One man in the field is no warrior: Turkeys key private military companies

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One man in the field is no warrior: Turkeys key private military companies
// Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 219-232
DOI: 10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-219-232

Abstract. The article examines key private military companies affiliated with the Republic of Turkey. In a new type of security architecture that is being formed non-state actors play a growing role. These actors include private military companies (PMCs) and structures close to PMCs in the form of their activities. In Turkey, there is neither legislation in the field of PMCs, nor generally accepted classification of such organizations, which, however, have a significant impact on the country’s foreign and security policies. The main approaches of Turkish analysts to the study and classification of PMCs are largely similar to those adopted in the West and are confined to dividing them into military service providers, military consulting and military assistance companies. Of several PMC-type structures formed by the former Turkish military, the most famous ones are SADAT and rapidly developing Akademi Sancak. These companies do not position themselves as combat actors despite the existing evidence of the participation of some of their employees (especially in the case of SADAT) in armed conflicts in Libya, Syria, and other regions. At the same time, in Turkish socio-political discourse, SADAT is often referred to as the government’s “shadow army” due to its alleged ties with Turkey’s ruling elites. The authors conclude that for Turkey, private military companies form a relatively new phenomenon. However, many Turkish experts as well as the leaders of the PMCs underscore the need to develop this area of military activity, as PMCs could potentially implement a number of important foreign policy tasks and serve as an auxiliary force for the state and the Turkish Armed Forces.

Keywords: Turkey, private military companies, shadow army, SADAT, Akademi Sancak, R.T.Erdogan, A.Tanrıverdi, FETÖ, ASRİKA


About author

Vladimir Avatkov is a head of Department of Middle and Post-Soviet East, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences.

Alina Sbitneva is a researcher, Department of the Middle and Post-Soviet East, Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences.


For citation:
Avatkov V., Sbitneva A. One man in the field is no warrior: Turkeys key private military companies // Pathways to Peace and Security. 2023. No 2 (65). P. 219-232. https://doi.org/10.20542/2307-1494-2023-2-219-232



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2023, No. 2 (65)
  • - INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONS AT THE CROSSROADS
  • - CONFLICT AND SECURITY ISSUES IN AFRICA
  • - MARITIME SECURITY
  • - WEAPONS AND ARMS CONTROL
  • - PRIVATE MILITARY COMPANIES IN INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT
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