Underwater Defence (Turkish Armed Forces)

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Underwater Defence Group Command
Su Altı Savunma Grup Komutanlığı
Sualtı Savunma logo.gif
Logo of SAS
Active 1963–Present
Country  Turkey
Allegiance Turkish Armed Forces
Branch Turkish Naval Forces
Type Special Forces
Abbreviation S.A.S.

The Underwater Defence (Turkish: Sualtı Savunma), or SAS, is one of two special operations units of the Turkish Navy, based in the Foça Naval Base near İzmir, on the Aegean coast of Turkey.

The missions of the Su Altı Savunma (SAS) include coastal defence operations, such as clearing mines or unexploded torpedoes, and disabling enemy vessels or weapons with underwater operations; as well as counter-terrorism and VIP protection.[1]


The first S.A.S. and S.A.T. units were established in 1963 in the city of Iskenderun, following a joint training program with the US Navy SEALs from San Diego. The original name of the S.A.S. unit was Su Altı Müdafaa (S.A.M.), while the original name of the S.A.T. unit was Su Altı Komando (S.A.K.), and they were bound to the Kurtarma ve Sualtı Komutanlığı (K.S.K.), or Rescue and Underwater Command. In 1974 the S.A.S. and S.A.T. group commands became bound to the Turkish Navy's General Command, and participated in the Turkish military invasion of Cyprus later that year.[2]


Their main tasks are:[3]

  • Deactivation or disposal of explosive material, mines and/or unidentified ordnance under the water off the friendly ports and coasts.
  • Deactivation or disposal of explosive material, mines and/or unidentified ordnance under the water off the target coasts or ports. That includes clearing of the target beaches of mines, explosives, booby traps and tank traps, prior to the amphibious assault of the friendly forces.
  • Deactivation or disposal of explosives and mines that might be present on the course of the friendly troops and/or VIP military personnel.
  • Consultancy in defending the strategic facilities against stealth assaults by enemy commandos.

SAS units do not perform assault, counter-terrorism, recon or CQC missions. A real-time duty executed by the SAS has been the clearing of the Girne Beach, Cyprus, prior to the amphibious assault of the Turkish Armed Forces to the island in 1974.



Submachine Guns

Assault Rifles

Machine Guns

Sniper Rifles

Rockets & Explosives



External links[edit]