"AKUT is entirely a voluntary, non-governmental organization involved in searching, assisting and rescuing all who require aid within its authority and means, in mountain or other nature-related accidents, natural disasters and all other emergency conditions by means of trained, disciplined, high-standard personnel and equipment, passing on knowledge to society with no political affiliation."
The 1994 rescue operation of two mountaineers in the Bolkar Mountains in southern Turkey is forever etched in the memory of a number of the founding members of AKUT. Despite the good-will efforts of the locals, the Gendarmerie, the Mountain Climbers Federation and several other mountaineers, the rescue operation ended in disappointment. This failure led a group of pioneering mountaineers to think about how search and rescue activities could be conducted in an effective and efficient manner.
AKUT has an administrative structure in accordance with the legal definition of a democratic civil society association, but also enshrines its overarching mission within its bylaws. AKUT’s values are: volunteerism, integrity, reliability, helpfulness/humanitarianism, and respect for human life. With an organizational structure that allows it to react rapidly to a wide variety of emergency situations, AKUT has the ability to make quick decisions in the face of crisis.
AKUT has changed the standpoint of many governmental and private institutions when it comes to search and rescue. It has been a leader and pivotal player in raising consciousness related to preparation for disaster situations. As a result of the developments that occurred after the founding of AKUT, it has taken on the greater mission of not only setting the benchmark, but also spreading that knowledge in order to better serve Turkish society, and the world - with the 2011 classification by the United Nations International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG), being the first and only Turkish team to achieve this status.
Today, AKUT is indisputably the #1 search and rescue organization in Turkey, with the largest number of members and the broadest variety of specialized skills. Not only does it have over 200 permanent members and another 2000 volunteer members, it owns state of the art technology that can be mobilized in an instant. AKUT also runs projects that will increase search and rescue competency in Turkish society. With local branches across 32 provinces in Turkey as well as Istanbul on call 24/7, AKUT is always standing by, ready to accept the duty of serving people in need both inside and outside Turkey, to perform operations according to its mission, provide training, organize drills, cooperate with local and international institutions, and to share its experience and knowledge at home or abroad.