Turkish Firearms

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Modern Turkish firearms have been the result of the quick adaptation of the Turkish government to advances in firearm technology. The Turks were not themselves particularly innovative when it came to firearms. However, as weapon technology advanced, the Turkish military began adding new rifles, pistols and shotguns to its arsenal. When Turkey expanded its territories in the Byzantine Empire in the 15th century, it employed the most modern artillery, cannons and gunners in the siege against Constantinople in May, 1453.

Turkish firearms began utilizing the Mauser rifle as early as 1880 when the Ottoman Empire recognized the superiority of this firearm. The Turkish government placed high orders for the rifle from the German firm, Mauser, from whose name the Mauser rifle brand was derived. In February 1887, an order for 500,000 M1887 rifles was placed, all of which were produced and delivered on time by the German firearms company.

Turkish firearms continued to be dominated by the rifle as newer models were produced. During World War I, the M1903 was widely used. Through the capture of Russian soldiers at the battle front, the Turkish army appropriated Russian Mosin-Nagant 7.92 caliber M1891 rifles. Numerous such firearms were used in eastern Anatolia and in the Southern Front in Palestine.

After the war, the Russian made firearms did not gain favor among the Turkish military who continued to use updated versions of the Mauser rifles. Ammunition for Turkish firearms, including the rifles, was also purchased. The rifles were sourced from a Czechoslovakian company which made the rifles after the war.

The rifles were shortened in the 1950s to be in keeping with modern firearms that were much shorter in length than their wartime counterparts. The modernization of the Turkish firearms arsenal was undertaken largely in Kirikkale, a suburb in the capital city of Ankara.

Nowadays many Turkish firearms are manufactured cheaply in Turkey. Handguns, rifles and shotguns are produced at low cost and sold locally. Many, such as the Turkish stoeger, find their way to international markets in Pakistan.

Modern Turkish firearms began with the introduction of the Mauser rifle in the late 19th century. The rifle proved extremely popular and many variations were used throughout the wars in the 20th century. Turkish firearms are currently sold in many parts of the world due to its low cost.

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