater power.

Abdullah GÜL

President of the Republic

On Friday, August 22, 2014, T.C. It has been reported on the Presidential Institutional Website that the Defense Reform Working Group has completed its report. [1]

Defense Reform is critical to Turkey's 2023 goals and efforts to become a regional and global power. In this context, it is important to carry out technological reforms in weapons and command control systems, as well as structural reforms in the Ministry of National Defense and the TAF. Integration of defense systems into NATO defense systems should not mean NATO dependency. The principle of full independence requires that original defense systems be built, and command control systems are designed to be integrated into different pacts when required. Therefore, the need for reform of the Turkish Armed Forces and the defense systems of the Turkish Armed Forces should not be confused with each other. Otherwise, we will continue to watch the events happening on our borders in the Middle East for a longer period and not only send humanitarian aid, but we will continue to stay tied to creating permanent solutions that will prevent bloodshed.

President Abdullah Gul expressed his views on Defense Reform in his speech at the War Academies Command on April 5, 2012, stressing that the current geostrategic system requires reconfiguring our security needs and our answers to them, increasing the ability of the three forces to conduct joint operations, and focusing on integration in Command structure, removal of duplicate levels at each level, reinforcement of personnel numbers, etc. is a requirement for a comprehensive reform as well as the steps to be taken... [2]

President Gül said that with the impact of globalization, every issue in the world has become connected, that the effects of political, security, and economic developments are felt directly or indirectly in different parts of the world beyond the point of origin, and pointed out that the definition of "a far corner of the world" is being deleted from thoughts and dictionaries today, “it has become necessary to consider a wide range of different issues, from asymmetric threats to organized crime and border less ethnic tensions, capital movements to competition on energy resources and the increasing injustice in the global revenue distribution, climate change to poverty, food security and epidemic diseases in the global plan”

All these developments also require the reconsideration and formulation of the concepts of security, diplomacy, and power, Gül said, "it is no longer possible to provide security in a world with traditional power elements in such a fast and transitional way," Gül said, adding that Prussian General Clausewitz's "continuing war politics with other means" today, he pointed out that maybe it should be reinterpreted.

With this understanding, President Gül instructed in April 2013 to establish a “Working Group” to prepare a comprehensive report on Defense Reform.

Prof. Dr. Ali Karaosmanoglu took it upon himself to head the working group that carries out its activities in connection with the Presidency of the Republic. Other members are the former Secretary-General of the NSC, Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoğlu, Deputy Undersecretary for Defense Industries Dr. Faruk Özlü, Dean of the Military Academy, Brigadier General. Murat Yetgin, Head of the Air Force Command Training Department, Air Pilot Brigadier General Recep Ünal, and Retired Admiral Doğan Bozkurt.

The main headings of the Defense Reform Report [3] prepared by the Working Group are as follows;

  1. Post-Cold War Political Military Transformation
  2. The duties and required capabilities of the TAF.
  3. Defense Management
  4. Defense System Supply and Logistics
  5. Mandatory and Professional Military Service
  6. Education and Training in Military Schools
  7. Resource Allocation to Defense Spending.
  8. Control of Defense Spending.

The implementation plan was created as follows:

In the report, within the scope of Defense Reform; suggestions about “what” should be done were put forward. It is suggested that a "high-level executive board" and the following "working groups" be formed to take political decisions on "how" the reform will be carried out and to make legal arrangements:

  1. Military Capabilities and Force Structure Working Group,
  2. Defense Management Working Group,
  3. Defense System supply and Logistics Working Group,
  4. Recruiting System Working Group,
  5. Training-Education Working Group in Military Schools,
  6. Resource Allocation and Control Working Group.

The report suggests that the work of technological reform, which includes more structural areas of reform, was attempted to be matured by the work carried out within the Under secretariat of Defense Industry. For example, in 2008, the “Workshop of the Points reached by the Turkish Land Defense Industry Sector and the Targets of the Industry Day and the Power Systems of Land Military vehicles” was carried out by the Defense Industries Consultancy. [4] 

In the introduction to the report, the President of the Republic, Mr. Gül said; “The success of this comprehensive reform depends on the ownership of the process by the political authority, the armed forces, and the society.”

Again, the report states, "It will take time to address issues such as the lack of civilian capacity for the conditions for successful reform to mature" but it is not evaluated how open the MSB and TAF are to the contribution of civilian capacity.

One of the biggest shortcomings in our country is that the Defense Industry is regarded as only weapons systems, ammunition, support systems, and logistics services, R&D, and engineering services. However, Training and Consultancy services must be included in the service sector of the defense industry. SADAT International Defense Consulting Inc., the first and only defense consultancy company in Turkey, in this regard. It was established at the beginning of 2012 and has produced dozens of projects for the training and consultancy needs of the armed forces and security agencies of friendly and allied countries over two years.

SADAT's mission is that; Organization of the Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces internationally, Strategic consultancy in the field of internal security and defense, providing services in the fields of internal security and military training and supply, creating a defense and defense industry cooperation environment between Islamic Countries and help the Islamic world take its rightful place among the World Superpowers as a self-sufficient military force.

The company has applied for a Facility Private Security Certificate to the Ministry of National Defense since its establishment, the application was returned after months of evaluation because the service sector was not within the scope of the laws of the National Ministry of Defense.  In November 2012, SADAT Defense prepared a study to amend Laws 5201 and 5202 to include training and counseling services within the scope of the legislation and was prepared to be added to the legislation of the Ministry of National Defense and sent to the Ministry of National Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the Prime Ministry, but the answer is that training and counseling activities are not covered the relevant legislation.  The response to the application submitted to be covered by legislation is surprising.

It cannot be claimed that the Ministry of National Defense and the Turkish Armed Forces are complete unless the structural reform involved in the defense sector includes all areas of activity. In addition to companies large and small operating in the defense industry, the legal gap that will occur unless companies producing services are included in the legislation will have the potential to cause serious problems in the international field. Policies leading the defense area must be proactive, not reactive. More than 70 defense consulting companies based in Europe and the United States operate in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, and there is still no legislation regulating the defense service sector in the EU. Turkey should not wait for the EU to establish the relevant legislation and should immediately establish the necessary legislation for the activities of companies providing Defense and Homeland Security Education and Consulting Service, such as auditing permission requests.

For example, in the report;

The number of guest military personnel who wish to receive military training in Turkey is increasing annually. Compared to 2011-2012, the quotas allocated to guest military personnel in TAF institutions have increased almost three times, according to their plans for 2015-2016.

However, it is ignored that although the quota has increased three times, it remains well below the demand. The necessity of paving the way for education institutions other than the Turkish Armed Forces to provide defense and internal security training should not be overlooked by creating legal legislation. SADAT's request to supervise the permits and application of training made to provide education has not been accepted by legislation on the grounds that military training in Turkey can only be given by TAF, and the relevant authorities recommended SADAT Defense to give the training in demanding countries.

While the necessity and importance of defense reform are accepted by all sides, the concern remains that it is limited in scope and remains inadequate in meeting the needs in the international conjuncture that is constantly developing and changing concepts.


  1. Defense Reform has completed the Working Group Report, Date 22.08.2014)
  2. President of the Republic Gül had a conference at the War Academies,
  3. Defense Reform Report,
  4. The Turkish Land Defense Sector's Point and Objectives Industry Day and Military Land Tools Power Systems Workshop, (16-17 June 2008),
  5. Our Mission,