War on the Rocks – Turkey and Greece, two NATO allies, nearly experienced a full-fledged military conflict in August. Two of their warships collided during a naval standoff over hydrocarbon exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean. This follows a similar naval incident in June between three Turkish vessels and the frigate of another NATO ally, France, prompting an inquiry that the alliance has been trying to keep under wraps to prevent further discord among its ranks. Behind these incidents lies Turkey’s embrace of an assertive naval concept, namely the “blue homeland,” that is poised to disrupt the transatlantic alliance in the years to come.
– Defense News – Turkey is hindering European Union attempts to secure NATO’s help with a maritime arms embargo on conflict-torn Libya, according to diplomats and officials in Brussels.
– War on the Rocks – “Mavi vatan,” or “blue homeland,” has become a common phrase in Turkish political life. It is most often used as a shorthand expression for Ankara’s maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean. Central to these interests is the presence of large deposits of natural gas off the coast of the island of Cyprus. For Turkey, the lion’s share of these deposits lies within what Turkey interprets is its exclusive economic zone. Such a stance, however, is at odds with claims made by Greece and the Republic of Cyprus.
– Forbes – The Turkish Navy’s first light aircraft carrier, TCG Anadolu, will be the flagship of a more powerful fleet. Her large helicopter and UCAV (uncrewed combat air vehicle) air wing, as well as amphibious capabilities, will provide new capabilities to NATO’s second largest military.
(Thanks to Alain)
– BBC – …escorted by the Turkish navy.
– Naval Today – Turkey is pushing forward with the development of its submarine program, having witnessed its first Type 214 class submarine TCG Piri Reis hit the water on December 22 at the Gölcük Shipyard in northwestern Turkey.
(Thanks to Alain)
– Defense News – Turkey has launched the country’s first indigenous submarine program, known as MILDEN, a Turkish acronym for “national submarine.”
– BMPD – built for the Turkish Navy at the Turkish shipyard Sedef Tuzla Tersanesi in Tuzla (southern outskirts of the Asian part of Istanbul) by Sedef Gemi İnşaatı Sanayii A.Ş (part of the Turkon holding) the first Turkish universal landing ship (UDC) L 400 Anadolu first surfaced in the enterprise’s dry 310-meter-filled construction dock, and then was towed from the dock to the extension wall. The actual descent of the UDC on the water was carried out without special ceremonies.
(Thanks to Alain)
– War on the Rocks – The Turkish navy’s transformation resonates strongly with the political and social leanings of Turkey’s sitting president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
– Defense News – A leading Turkish drone manufacturer says it developed a “mobile naval mine” that can blow up warships of all types.
– The Guardian – Greek and Turkish warships were involved Sunday in a brief faceoff near a group of disputed Greek islets in the Aegean, coinciding with renewed tensions between Athens and Ankara.
– FoxtrotAlpha – Turkish-Russian relations are in the gutter since the downing of that attack jet, yet it is not exactly a relationship in which one party can just ignore the other. Both economies are intertwined and Russia has to pass through Turkey’s Bosphorus Strait in order to access the Mediterranean from the Black Sea. Turkey may have reminded Russia of this very recently, but it still does not explain why Russian sailors were donning shoulder-fired surface-air-missiles today during one of Russia’s amphibious ship’s transits.
– FoxtrotAlpha – Turkey, and especially Istanbul, has been called the crossroads of the world, geographically and commercially connecting Europe with Asia, and the Mediterranean with the Black Sea. The latter of which happens to be crucial to Russian shipping and especially its naval operations, acting as a corridor for the Black Sea Fleet to access the world. With tensions broiling over Turkey’s shooting-down of a Russian Su-24, and with Russian sanctions looming, Turkey may be brandishing its ultimate “soft power” weapon in hopes of controlling Moscow’s response; shutting down or slowing Russia’s access to the strategic nexus between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the Bosphorus Strait.
– Defense News – The Oliver Hazard Perry guided missile frigates are one of the most numerous warships classes built since World War II. The first ships entered service in the 1980s, but many still serve under the flags of other nations, all of whom are intensely interested in keeping these vintage ships as effective as possible.
– Globe and Mail – The Turkish research vessel, Koka Piri Reis, continues to raise hackles among countries around the eastern Mediterranean.
– Associated Press – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his belligerent rhetoric against Israel, saying that the country’s warships will escort Turkish Gaza-bound aid ships in the future to prevent a repeat of last year’s Israeli raid on a flotilla that killed nine people.
– Al Jazeera – Ankara offers ships and submarine to help enforce arms embargo on Libya as talks over NATO’s role in Libya continue.
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