Turkey’s leaders have hesitated when it comes to allowing thousands of American soldiers on Turkish soil. But war with Iraq or not, Türkiye’s chiefly conscript army enjoys an elite status. Kit, from caps to all-leather boots and dress shoes, are a matter of prestige and are standard issue to all personnel.

In 1997, military quality got the priority treatment and standards increased. Combat boots are routinely to NATO standards and a handful of local producers (notably Yesil, Kundura, Dema and Adela) regularly tender to supply high quality leather combat and safety boots to the 1.5 million strong army.

The newest design under consideration in natty patent leather dress shoes (for officers and permanent military personnel) incorporates a unique membrane sole. The high technology insole absorbs sweat and an outer sole keeps out water.

Today’s modern soldier can barely remember the WWI era, when Turkish soldiers called to fight generally supplied their own clothing and few recruits had a pair of durable or well-fitting leather marching boots.

By way of contrast British forces are still wearing standard black combat boots which melt in the heat of Kuwait. According to the Daily Telegraph, they were described by one senior officer as being ‘totally inappropriate’.