With nearly 500,000 personnel, the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is one of the biggest militaries in the region, yet it has managed to stave off the coronavirus pandemic with minimal damage so far. Compared to the militaries of the United States, Russia, France, Italy and Britain, the TSK has the fewest positive COVID-19 patients in its ranks, based on the rate of patients to the number of staff.
Nevertheless, the Ministry of National Defense looks to boost its measures against the outbreak with new regulations. The ministry warned its personnel serving in the country and abroad to avoid crowded events, particularly wedding and engagement parties where the infection risk is high. It was the latest measure to add to a long list of precautions in the TSK, where more than 150 positive cases have been reported since March.
The TSK, which fights on multiple fronts, including domestic and cross-border counterterrorism operations, and remains on alert amid tensions in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean, succeeded in keeping its personnel in areas of responsibility protected from the virus for a long time and strives to minimize the pandemic’s impact on its operations and activities. Officials say they pursue “a proactive approach” and update measures based on virus trends to keep thousands safe in the barracks in Turkey’s 81 provinces and abroad.