Velvet Gloves of the Gendarmerie: Topkapi Palace

Velvet Gloves of the Gendarmerie Topkapi Palace
Velvet Gloves of the Gendarmerie Topkapı Palace

Although we often hear their names in security-related issues, especially in the fight against terrorism, the Gendarmerie General Command personnel also undertake duties in different fields. TRT Haber was the guest of Topkapı Palace in the first episode of its 'Velvet gloves' series.

Even though we see them in continuous operations on the top of snowy mountains, on the edge of the abyss, in the middle of the sea and even beyond the borders, in fact, the Gendarmerie General Command is an institution that plays a critical role in many different activities.

Although they are seen as one of the most essential elements in the fight against terrorism, you can meet the Gendarmerie personnel on a seashore, in the middle of the Blue Vatan, at traffic control or in one of the national palaces.

You must have read the article “The Gendarmerie is the steel fist in the velvet glove” in many places… Today, we will follow the trace of that velvet glove and sometimes we will participate in the feeding of wild animals with the environmental protection teams of the Gendarmerie General Command, sometimes a search and rescue performed by the Gendarmerie Search and Rescue Teams. We will accompany your activity.

In one section, we will see trainings for children with battery-powered cars, in another section we will be guests of the guards at the Ertuğrul Gazi Tomb in Bilecik. In the first episode of the Gendarmerie's Velvet Gloves news series, which will be broadcast on TRT Haber on different dates, we are the guests of Topkapı Palace.

In Position Since 2014

As Topkapı Palace greets us with its usual majesty, we first pass to the area where the Mounted Gendarmerie Team Command is located. Here, we both see the preparation process of the horses and learn some details from the Gendarmerie Petty Officer Senior Sergeant Nurcihan Göktan.

The Mounted Gendarmerie Team Command, serving under the Istanbul Provincial Gendarmerie Command, was established on 8 April 2014 in Topkapı Palace and started its duty. Göktan says that there are 6 riders in the Mounted Gendarmerie Team Command.

We leave the care and shelter areas of the well-groomed horses and move towards the interior of the Palace with them. With the decrease in the effects of the pandemic, we see that the number of visitors has increased considerably.

Intense Tourist Interest

You first understand the sound of mounted units by the sound of horseshoes hitting the stones on the ground… Tourist convoys surround the horses. Almost everyone wants to take a souvenir photo or love horses.

Meanwhile, Gendarmerie Petty Officer Senior Staff Sergeant Nurcihan Göktan also gives valuable information about the historical dimension of the process:
“Continuing the legacy of the 'Equestrian Haseki Unit' during the Bostancı Hearth period, our Mounted Gendarmerie Teams carry out preventive patrol activities in the First Courtyard and Fourth Courtyard and Gülhane Park in the Topkapı Palace in order to preserve the historical texture of the Ottoman Empire period.

During these patrols carried out by our Mounted Gendarmerie Teams on the stony roads of Topkapı Palace, the sound of horseshoes made by our horses allows visitors to take a short trip to the past.”

The Preparation Process of Horses Is Quite Difficult

After a tour in Topkapı Palace, the horses return to their care and shelter areas. In fact, there is a very tedious process here as well. It is very important to clean the horses again, to give their feed, to rest properly. Here, too, there are personnel who are specialized in their own field. Riders and auxiliary staff meet the needs of the horses together.

We witness one of the duties undertaken by the Gendarmerie General Command in areas other than the fight against terrorism, and we are sent off from Topkapı Palace with the sound of horses' hooves preparing for a new tour...

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