Bordo Bereliler

Turkish Armed Forces

Turkey as one of the world fastest growing economies puts a lot of efforts into its security forces. With their military history, being a soldier is a rule instead of an option. Their most elite unit is known as Bordo Bereliler, a special forces unit which was created by Turkish officers. To become a member of Bordo Bereliler, a Turkish Army officer needs to voluntarily goes through a roughly 4-year training period.


The unit was founded with the aim to prevent and reject all attacks on Turkey, both internal and external. As it the name suggests, they are well-known by their Maroon Berets (Turkish: Bordo Bereliler).

Bordo Bereliler special forces turkey
Bordo Bereliler operator giving hand signals during the training

Thanks to their outstanding special training guided by their own special instructor’s training unit, the members of the board are expected to Bordo Bereliler can overcome and endure all kinds of terrain and climate in which ordinary army soldiers can not act “normal.” Members of Bordo Bereliler are also considered tough enough to survive by any means necessary.

Bordo Bereliler was officially established on September 25th, 1952. and is still considered as one of the most elite military special forces in Turkey.


Today, members of Bordo Bereliler are tasked with various objectives, but as ordinary, they are used for:

  • elimination of internal and external enemies;
  • VIP protection and escort of the VIP persons;
  • in a case of war, preparation, and training of the local population for resistance

Through history, the Bordo Bereliler took part in many operations, mostly covert and secretive, but in 1999, they arrested opposition Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan, leader of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is designated as a terrorist organization in Turkey. With this action, they drew attention to their dedication and work.

Turkish Special Forces Command insignia worn by OKK
Turkish Special Forces Command insignia worn by OKK

One of the main tasks of the unit is the fight against Kurdish separatists, but accurate information is never revealed to the public.

Training and selection

Bordo Bereliler candidates undergo training and education in three categories divided on national, international and special. These three categories include 47 different areas. The training of the candidate takes an average of 3-4 years to complete before he becomes a full member of the Bordo Bereliler. National Training which develops basic skills lasts for 72 weeks while the length of training abroad ranges 10-52 week and provides specialized training in collaboration with other specialized units.

Bordo Bereliler Turkey
Turkish Armed Forces Special Forces – Bordo Bereliler

The skills of the Bordo Bereliler operators were recognized many times on a national level, but they usually send teams to the competition where other world’s special forces took part. During 2004 and 2005, they took first place in a competition held in Germany.

Guns and Gear

The unit is equipped with most modern weapons used by similar units in the world, from assault rifles to pistols. Here is the list of most used small arms in Bordo Bereliler.

  • SIG P226 pistol;
  • SIG P229 pistol;
  • HK USP;
  • M4 carbine;
  • M4A1;
  • Armal M16 assault rifle;
  • Assault rifle Heckler and Koch HK33;
  • Assault rifle Heckler and Koch HK416;
  • Tavor Assault Rifle-21;
  • Kalekalip.308;
  • Heckler and Koch grenade HK69A13;
  • M203 grenade launcher;
  • Barrett M82
  • Gepard rifle;
  • Sako TRG sniper;
  • CheyTac Intervention M200 Sniper;
  • Dragunov sniper rifle (SVD);
  • Accuracy International Arctic Warfare;
  • MKEK JNG-90;
  • M110;

And all others they found suitable for ceratin missions and tasks.