Ararat 2001 Peace Climb
In mid July 2001, a group of veteran Everest climbers, will
journey to Turkey to climb Mt. Ararat via the North side of
the mountain. These climbers will come from around the world,
to climb this legendary, Holy mountain for the non-profit
group AKUT, TEGEV (an education programme in Turkey), the Babu
Chiri School Fund, and to climb for peace around the world.
The climbers will climb the North side of Ararat, which in
modern history (the last 1000 years !) has not been open to
foreign climbers except on very rare cases. We have not found
any verified Summits by foreign climbers via the North side of
Climbers from around the world will come to Turkey in July of
2001 to show the world “we all can get along”. The
climbers will symbolize the countries of the world coming
together to climb this legendary, Holy mountain to raise money
for AKUT, TEGEV and the Babu Chiri School Fund. AKUT is a
non-profit search and rescue Society in Turkey. TEGEV is an
education programme in Turkey. The Babu Chiri Sherpa School
Fund is a fund set up to build a school for children of the
late Babu Chiri, 10 time Everest summitter, who died this May
2001 on Everest.
The climbers is a group of seven. They
will represent the best climbers in the world today.
Several of the climbers will have numerous Summits of the 14
8000 meter peaks. They will speak different languages, be of
different races, and have different religions, and all joining
together for a good cause.
expedition will send reports to www.holylandexpeditions.com
and it's parent site EverestNews.com www.everestnews.com.
EverestNews.com is the largest mountaineering web site in the
world covering the world.
The list of
climbers includes: Nasuh Mahruki, the only
climber from Turkey to Summit K2 and Everest, www.everestnews.com/nasuh.htm
; David Keaton, the youngest
climber at the time to finish the Seven
Summits; Swee Chiow, the first Singapore climber to
reach the Summit of Everest and a very strong young climber;
Ricardo Torres-Nava, the first Latin American climber to
Summit Everest; Fernando
Gonzales Rubio, Tunc
Findik and Marcelo Arbelaez.
Please e-mail us ! firstname.lastname@example.org
support this vision of peace, please make a donation, via
SHIVA charity. You can make a credit card donation by
Cause: AKUT: http://www.holylandexpeditions.com/new.htm
and in Turkish www.akut.org.tr
What does AKUT stand for?
AKUT stands for “Arama-Kurtarma Dernegi”; a translation
into English can be made as “The Search and Rescue
What is the legal status of AKUT in Turkiye [Turkey] ?
AKUT was formed under the Turkish Government’s “dernekler
kanunu”, namely the “law of societies”. A “dernek”
status is not specific to any interest or work group; instead,
it simply sets rules and ground on forming certain societies.
In addition to being a “dernek”, AKUT has been given the
very rare and prestigious “Kamu Yararina Dernek”
status in January/ 1999 after common approval from Turkish
Government’s “bakanlar kurulu” (House of Ministries).
This new and additional status legally and officially
recognizes the fact that AKUT is a non-profit society that
operates for the good of the general public. Apart
from being prestigious, “Kamu Yararina Dernek” status
simply entitles the society to tax-free imports from outside
of Turkiye [Turkey] and other tax exemptions within Turkiye.
When and by whom was AKUT founded?
AKUT was officially founded in February,1996 by seven
volunteers: six mountaineers, and one speleologist.
What are the backgrounds of people that make up AKUT?
During the early days of AKUT, majority of the members were
made of people that actively practiced an (semi-extreme to
extreme) outdoor sport branch (e.g. mountaineering, caving,
rock-climbing, etc.). Following the launch of the society,
more and more people of diverse backgrounds, varying from
Turkish Armed Forces’ Special Op. Units’ (SAT) trainer(s)
to engineers and architects, doctors to individuals that have
previously lived abroad and volunteered at foreign emergency
organizations started to join AKUT. 99% of the AKUT volunteers
have a university degree and all have come under the roof of
one goal: saving lives.
How many members are in AKUT?
Currently, there are a total of 328 volunteers that are
registered with AKUT. Of the 328 volunteers, 128 are “firm
& approved” members, whereas the remaining 200 are
“probationary members”, awaiting for approval after the
initial one-year trial period. In addition, 300+ additional
volunteers have very recently applied to become AKUT
probationary members, their applications are currently being
How are members recruited into AKUT?
Becoming a member of AKUT is purely a voluntary process. As
AKUT has been more and more recognized and publicisized in
Turkiye, ever-increasing number of people have opted to
volunteer for AKUT. Regardless of his/her background, one has
to go through a one-year probationary period before
being cleared (by AKUT’s administrative board) to gain a
full membership status. During the probationary period,
prospective members are evaluated for their performance/ work
within the organization.
“probationary member” status is relatively easy to obtain;
the only requirements are the administrative ones (filling-out
an application form, paying the annual membership fee,
supplying a photo, a signature, signing a waiver, obtaining an
official “clean” paper from a court, etc.).
What kind of training is given to AKUT’s members, and how?
A.- Members that have prior knowledge and experience of
certain subjects, and/or those that have been trained on misc.
issues train the new and willing members. AKUT has doctors
that give classes on emergency medical operations; individuals
that are trained in navigation that give navigation (I, II
& III) classes; those who work in the military that donate
their free time to give classes in SAR operations and
techniques; those that actively work in TRAC (Turkish Radio
Amateurs Society) that give classes in telecommunication;
those that professionally do mountaineering that give classes
on rope and climbing techniques; etc.
In summary, the vast number of volunteers with diverse
backgrounds, regardless of whether they are of civilian,
military or governmental origin, donate their free time to
manage AKUT’s training program. Depending on the
nature of the program, training sessions are held in numerous
locations, varying from hospitals to conference centers,
meeting rooms of corporations to class rooms, or simply
outdoors in a mountain side or a forest. As an initial step
during the re-structuring phase of AKUT, a first aid medical
training facility with two classrooms has just been opened in
Kozyatağı / İstanbul in March, 2000, sponsored
with donations from a private-sector corporation. The
facility, named “Ariel- İskender Iğdır İlkyardım
Merkezi”, is currently the most modern and complete facility
of its kind in Turkey.
How is AKUT financed?
A.- AKUT’s operations are mainly financed by donations and
fundraisers. The only other revenue is generated by the
annual membership fees that do not even cover AKUT’s daily
Q.- How is AKUT managed?
A.- AKUT’s operations are handled and controlled by a board
of directors, made up of seven people. Board of
directors oversee and control the operations of numerous
committees and subcommittees run by the active members. There
are a total of six main committees: emergency management,
logistics, training, exterior relations, finance and office
management, and human resources.
Where is AKUT based at? Where is AKUT’s equipment and
apparatus inventory kept at?
AKUT’s main office was in reality the law office of one of
AKUT’s members. A lawyer, he has opened the doors of his
small one-room office, located in Beyoglu, Istanbul, to be
used as the administrative center. However, Along with the
recent breakthrough in the amount of support given to AKUT, a
much bigger office facility in Mecidiyekoy, Istanbul, has just
been assigned to AKUT, along with a storage facility in the
equipment and apparatus owned by AKUT is strategically
distributed among miscellaneous storage facilities scattered
throughout the city, in a manner enabling the most
speedy access during an emergency. Also, two sets of teams
have recently been established in the cities of Ankara and
Antalya, complete with equipments and apparatus.
How and by whom is AKUT alerted?
AKUT is alerted through numerous channels varying from
individuals witnessing the emergency to the local
governments’ appropriate offices, and/or the Turkish
Government’s crisis center in Ankara.
What are AKUT’s short term plans/ goals?
AKUT’s short term plan is to complete the re-structuring
phase that has started with the recent increase in support
received (building training facilities, strengthening the
existing ties with the government authorities, fully utilizing
the new and ever-growing support received both nationally and
What are AKUT’s long term plans?
AKUT’s long term plan is to grow and extend its structure
throughout Turkiye, and/or assist similar organizational
attempts, and become one of the internationally-recognized SAR
teams. AKUT believes that too much has been/ is being expected
from the Turkish Government alone (in terms of emergency
operations), and that time has come to facilitate and train
the civilian population in aiding the government for emergency
To this date, how many emergency operations has AKUT attended/
since its launch date of Feb./1996, a total of 25 mountain
& avalanche, 4 canyon, 1 criminal, 1 swift water recovery,
2 flood, 7 earthquake, 5 forest fire rescue
operations have been attended/ handled by AKUT.
Who are AKUT’s official partners in Turkiye [Turkey] ? Who
does AKUT officially work and deal with for and during
emergency as well as non-emergency conditions? Who does AKUT
have agreements &/or protocols signed with?
Turkish Civil Defense Authority; Turkish Forest Service; TRAC
(Turkish Radio Amateurs Society); Izmir 112 system (City of
Izmir’s one and only official emergency medical response
system); Agean 112 system (Turkiye’s Agean region’s
official emergency medical response system); Kizilay (Turkish
Red Cross); Turk Hava Kurumu (Turkish Civil Air Society); Turk
Hava Yollari (Turkish Airlines).
Who are AKUT’s operational partners locally, nationally and
All of the above plus Turkish Fire Service (local
departments), Turkish Coast Guard
Armed Forces (Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Gendarme), Local
Government Authorities, and Turkish Ministry of Internal
Israeli FIRST SAR team, German Johanniter team, Greece EMAK
team., Scottish LOCHOBER Mountain SAR team, Turkish Civil
Defense Authority, Turkish Armed Forces’ Special Op.
Units;Turkish Armed Forces’ Air Rescue Units, and Istanbul
What are some of AKUT’s Training Needs:
In order to improve AKUT’s training program, AKUT’s
volunteer trainer(s) get trained by numerous national and
international organizations. AKUT believes that the most
efficient training for AKUT van be achieved through a “train an AKUT trainer” method. So far, AKUT’s trainers
(and in some instances the whole core response team) has taken
part in training sessions in Japan, Israel, Scotland,
Switzerland and Canada, in order to pass along the information
to the ever-developing AKUT team. Any professional training
programs to train AKUT’s trainers would mean more lives
saved, much more professionally and efficiently.
What are some of AKUT’s equipment and apparatus needs:
First aid training equipment. (training manequins for misc.
purposes), and other training equipment (books, literature,
etc.). Specialized urban search and rescue (search cams, fiber
optic cams, body heat sensors, lifting bags, cutters &
spreaders, etc.) gear. Mountain rescue (UAVs, night vision
scopes) gear. Flood Rescue (hovercrafts, quicksand boats)
gear. Navigation and communication hardware and software.
Software for pre-disaster/ emergency planning (e.g. software
for converting pixel-based documents to vectoral documents/datas)
Other SAR Teams in Turkiye:
Civil Defense Authority (Sivil Savunma); headquarters in
Ankara. Turkish Armed Forces’ SAR Teams – Mainly used for
military operations. Newly founded all volunteer SAR teams.
What is the current inventory of AKUT’s SAR and other
related apparatus and equipment?
Numerous hand tools, power generators, power tools,
communication equipment, one Zodiac™ boat, 24 vehicles
(including two snow mobiles), misc. first aid gear
(stretchers, etc.), tech. rescue gear. In addition to all the
above AKUT’s members’ personal gear (e.g. technical
mountain rescue gear)
you might have realized from the humble overview above, AKUT
has started a brand new fire within the Turkish society; a
fire that should have ignited a long time ago. A lot is being
faced and fought against during our struggle. Therefore,
any assistance received from organizations and people that
share the same belief as AKUT and its volunteers, will enable
AKUT to achieve its goals much more successfully and speedily.