Special Forces Command
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|Special Forces Command|
|Branch||Turkish Armed Forces|
|Motto||Death is honorable. Fear and failure are not.|
Special Forces Command (Turkish: Özel Kuvvetler Komutanlığı), nicknamed Maroon Berets (Turkish: Bordo Bereliler) because of their distinctive service headgear, are the special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forces. Special Forces Command is not aligned to any force command in TSK, getting orders directly from General Staff of the Republic of Turkey. Its forerunner was the Special Warfare Department (Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi). The Berets also work along with Underwater Defence Teams (SAS) and Underwater Strike Teams (SAT).
The unit was created to counter any interior or foreign attacks on the Turkish Republic. MB officers receive extensive training and are expected to survive in all environmental conditions.
There are three categories of education and training that a MB will undergo. These are a) Domestic b) International c) Specialty
Within these three categories, there are 47 different subjects. Domestic training takes 72 weeks of basic training; International training takes 10 to 52 weeks of specialized training in different countries. It takes 3.5 years to become a MB.
The Trust Shot (in Turkish "Gūven Atışı") is a part of the MB's training program. It is exercised on the last month of the training and is to ensure that the soldiers can trust each other with their lives. The Trust Shot consists of two members of a squad standing next to paper target boards, while another member fires on the targets with a handgun while walking towards them from 15 meters (49 feet) away. During the exercise the men standing next to the targets are not allowed to move or wear body armor. They are one of the few special operations teams in the world to perform the trust shot.
The Maroon Berets (MB) came into the public spotlight when they captured the PKK Terrorist Organisation leader Abdullah Öcalan in Kenya. The identities of MB personnel are classified. One whose identity was revealed is Mustafa Levent Göktaş, due to his being charged in the Ergenekon trials.
In 2012 a parliamentary report said that the Special Forces Command, along with its predecessors, had trained hundreds of thousands of civilians and equipped them with weapons, which they used to commit murders of Kurdish civilians as part of the Kurdish-Turkish conflict in the 1990s. The report said that the Special Forces Command's archives at its headquarters, nicknamed the "cosmic room", held "the secret history of Turkey".
- List of Chiefs of the Special Forces of the Turkish Army
- General Directorate of Security : Karşı Atak Timi and Polis Özel Harekat
- Turkish Gendarmerie : Jandarma Özel Harekat and Jandarma Özel Asayiş Komutanlığı
- Turkish Army : 1st Commando Brigade
- Turkish Air Force : Muharebe Arama Kurtarma and AKİP
- Turkish Navy : Su Altı Taarruz and Su Altı Savunma
- Uslu, Emrullah (July 10, 2008). [tt_news=5045 "Tackling the PKK: New Directions for Turkey's Special Forces"]. TerrorismMonitor (Jamestown Foundation) VI (14): 9–11.
- Today's Zaman, 26 November 2012, ‘Special War Dept. trained hundreds of thousands of civilians responsible for unsolved murders'