ANKARA - Turkey has taken up another training role for the Afghan police force as a part of its decade-long contribution to the reconstruction of Afghanistan and plans to train some 15,000 Afghan policemen at the Sivas Higher Vocational Police School in Central Anatolia.
In line with this role, 500 Afghan police cadets have already arrived in the designated training camp in Sivas. After the six-month training period, the graduates will serve as high-ranking chief officers back in their home country.
Turkey accepted the request put forth by NATO in mid 2011 for the training of thousands of Afghan homeland security forces, a development that brought the top brass of NATO forces and Afghan training authorities together in a joint effort to draw up a training plan for the Afghan force.
Turkey also made a monetary contribution of $2.5 million, while NATO, Japan and the United States allocated a $5 million fund for the project. The training of the Afghan forces is expected to commence next week, following an opening ceremony to be led by Interior Minister İdris Naim Şahin.
The main focus of the program will be on intelligence, counterterrorism, security, narcotics and other such fields. The extensive training program includes both theoretical and applied information, as Afghan policemen receive training in human rights, firearms use, building protection, close combat defense and security precautions against terrorist attacks.
Turkey has carried out similar training missions both inside and outside Afghanistan for the training of Afghan forces, another example of which was the training of the Afghan National Army in Kabul this past February.
Turkey helps stabilization efforts in Afghanistan mostly by means of training and building functions since Turkish forces first arrived in the country in 2002. However, Turkey refuses orders for combat missions and limits its contribution within the operation to humanitarian aid and support.
Turkey has increased military and security training to Afghanistan as part of a NATO stabilization campaign. Hundreds of Turkish officers currently serve as instructors to the Afghan army and police. Turkey currently has nearly 2,000 military and security personnel deployed in Afghanistan. The Turkish contingent has helped train the army and police. It also operates a military hospital in Kabul. Under other NATO programs, Afghan cadets and police officers have come to Turkey to attend training programs here.
Turkey carries out the training effort as part of the NATO peacekeeping operation. In October 2010, Turkey announced that it would extend its command of the Kabul Regional Command by a year from Nov. 1.
Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member, assumed the rotating command in Kabul in 2009, after a previous eight-month stint in 2007.
Turkey has around 1,800 troops in Kabul. No soldiers are assigned to combat missions. The Kabul command is designed to assist Afghanistan in its reconstruction and to help establish security there.