In light of growing tensions between Egypt and Turkey surrounding the ongoing crisis in Libya, some people have questions about the respective military capabilities of the two countries.
The website Global Fire Power in February released its annual review, ranking the countries of the world in terms of military power. Egypt in 2020 rose to number nine, while Turkey fell to 11th place.
Egypt is the only Arab country that ranked among the 10 most powerful armies in the world, rising from its 12th place position last year. Turkey, meanwhile, fell behind Egypt, despite ranking higher in the past several years.
Here are the most prominent figures to consider when making a military comparison between the two forces:
Egypt has 440,000 active personnel, while Turkey has 355,000. Egyptian reserve forces consist of about 480,000 soldiers, compared to about 380,000 in Turkey.
Turkey’s military budget is higher than Egypt’s. Global Fire Power’s figures indicate that Turkey allocated US$19 billion for military spending in its last budget, compared to US$11 billion allocated by Egypt.
The two countries are almost equal in terms of the number of assets each of them has in its air force. Egypt has 1,054 total aircraft, while Turkey has 1,055. Egypt has 215 combat aircraft, while Turkey has 206.
Turkey surpasses Egypt in the number of helicopters it possesses, having 497 helicopters. Egypt, meanwhile, has 294.
Egypt has 4,295 tanks, while Turkey has 2,622. The Egyptian army also has a greater number of armored vehicles, at 11,700, while Turkey has 8,777.
As for self-propelled artillery units, the Egyptian army owns 1,139, while Turkey owns 1,278.
Egypt has almost double the number of towed artillery owned by Turkey (2,189 vs. 1,260).
Egypt has twice the number of marine assets (316 compared to 149 in Turkey). Egypt also has two aircraft carriers, while Turkey does not have any of this type of ship.
Turkey surpasses Egypt in the number of submarines it possesses, owning 12 submarines compared to eight in Egypt. Turkey also has 16 frigates, compared with seven in Egypt. Turkey also has 10 corvettes, while Egypt has seven.
Egypt has three times the number of mine warfare units, 31 compared to 11 in Turkey.
Egypt’s parliament on Monday approved the deployment of its armed forces to combat militias outside the western borders.
A closed-door session was held to discuss an important topic, according to an announcement made by House of Representatives Speaker Ali Abdelaal after the morning session ended.
Abdelaal said during Monday’s plenary session that the Egyptian parliament has the right to hold a secret session at the request of the president, the prime minister and the parliament speaker, or according to a request submitted by 20 MPs.
, political, economic and cultural power beyond its borders as far away and at such a rate as Turkey has in recent years.
Three decades ago Turkey’s soft power remained deeply contingent upon preserving its bonds with the Western world while its militarily leverage was capable of operating only closely to NATO.
Now, Turkey’s military bases, outposts, navy and drones are churning out state-of-the-art combat weaponry across the Middle East, the Arabian Gulf, the horn of Africa and North Africa and beyond.
Turkish political, economic and cultural power is also evident across the Turkic-speaking countries of Central Asia and Azerbaijan, as well as in some key Muslim nations like Pakistan.
From northern Syria to Libya to Qatar and Somalia, Turkey has been active in building its military presence while aggressively seeking to advance its political and economic influence through diplomacy and investment.
Yet, nowhere has the Turkish military been able to operate with greater intensity and with fewer restrictions than in northern Iraq, gaining from the political chaos there following the US-led invasion of the country in 2003.
While Ankara’s strong-arm tactics in recent years have raised fears in many countries in the region about Turkey’s rising influence, a combination of historical, geopolitical and security factors may indicate that Turkey’s escalation in Iraq could spill over into a wider conflict.
Even before the Turkish drone attack last week on an Iraqi military convoy that killed two army commanders, Turkey had been carrying out incursions in northern Iraq, claiming that the porous border provided a retreat for the Kurdish anti-government rebel group known as the PKK, or Kurdistan Workers Party.
Turkey began its hot-pursuit operations against the PKK as early as 1988, but it only built a permanent presence in northern Iraq in early 1992 in tandem with its cross-border campaigns to counter the rebels.