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The First Establishment and the Early Years


The history of the Turkish Air Force (TurAF), one of the pioneering aviation institutions in the world, dates back to 1909 when studies into aviation by the Turkish military began. The results of these studies were developed in 1910, bringing about the sending of an inspection council to the International Aviation Conference in Paris. At the end of 1910 a decision was made by the Turkish military to send officers to Europe to train as pilots, but due to financial difficulties being experienced in the country at the time the plan was never realised.

The Minister of War at that time, Mahmut Şevket Pasha, foresaw the importance of aviation for the future of national defence and followed the issue closely. In July 1911, Cavalry Capt. Fesa Bey and Engineer 2nd Lt. Yusuf Kenan Bey (who had received the highest scores in the test given on 28 June 1911) were both sent to the Flight School of the Bleriot Factory in France for flight training.

In the same year, staff officer Lt.Col.Süreyya (İlmen) Bey was given the task of establishing the aviation organisation; and the first official aviation organisation of Turkish military came into existence under the name of the Aviation Commission on 1 June 1911. This came under the structure of the 2nd Branch of Inspector-General of Fortifications, Scientific Research Unit, Ministry of War.

 


Mahmut Şevket Pasha

Fethi Bey
During these developments in 1911, Staff Lieutenant Colonel Süreyya (İlmen) assumed the responsibility of establishing the aviation organization and the first formal aviation establishment of the Turkish Army was inaugurated with the name "Aviation Commission" within the 2nd Branch of the Scientific Detachments, Fortification General Inspectorate, Ministry of War.

Wilbur and Orwille Wright brothers successfully flew the first powered aircraft on 17 December 1903, which is considered to be the beginning of the modern and high technology aviation. Eight years later the Turkish Military Aviation Organization took its place among the world's first aviation organizations almost in the same years along with the USA, France, the U.K., Germany, Italy, Austria and Russia who established their military aviation organizations between 1909 and 1912.

 





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