TURKISH COAST GUARD COMMAND
Turkish people have established long-lasting and well-structured states
and committed their hearts and souls to the safety and security of their
state and citizens.
Lessons from the past have taught us that the security of littoral
states can only be ensured by starting the security process from the
furthest point at seas, instead of operating within the mainland only.
efforts concerning the foundation of the Coast Guard Organization date
back to the second half of the 19th century. During this
period, as a result of the Industrial Revolution in Europe, as well as
the developments in the production and international trade, customs
related issues such as combating smuggling became a more important
During the Ottoman times, each customs organization was named
considering its location and types of goods trafficked through. Of all,
the ones on the coasts were called Border Customs Offices whereas the
ones within the mainland were termed Inland Customs Offices. Coastal
Customs inspected both domestic and foreign commerce. Customs tax was a
very important source of revenue for the state. However there were
problems and complaints about the procedures used to collect taxes. This
caused owners of goods resort to illegal ways.
In this period,
protection of the coasts, prevention and monitoring of smuggling which
fell within the responsibility area of Rural Customs Administrations
were conducted inefficiently due to the lack of contact between these
Administrations and dispersed structure of the organization. In order to
eliminate this organizational problem, organizational structure
underwent a revision . As a result, Rural Customs Administrations were
brought under the umbrella of Istanbul Goods Customs Directorate in 1859
and the name of the instruction was changed as Deposit Office. The
first Director of the Deposit Office was Mehmet Kani Paşa.
During the Reforms
(Tanzimat) Era, a noticeable surge in smuggling took place, mostly due
to the increase in customs tax rates following the trade agreement
signed between the Ottoman Empire and other countries in 1861. In order
to increase the effectiveness of the struggle against smuggling, the
establishment of a new institution was agreed upon, and the Customs
Enforcement Organization was founded under the Deposit Office.
Coastal Divisions were established under the Gendarmerie Force in
1886, for the purpose of providing security and carry out coast guard
duties along the maritime borders.
the early days of the Republic Era, Laws on Banning and Tracking
Smuggling (No: 1126 and 1510) were put into force. On October 1, 1929,
Customs Tariff Law was put into force. With this law in effect,
increase was observed in the number of smuggling cases due to the high
increase in the tax amounts. Thus smuggling significantly increased
especially at our southern borders.
a result, "General Command of Customs Guard" was founded under the Law
numbered 1841 with a semi- military identity for the purpose of
executing customs-related duties such as searching, pursuing and
preventing seaborne smuggling as well as ensuring the security of
Turkey's territorial waters, on 27 July 1931, with the Law numbered
1841. In 1932, it started to function under the body of the General
Staff. The Law Banning and Pursuing Smuggling (No: 1917) foresaw
detention of the suspected criminal accused for smuggling until the
finalization of the court proceedings. According to the same law, the
penalty could not be postponed and the criminal could be banished.
Following the introduction of the Law No. 3015 in 1936, the maritime
organization under the General Command of Customs Guard gained a
military character and it was entrusted with the task of ensuring
security and safety within Turkish territorial waters.
Until 1956, the General Command of Customs Guard had continued to
function under the General Staff in terms of its duties concerning the
security of maritime borders and training of the staff, and under the
Ministry of Customs and Monopoly in terms of enforcement of the tariffs.
With the Law No. 6815 on "the Transfer of Our Borders, Coasts and
Territorial Waters' Protection and Anti-Smuggling Activities to the
Ministry of Internal Affairs" adopted on July 16, 1956, the duties of
prevention and pursuit of smuggling, protection and security of the
borders, coasts and territorial waters were delegated to the General
Command of Gendarmerie under the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the
General Command of Customs Guard was abolished.
was at this time that the Gendarmerie Regional Sea Commands were founded
in Samsun, İzmir and Mersin as subordinate commands. In addition, the
Maritime Branch was formed within the General Command of the Gendarmerie
On April 15,
1957, Gendarmerie Aegean Sea Region Command was founded with a
responsibility area starting from Enez, at the maritime border between
Turkey and Greece, up to Kocaçay at the maritime border between Muğla
Gendarmerie Black Sea Region Command was founded with a responsibility
area which is between Artvin-Kemalpaşa, the maritime border between
Turkey and Russia, and Beğendik, the maritime border between Turkey and
On July 15,
1971, Gendarmerie Mediterranean Sea Region Command was established with
a responsibility area which is between Hatay- Güvercinkaya, the maritime
border between Turkey and Syria, and Kocaçay, the maritime border
between Antalya and Muğla.
THE TURKISH COAST GUARD COMMAND
As a consequence of
the changes observed in the international security environment in 1960s,
the geo-strategic location of Turkey, the length of its coasts, and the
prerequisites of being a maritime nation, it soon became clear that the
Turkish Republic needed a new and more professional Coast Guard Command.
Furthermore, efforts on the establishment of the Coast Guard Command
gained pace as of 1967 due to the lack of necessary law enforcement
forces that could impose various bans set out by laws under the services
of Ministries having duties over territorial waters and seas.
As a result of the
efforts within this framework, the Coast Guard Command Law (No. 2692)
was adopted on July 9, 1982 and the Turkish Coast Guard Command was
established after the publication of the Law in the Official Gazette on
July 13, 1982. With this change, the Gendarmerie Regional Sea Commands
under the General Command of Gendarmerie were placed under the Turkish
Coast Guard Command, and later was named as Coast Guard Black Sea,
Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea Region Commands.
The Coast Guard
Command started to operate effectively as of September 1, 1982. However,
it was bound to function under the General Command of Gendarmerie until
1985 in accordance with the provisional article No. 1 of the Law No.
responsibility of Marmara Sea and the Turkish Straits was entrusted with
the Coast Guard Command in accordance with the Coast Guard Command Law
No. 2692, a main sub-command was added to its organizational structure
in order to carry out its duties in the most effective manner. The Coast
Guard Marmara and Straits Command was commissioned on October 1982.
In order for the
Coast Guard Command to execute its duties more effectively, a
headquarters was required in the center of the capital, Ankara. After
the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Rural Affairs had moved from
its centrally located building on Karanfil Street, the premise was
allocated for the use of the Headquarters of the Turkish Coast Guard
Turkish Coast Guard
Command, which functioned under the body of the Gendarmerie General
Command until January 1, 1985, continued its activities as an armed law
enforcement unit which is responsible to the Ministry of Internal
Affairs in terms of its duties and service, in peace time, within the
cadres and organization of the Turkish Armed Forces and will enter under
the command of Turkish Naval Force in wartime and crisis, with a
responsibility area covering along the Turkish coastline, Turkish
internal waters such as the Marmara Sea, İstanbul and Çanakkale Straits,
seaports, bays, territorial waters, exclusive economic zones, and all
maritime areas that are under Turkish sovereignty and control in
accordance with the national and international laws.
1993, main sub-commands of Coast Guard Command were re-named as regional
commands as follows:
Marmara and Straits Region Command
Coast Guard Black
Sea Region Command
Mediterranean Region Command
Aegean Sea Region Command
In order to meet
the current and foreseen personnel requirements and increase the
effectiveness of the Coast Guard Command, amendments were made on the
Coast Guard Command Law (No. 2692) on June 24, 2003. Following this
amendment, the Coast Guard Command gained an independent structure like
other military forces, Land Forces, Naval Forces, Air Forces and General
Command of Gendarmerie.
On January, 16,
2006, the Coast Guard Command moved from its headquarters of twenty-four
years on Karanfil Street to a new and modern building on Merasim Street,
Bakanlıklar; a premise matching the significance of its duties.