Special Forces Command (Turkey)

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Special Forces Command
Active 1952–present[1]
Country  Turkey
Branch General Staff
Type Special Forces
Role Unconventional warfare
Special operations
Combat Search and Rescue
Size Unknown
Garrison/HQ Ankara
Nickname(s) Maroon Berets
Bordo Bereliler
Motto(s) One Dies, Thousand Rises
Colors Maroon      (claret red)
March İstiklâl Marşı (Independence March)
Lieutenant General Zekai Aksakallı

The Special Forces Command (Turkish: Özel Kuvvetler Komutanlığı), nicknamed Maroon Berets (Turkish: Bordo Bereliler) because of their distinctive service headgear, are a special operations unit of the Turkish Armed Forces made up of volunteers rigorously selected from all branches of the Armed Forces after graduating from a roughly 4-year training cycle. The Special Forces is not aligned to any of the three branches of the TAF, receiving its orders directly from the General Staff of the Republic of Turkey.[2][3] Its forerunner was the Special Warfare Department (Turkish: Özel Harp Dairesi)

Although the Special Forces is considered a division-level formation, this includes non-combatant units and administrative duties personnel as well.[4]

Since its creation, the unit has been tasked with fighting terrorism. Each member is highly trained, and knows on average 2 languages and can handle a large variety of firearms and equipment.


Volunteers initially face a pass/fail written exam as well as physical and psychological tests. Those who pass the exams become special forces candidates. Adequate linguistic skills in at least one foreign language is a plus for admission. The candidates then have to complete a challenging training period which lasts around 120–260 weeks. Many drop out during this intense training period. Training encompasses: fitness; obstacle courses; a range of martial arts; high-altitude mountain warfare school; close quarters combat (CQC); biological/chemical/nuclear warfare; parachuting; diving; sniping; demolition; counter-terrorism; search and rescue; stealth search and destroy; reconnaissance; and survival. Learning foreign languages is a part of the training. During the training, candidates are pushed by their instructors to their limits, both physically and mentally. The training schedule includes all aspects of a modern-day regular and psychological warfare. 100 km (62 mi) terrain-walking with a 40 kg (88 lb). load is an example of what the candidates have to go through during training.

Trust Shot training program[edit]

The Trust Shot (in Turkish "Güven 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 m (49 ft) 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.[5]

Special Aviation Group[edit]

Special Aviation Group provides helicopter support for command's missions. The helicopters have been modernized and can operate in night/day, integrated and in sync.[6][7][8][9]


Maroon Berets
Pistols HK USP, SIG P226, SIG P229, Sarsilmaz Kilinc 2000 Mega, Sarsilmaz Kilinc 2000 Light, Glock 17, Glock 19
Assault Rifles M16 rifle, M4A1, Heckler & Koch HK416, MKEK MPT-76, AKM, IMI Tavor TAR-21
Sniper Rifles KNT-308, Sako TRG, CheyTac Intervention, Dragunov sniper rifle, Barrett M82, Accuracy International Arctic Warfare, MKEK JNG-90, M110, McMillan Tac-50


  1. ^ Uslu, Emrullah (July 10, 2008). "Tackling the PKK: New Directions for Turkey's Special Forces". TerrorismMonitor. Jamestown Foundation. VI (14): 9–11. 
  2. ^ askerenes.blogcu.com/ozel-kuvvetler-komutanligi/1756260
  3. ^ "Onlar TSK'nın bel kemiği - Sayfa 8 Sabah - Fotohaber - Gündem - 05 Eylül 2015 Cumartesi". sabah.com.tr. Archived from the original on 2015-10-06. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  4. ^ Pike, John. "Turkey - Special Forces Command, General Staff Headquarters (Ozel Kuvvetler Komutanligi - O.K.K.)". www.globalsecurity.org. 
  5. ^ "TSK: Öyle bir atış şekli yok, 'güven atışı' var - Hürriyet Gündem". hurriyet.com.tr. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  6. ^ "HELICOPTER AVIONICS MODERNIZATION - Turkish Aerospace Industries, Inc". tai.com.tr. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  7. ^ "HELİKOPTER MODERNİZASYON PROGRAMLARI - TUSAŞ-Türk Havacılık ve Uzay Sanayii A.Ş". tai.com.tr. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  8. ^ "Türkiye'nin yeni Karaşahini: T-70 Helikopteri". kokpit.aero. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 
  9. ^ Piri Medya. "Bordo Bereliler 'Yarasa' ile uçacak". yenisafak.com.tr. Retrieved 2015-09-05. 

Further reading[edit]

Media related to Special forces of Turkey at Wikimedia Commons

  • Lale Sariibrahimoglu, 'Live-fire exercises shine spotlight on Turkey's special forces,' Jane's Defence Weekly, 7 January 2004