Sahil Güvenlik Komutan
Coast Guard Command
The Coast Guard was established in 1859, during the Ottoman period and was called "Rusumet Emaneti Teskilati". With its affiliated organization "Muhafaza Memurlugu" or Guarding Administration it controlled the coasts and it fought smuggling. Today, the Coast Guard is a part of the Turkish Armed Forces and during peace time it is affiliated to the Interior Ministry. However, during emergencies and during war it is placed under the command of the Naval Forces.
Formed in 1982 as the maritime wing of the gendarmerie, the coast guard is now separate but also reports to the Ministry of Interior. With a personnel strength of about 1,100, the coast guard is responsible for maintaining the security of the coast and territorial waters, for conducting missions to protect its Exclusive Economic Zone in the Aegean--the boundaries of which are under dispute with Greece--for search-and-air-rescue operations, and for protecting the marine environment.
Its headquarters is in Ankara and there are four SG Sea Command units stationed in Izmir, Istanbul and Mersin and two SG Group Command units in Antalya and Marmaris. The coast guard is organized into four area commands: the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara and adjacent straits, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean Sea.
Surface patrols are carried out by fifty-two patrol vessels and smaller craft. The most effective of these are fourteen search-and-rescue vessels of 220 tons, all built within recent years in Turkish shipyards. Smaller 150-ton and 70-ton patrol boats of German origin were nearing obsolescence in the mid-1990s. An ambitious construction plan foresaw a major strengthening of the service with eight new vessels of 350 to 400 tons and forty-eight ships of 180 to 300 tons. A number of helicopters and aircraft were to be acquired to expand a small maritime air unit of three United States-manufactured OH-58 (Jet Ranger) helicopters.
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