Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms


1913 Ottoman Pilot's Uniform

Right - The uniform of Fethi Bey, one of the 1913 early Ottoman pilots (displayed in the Turkish Military Museum), this appears to have:

  • Blue edged green cloth (matching the uniform tunic) shoulder boards.
  • Large silver 'airplane' badges added to the collar.

Right - Fethi Bey, wearing the 1913 early Ottoman pilots (above), showing the blue edged green cloth (matching the uniform tunic) shoulder boards, rather than 1909 officer's shoulder cords being worn.

Right - Large silver 'airplane' badges added to the collar, of the Fethi Bey, 1913 early Ottoman pilots (above). The plate's tail of the badge has been broken and bent over the rest of the badge.

1913 Balloon Troops

Right - The Balloon Troop, set up in 1913.

  • The first flight test in Yesilkoy on July 23, 1913, operating a Parseval PL-9.
  • Note the nose is painted with a white star and crescent badge [1].
  • A balloon shed was reported built in Adrianople, in 1914 [2].
  • The Balloon Troop was reported in Damascus, 1914-15 during the winter [3].

The balloon troops in 1913 adopted an Austrian balloon collar badge [4].



[2] British General Staff. (1995) 1916 Handbook of the Turkish Army. Battery Press, Nashville: 178.

[3] Ibid. "Part of the VIII Army Corps (Damascus) 'Air Company'." 

[4] Right -1913 Balloon troops' collar badge:

1914 Air Troops

1915 (Till 1930) Ottoman Turkish Air Pilots' Hat Badge

Right - As can be seen in this 1930s picure of a Republic of Turkey Air Force officer, Kamil Bey, who had served in WW1;

  • He wears the WW1–sized badge on his peak cap, in the 1930s.
  • A later post 1936 version, with star and crescent badge conforming to the 1936 flag law (that established the current pattern for the Turkish national flag), is known.
  • However, it is not known if this is a uniform item or a post-50s produced "collectable".

Turkish Airforce National Markings

According to the Aerodrome website the Ottoman Empire entered the war in October of 1914, it had less than a dozen military aircraft.

  • These were identified by red rudders marked with a white crescent and five-point star, in the design of the Ottoman flag.
  • The crescent was open to the rudder’s trailing edge on both sides. No fuselage markings were carried. One of these aircraft, a Deperdussin, is known to have carried the crescent-and-star marking on the underside of the wing.
  • Some of the early Ottoman aircraft, including L.V.G. B.Is and Bleriots, carried a red-white-red roundel on the underside of the starboard wing and the crescent-and-star on their rudders. This is most likely a pre-war marking scheme and was abandoned by mid-1915, the potential for confusion being obvious.

As Germany began to supply aircraft in substantial numbers (1915 – 1918), the Ottoman markings were changed:

  • These were a black square surrounded by a thin white border. This was painted over the German crosses on wings, fuselages and rudders and matched the various cross styles in size and position. 

Gotha seaplanes, some two dozen of which were supplied to the Ottoman Empire:

  • These retained the crescent-and-star markings throughout the war. These were carried at the wingtips on the upper and lower surfaces of both wings, and on the rudder. The design was mirrored from port to starboard wing, so that the crescent was always open to the wingtip and the star outboard.

1916 Air Troops

1915 Ottoman Turkish Air Pilots' Graduation Badges

Anti-Aircraft Batteries

Right - Ottoman anti-aircraft guns at Gallipoli (c.1915).

  • The Ottomans after 1915 transferred a number of artillery units/soldiers into the new Air Branch, to help form the Anti-Aircraft batteries.
  • As can be seen the officer pictured with these guns has Fortress Artillery collar insignia.


Right - This WW1 Ottoman Fortress Artillery junior officer, wears some unusual insignia combinations:

  • The large 'shell badge' on the shoulder board, is similar to the WW1 German Flak shoulder board, that had a flaming artillery shell with wings.
  • This particular photograph dates from after 1916, as the jacket type was used from 1915 onward, and the officer's buckle was used from 1916.
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