The Turkish president, Deputy Prime Ministers Bülent Arınç and Beşir Atalay, and National Defense Minister İsmet Yılmaz — who wore camouflage jackets during the exercise — participated in the Turkish Armed Forces’ (TSK) Winter 2012 Military Exercise, which is conducted once a year in Kars.
Arriving at Kars Airport at 10:15 a.m., President Gül was welcomed by Kars Governor Ahmet Kara, Justice and Development Party (AK Party) deputies Ahmet Arslan and Yunus Kılıç, Kars Mayor Nevzat Bozkuş and Kafkas University Rector Dr. Sami Özcan.
After leaving the airport, the group went to Kars’s Cumhuriyet village under tight security.
Before going to the exercise area located near the 3rd Army Command, Gül and the others accompanying him greeted the residents of Cumhuriyet village and chatted with some students.
Gül and the other ministers put on winter camouflage jackets before attending the exercise. They were also briefed by military officers about the exercise and its aims.
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel as well as several other commanders of the TSK were also present at the exercise.
The TSK’s Winter 2012 Military Exercise aims to test the combat capabilities of soldiers in snowy, harsh weather, stage a battle in all aspects, increase the firing and maneuvers synchronization of military units and lastly, to improve soldiers’ deployment capabilities as well as their military competencies in some basic areas such as quartering, subsistence, clothing, order fulfillment and maintenance activities.
Gül and the ministers watched the exercise all day.