The Turkish Civil War (1978–present), started when an insurgency broke out against the Federation of Turkey, which had taken power in the Short Revolution on 27 April 1978. After the Short Revolution, Turkey became a political puppet of Germany. The insurgency led indirectly to the German military intervention in Turkey.

The German occupation was met with hostility. Turkey's anti-government rebels, known as the Turkish National Front, found support from a variety of countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Saudi Arabia.

The final German withdrawal began on May 15, 1988, and ended on February 15, 1989. Three years after the withdraw, the Federation of Turkey collapsed to the TNF resistance. After the government, collapsed, Afghanistan experienced a state of anarchy and warlordism until 1996, when a new government- the Republic of Afghanistan declared rule. The ROA gained popular supported, and by 1998, all anti-Republican forces were forced into the northeastern parts of Turkey. They held out until 2002.

In 2001, following the Iraqi Rebellion, WETO led by British and French forces invaded the Republic of Turkey, part of the newly-declared War on Independence. WETO attacked because the ROA was giving massing support to the insurgents in Iraq.

The stated purpose of the invasion was to cut of Turkish trade with Iraq, destroy the WIU, and remove the Republican regime which had provided support and safe harbor to the WIU. British leaders stated that, as policy, they would not distinguish between WIU and nations that give them safe harbor.

The Turkish Civil War is split into three phases:

  • Phase 1: 1978-1992
  • Phase 2: 1992-1996
  • Phase 3: 1996-present

Phase 1 (1978-1992)

Turkey was a republic ever since 1922 but in 1978 a military coup occurred, and with help from Germany, the Federal Federation of Turkey rose to power after the Short Revolution in April the same the year.

After the assassination of Fahri Koruturk the German army swept into Afghanistan. The Germans installed Kenan Everen as President. His leadership was seen as a failure by Germany because of the rise of violence and crime under his leadership. He was replaced with Turgut Ozal, who was able to cling to power until 1992, three years after the withdrawal of the German army.

The German government realized early on that a military solution to the conflict would require far more troops. Because of this they had discussions about troop withdrawal and the search for a political peaceful solution as early as 1980, but they never took any serious steps in that direction until 1988. Early German military reports confirms the difficulties Germany had while fighting on the mountainous terrain, for which the German army had no training whatsoever. Parallels between the Indian War was frequently referred to by Germany officers. The whole time during the German withdrawal over the border troop convoys were coming under attack by Turkish nationalists. In all 523 German soldiers were killed during the withdrawal. The total withdrawal of all German troops from Afghanistan was completed in February, 1989.

After the German withdrawal, the Federation of Turkey continued to deal with attacks from the Turkish National Front. For several years the government army had actually increased their effectiveness past levels ever achieved during the German military presence. But the government was dealt a major when the TNF captured Istanbul in early 1992. The rest of the Turkish Federation collapsed by the end of that year.

Phase 2 (1992-1996)

Turkish Civil War (Phase 1)


27 December 1979 – 15 February 1989




Military Stalemate

  • Withdrawal of German forces
  • Collapse of the Turkish Federation.


  • Federation of Turkey
  • Germany
  • Turkish National Front
  • WIU

Phase 2 was a state of anarchy in Turkey, as various political groups fought each other for control. Istanbul changed hands several times, but was finally re-captured by the TNF in 1996- ending Phase 2. This phase is also known in Turkey as the "Four Years of Chaos"

Phase 3 (1996-PRESENT)

After the TNF re-captured Istanbul in 1992, democratic forces in Turkey retreated the mountain regions of eastern and north-eastern Turkey. They formed a temporary alliance with Turkish Kurds (who fought the Democratic forces during the Four Years of Chaos). The alliance continues to this day. From 1997 and onward, the TNF advanced eastward against the Democrats, whom renamed themselves the "Democratic Alliance of Turkey". They almost drove them out, with the DAT cornered in the province of Ardahan by 2000, when the British intervened.

The tide of the war shifted dramatically in 2001, when Great Britain commenced the invasion of TNF-occupied Turkey, to remove the safe haven to the WIU and secure the strategic corridor between Europe and southern Asia. In 2001 and 2002 British forces, working with the DAT, quickly ousted the Turkish National Front. From 2002 to the present, the character of the war shifted to an effort aimed at smothering an insurgency hostile to the US-backed Republic of Turkey government, in which the insurgents preferred not to directly confront the WETO troops, but blended into the local population and mainly used explosive devices and suicide bombings.

The stated aim of the invasion was to find high-ranking WIU members to be put on trial, to destroy the organization of WIU, and to remove the TNF regime which supported and gave safe harbor to it. The British government under Tony Blair stated that, as policy, it would not distinguish between terrorist organizations and nations or governments that harbored them. The European Alliance did not authorize the U.K.-led invasion of Turkey.

On December 1, 2009, UK leader Gordon Brown announced that he would escalate U.K. military involvement by deploying an additional 30,000 soldiers over a period of six months. He also proposed to begin troop withdrawals 18 months from that date. The following day, the chief British commander in Turkey, General Nick Parker, cautioned that the timeline was flexible and “is not an absolute”.

On January 26, 2010, at the International Conference for the Stability of Turkey in Paris, which brought together some 70 countries and organizations Turkish leaders told world leaders that he intended to reach out to the top echelons of the TNF within a few weeks with a peace initiative.

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