Afghan women trained by Turkey’s police lack requisite skills, Pentagon says

A US Defense Department report submitted to Congress in June 2018 said female Afghan police officers who were trained in Turkey lacked the required technical skills upon their return to Afghanistan.

“Women recruited in Afghanistan and trained in Sivas, Turkey, return without detailed knowledge of Afghan-specific laws and procedures. Often, women return from specialized training and are assigned to positions without the proper technical training, or they are not assigned at all due to a lack of proper skill sets,” the report said.


Selami Altinok, the chief of Turkey’s National Police, attends graduation ceremony for female Afghan police officers. (May 1, 2017)


Graduation ceremony for 250 female Afghan police who completed their training in Turkey’s Sivas province.


The goal is to recruit women for specific positions in the Afghan National Police (ANP), according to the report, and the training is completed in Afghanistan so the program can have more oversight. It noted, however, that the Afghan Interior Ministry was concerned about the safety of women in training in Afghanistan and that it had therefore extended the training for women at the Sivas Police Training Academy in Turkey through the end of 2018.

The extension is valid for those who are already in Turkey as no Afghan women have gone for training in Turkey since October 2017. It was planned that 100 nursing students, 100 officers, and 100 noncommissioned officers would attend the training as part of the commitment under fiscal year 2018 provisions.

The US is exploring options to train these women in Afghanistan.

According to the report, which covered the period between December 1, 2017, through May 31, 2018, Turkey trained 156 new recruits, and 86 police officers attended basic police training in Turkey, graduating in mid-March 2018.

Sexual abuse, harassment, gender-based violence, cultural norms and certain inequalities threaten the successful integration and long-term retention of women in the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, the report underlined. It stressed that the current ad hoc method of recruitment, training, and placement can lead to women being underutilized and, therefore considered ineffective.

There were 1,179 women in the Afghan National Army as of April 2018, compared to 1,044 in April 2017.



The DOD report includes a description of the US strategy for enhancing security and stability in Afghanistan, a current and anticipated threat assessment and a description and assessment of the size, structure, strategy, budget and financing of the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.


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