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The Turkish General Staff presides over the Armed Forces of the Republic of Turkeymarker, comprising the Army, Navy and Air Force. The General Command of the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard, which operate as parts of the internal security forces in peacetime, are subordinate to the Army and Navy Commands, respectively, in wartime, and both have law enforcement and military functions.

The Chief of the Turkish General Staff is the Commander of the Armed Forces. In wartime, he acts as the Commander in Chief on behalf of the President of Turkey. Commanding the Armed Forces and establishing the policies and programs related with the preparation of personnel for combat, intelligence, operations, organization, training and logistic services are the responsibilities of the General Staff. Furthermore, the General Staff coordinates the military relations of the Turkish Armed Forces with its counterparts in the member states of NATOmarker and other friendly nations.

According to protocol, the Chief of the General Staff ranks fifth in the Turkish state's hierarchy, behind the President of the Republic, the President of the Constitutional Court, the Speaker of the Grand National Assemblymarker and the Prime Minister.

Defense organization

The hierarchy, representation and employment of the Turkish Armed Forces within the state organization is regulated by the constitution of Turkey. According to the constitution, the office of the 'Commander in Chief' is represented in the spiritual entity of the Grand National Assembly. The Chief of the General Staff is appointed by the President as the Commander of the Armed Forces and reports to the Prime Minister. The Council of Ministers is responsible to the Grand National Assembly for national security and the preparation of the Turkish Armed Forces to defend the country. However, the authority to declare a state of war and send the Turkish Armed Forces to foreign countries or allow foreign armed forces to be stationed in Turkey require a vote of approval from the Turkish Parliament.

Organization of the National Defense of Turkey

The Chief of the General Staff is responsible to the Prime Minister and is charged with the overall command and control of the Armed Forces. He is also responsible for conducting the military operations effectively, and the operational readiness of the Armed Forces.

The commanders of the three services (Army, Navy and Air Force) report directly to the Chief of the General Staff. The General Staff and the Ministry of National Defense work in close coordination and cooperation to fulfill their respective responsibilities. The General Command of the Gendarmerie and the Coast Guard Command, as part of the internal security forces, are affiliated with the Ministry of Interior Affairs at peacetime, whereas at war-time, they fall under the Army Command and Navy Command, respectively.

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