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    Turkish Republic Decorations

    Dave Danner

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    Unless I missed it, there doesn't seem to be a thread discussing Turkish decorations (as opposed to Ottoman ones).

    The Republic of Turkey (T?rkiye Cumhuriyeti) was declared in October 1923 after a four-year conflict with various powers called the National Struggle (Milli M?cadele) in Turkish, and otherwise referred to as the Turkish War of Independence.

    In 1920, shortly after Mustafa Kemal established the new parliament of the Turkish nation, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey (T?rkiye B?y?k Millet Meclisi, or TBMM), the new parliament, established what was Turkey's one and for a while only medal, the Independence Medal (İstiklal Madalyası).

    There were four versions of the medal, distinguished by the ribbons:

    • Red - given to those who fought in the National Struggle.
    • Green - given to those who served in the TBMM in the National Struggle.
    • Half green/half red - given to those who both served in the TBMM and fought at the front in the National Struggle.
    • White - given to those who served behind the front lines in the National Struggle.
    From the collection of the Turkish Military Museum, first the Independence Medal on the red ribbon (İstiklal Madalyası (Kırmızı)):

    Edited by Dave Danner
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    Possibly the first new medal, or at least the first the museum mentions, after the Independence Medal, was the commemorative medal struck for the opening of the Sivas Station and completion of the Ankara-Sivas railroad line on August 30, 1930. The station was dedicated by İsmet İn?n?, then Prime Minister and Atat?rk's successor as President.

    Sivas İstasyonunun İşletmeye A?ılışı Madalyası:

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    In 1937, there appeared a series of "Maneuver Medals". I know maneuver medals are a lesser-known feature of the Austro-Hungarian ODM, and I even once had an unofficial US 1st Army Maneuvers Medal from the 1930s.

    First is the 1st Army Thrace Maneuvers Commemorative Medal (1. Ordu Trakya Manevrası Hatıra Madalyası):

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    Last of these early medals in the museum's collection is this one, a "Commemorative Medallion dated 10 November 1938" (10 Kasım 1938 Tarihli Hatıra Madalyonu). Kemal Atat?rk died on this date. Assuming my Turkish hasn't betrayed me, this is described as "one of the commemorative medals struck after Atat?rk's death in memory of him" ("M. Kemal Atat?rk'?n ?l?m?nden sonra O'nun anısına ?ıkartılan hatıra madalyalarından biridir."), so I assume there were others struck as well.

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    Here is the law of 1920 on the Independence Medal, as amended in 1924, 1925 and 1934:


    The paragraph on the classes and their differing ribbons is here:

    Madde 5 - B?y?k Millet Meclisi azalarına verilecek madalyanın şeridi yeşil ve cephede bulunanların kırmızı ve cephe gerisinde olanların beyaz olacak. Şu kadar ki mebus olup ta aynı zamanda cephede bilfiil hidematı mesbuk ve birinci madde mucibince de madalyaya kesbi istihkak edenlerin şeridi nısfı yeşil ve nısfı diğeri kırmızı olacaktır ve bu bapdaki teklifin Meclis Reisinin inhasiyle B?y?k Millet Meclisince kabul ve tasdikı lazımdır.

    There's also a list of infantry, cavalry, artillery and other regiments at the end which participated in the Independence War. One typo, though: they spelled cavalry "Suvari" instead of "S?vari".

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    The museum website, the Turkish Army website, and the Justice Ministry's online set of laws relating to medals all have different versions of what are the current medals and decorations. It may take some time to clarify what the criteria and order of precedence are.

    Here is the T.S.K. Şeref Madalyası, or Armed Forces Medal of Honor:


    And the T.S.K. Liyakat Madalyası, or Medal of Merit:


    And the T.S.K. Başarı Madalyası, or Armed Forces Achievement Medal:


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    Like Lebanon (see that thread), Turkey also provides its military with day planners that have several pages on insignia and awards. Here are the pages from the Turkish version. Just ribbons, no pictures of the decorations themselves (though many of these awards are just ribbons and don't have a corresponding medal).

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