Who is Çevik Bir?
Çevik Bir is a retired Turkish army general. He was a member of the Turkish General Staff in the 1990s. He took a major part in several important international missions in the Middle East and North Africa. He was born in Buca, Izmir Province, in 1939 and is married with one child.
He graduated from the Turkish Military Academy as an engineer officer in 1958, from the Army Staff College in 1970 and from the Armed Forces College in 1971. He graduated from NATO Defense College, Rome, Italy in 1973.
From 1973 to 1985, he served at SHAPE, NATO's headquarters in Belgium. He was promoted to brigadier general and commanded an armed brigade and division in Turkey. From 1987 to 1991, he served as major general, and then was promoted to lieutenant general.
After the dictator Siad Barre’s ousting, conflicts between the General Farah Aidid's party and other clans in Somalia had led to famine and lawlessness throughout the country. An estimated 300,000 people had died from starvation. A combined military force of United States and United Nations were deployed to Mogadishu, to monitor the ceasefire and deliver food and supplies to the starving people of Somali. Çevik Bir, who was then a lieutenant-general of Turkey, became the force commander of UNOSOM II in 1993. Despite the retreat of US and UN forces after several deaths due to local hostilities mainly led by Aidid, the introduction of a powerful military force opened the transportation routes, enabling the provision of supplies and ended the famine quickly.
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on July 23, 2013