Monday, October 28, 2019

Turkey, the Kurds, and Kurdistan

 Majority Kurdish provinces in Turkey

Turkey sits between Europe and the Middle East. About three percent of it on the western side of the narrow passage through the Bosporus, the Sea of Marmara, and the Dardanelles is in Europe, and the rest, situated on the Anatolian Peninsula, is the western most extension of Asia. It is 99.8 percent Muslim. Aside from the United States, Turkey is the most populous nation in the NATO alliance with 82 million people. It has a free market economy, which is the 13th largest in the world. With 355,000 active military and 170,000 ready reserves, it has the largest armed forces in NATO except for the U.S. The Turkish Army has 2,500 tanks and over 9,000 other armored fighting vehicles.

 The Turkish Army has long held the reputation of one of the toughest fighting forces in the world. The Turkish Air Force has 635 aircraft of which 240 are modern F-16 Falcons, and 49 are F-4E Phantom II attack bombers. It has 90 nuclear bombs located at the USAF air base at Incirlik.  The U.S. canceled Turkey’s order for 30 advanced F-35 Lightning aircraft, when the Turkish government purchased advanced S-400 Surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems from the Russians. The Turkish Navy is the 4th largest in NATO with a variety of surface ships, 12 submarines, 52 aircraft, and Marines and Special Forces personnel.

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