Aybars is a Turkish Twitter analyst who very recently has been sharing a number of very detailed photographs concerning precision rifles among Turkish security forces. Primarily these are from the infantry deployed in Syria, however, he has also focused on Special Operations Forces and a special response contingent from the Turkish national police forces. These photographs appear to mostly be within the year and are thus an insight into the armament of the more powerful militaries in the MENA region.
Police Special Operations Department-Polis Özel Harekât (PÖH)
Aybars specifically pointed out that the PÖH is using LMT MWS rifles chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO. By examining the photographs this looks to be true, but without further analysis, at this time we can’t definitively tell. However, the rifle is specifically mentioned on Wikipedia which although not an authoritative source, appears to be up to date in this instance. If this is the case though, it would appear that the Turkish police would prefer a U.S. precision rifle that most likely costs more than a locally made 7.62x51mm designated marksmans rifle, such as the MKEK MPT76. This is perhaps an indication of the insistence on reliability and consistent accuracy over pure cost. We can obviously see these operational requirements through the photographs of the Steyer SSG08 that is also in action.
Another development apart from the precision rifles is that instalment of automated turrets on the PÖH gun trucks. Seeing that the PÖH are most likely operating against the PKK and YPG militants in eastern Turkey, this comes as no surprise that the police forces are militarizing themselves.
Turkish Infantry were highlighted by Aybars, carrying imported Accouracy International .338 Lapua Arctic Warfare rifles, and locally produced MKEK 7.62x51mm NATO JNG-90s also known as Bora-12s. In addition, some Barrett .50 BMG M93s were seen in service as well. The majority of these photographs come from inside Syria where Turkish forces are being used in a defensive posture against numerous rebel groups, in addition to on the mountainious borders in the east. Both of these require long range solutions that the .338 Lapua fits very well, over the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Although Turkey does have a domestic anti-material rifle capability, with the MAM-15, it appears that stocks of these either haven’t been ordered, haven’t reached the front, or simply haven’t been photographed yet.
Special Operations Forces
Turkish SF appear to use exclusively U.S. produced small arms, such as the McMillian Tac-50, Knight’s M110, and Barrett M82s.