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1st women Turkish commandos break gender barriers

– Commandos complete strenuous training, qualify to serve domestic operations

by Halil Fidan

IZMIR, Turkey (AA) – Turkey’s first batch of women commandos on Friday completed a vigorous 20-week training.

The training took place at the Foca Gendarmerie Commando School and Training Center in the Aegean province of Izmir.

The commandos ran 200 kilometers (124 miles) and walked 1,100 km (683.5 mi) in order to achieve top-notch physical fitness.

Notwithstanding harsh weather, they camped outdoors for two months.

They were taught to shoot, fire rocket-propelled grenade and hurl hand grenades.

They also learned how to assemble a pistol within seconds with their eyes closed.

The commandos were trained to read maps, defuse explosives and bombs, and survive without food for three days.

Now, they are qualified to serve in domestic security operations.

– Conquering gender barriers

Staff Sergeant Merve Cetin told Anadolu Agency she was aware of the strenuous training sessions when she enrolled in the course.

“We are two sisters. My father's dream was to have a boy who could serve in the military. He couldn't have a boy.

"I wanted to show my father that this is not a matter of gender, but of guts and prove that not only boys but girls can also do this job successfully.”

Another staff sergeant Su Yildiz said that they are always ready to serve the Turkish flag.

“In these trainings, we did not just learn how to be commandos, but also tactics and technical know-how to lead military units.

"Our goal is to carry out our duties come hell or high water — and to play an active role in fighting terrorism," she said.

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