On Patrol with Turkish KFOR soldiers above Banjska

Tuska patrola
Source: Kosovo Online

During the previous weeks and months, Turkish soldiers as part of the KFOR forces have been patrolling along the administrative line as part of their duties, and this week they were joined by the Kosovo Online team.

Our journey took us to the mountains above Banjska, and as in many previous patrols, everything went smoothly, the Turkish soldiers told us. The Turkish commander of the ORF battalion stated in an interview with our portal that they had established an observation post in this area.

"We cover 67 kilometers of the administrative boundary line as part of our duties. We have set up an observation post here, and we are very close to the administrative line. We are here primarily for the security of all of Kosovo and all its communities. So far, we have not encountered any problems," the commander explained, adding that there are three types of patrols.

"We conduct three types of patrols—joint patrols with the Kosovo Police, synchronized patrols with Serbian security forces, and independent patrols," he said.

Despite persistent rain and fog, the patrol went as smoothly as possible. Despite reports from some media outlets attempting to depict tension along the administrative boundary line, some even reporting in bulletproof vests, the only protection the Kosovo Online team needed during the patrol was umbrellas.

Due to the cold weather, we were served tea, and at one point, the conversation with the Turkish soldiers shifted to sports. To my surprise, it wasn't about football or basketball but volleyball and Tijana Bošković, who plays for the Turkish club Eczacıbaşı.

"She is the best volleyball player of all time. You are very fortunate to have her playing for Serbia," one of the soldiers told us.

The patrol ended as it began, without any problems, except for the persistent rain that accompanied us the entire way.