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10/25/2020

Confrontations, the balance of power and Turkey’s next steps in the Blue Homeland

Confrontations, the balance of power and Turkey’s next steps in the Blue Homeland

The tension that escalated in the wake of the seismic/drilling activities conducted by Turkey within its legal maritime jurisdiction in Eastern Mediterranean was a part of broader problems resulting from Greece’s efforts to increase its territorial waters. While a possible Turkish-Greek war became an alarming possibility as a result of mutual NAVTEXes, multinational exercises, and fortifications on the islands and the entry of Kemalreis and Limnos, the crisis gained an international dimension with the involvement of EU countries and NATO.

This article covered the balance of power in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean confrontation, potential alliances, the possibility of the use of force, Turkey’s main goals and the immediate measures that ought to be taken.

The Maın Source Of The Threat: The US And Israel

With the discovery of the hydrocarbon presence in the Eastern Mediterranean in the 2000s, the interest of global energy giants in the region also increased. The fact that the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus (GCASC) unlawfully declared the EEZ and distributed licenses paved the way for many actors outside the region, such as the US, France, England, South Korea, Italy and Norway, to become involved. While seven different mechanisms in total were constituted, Turkey was intentionally excluded from any of these collaborations. On the other hand, the “EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN SECURITY AND ENERGY PARTNERSHIP ACT” presented to the Congress in April 2019 by American Republican Senator Marco Rubio and Democrat Senator Bob Menendez and approved on June 26, revealed that more than an energy plan had been decided on. According to the draft law, the US and Israel had taken Greece and the GCASC under their wings, declaring their aim to remove Turkey and Russia from the region. Bob Menendez, one of the owners of the bill, explained his goals as follows: “The United States has significant national security interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, bolstered by strong and expanding relationships with Greece, Israel, and Cyprus. The cooperation in energy security among these countries in recent years has paved the way for cooperation on a broad, regional security, economic, and energy agenda. The time has come for the U.S. to deepen this cooperation and build on the constructive progress made by our allies to help ensure a secure Eastern Mediterranean. This legislation seeks to strengthen our bonds of friendship through joint efforts to promote peace, prosperity, and security for our nations.”

Among the articles that Menendez put into the draft in order”to ensure a secure Eastern Mediterranean” are as follows:

●     Impede the transfer of F-35 aircraft to Turkey, as long as Turkey continues with plans to purchase the S-400 air defense system from the Russian Federation, a purchase that would be sanctionable under U.S. law.

●      Lift the prohibition on arms sales to the Republic of Cyprus

●     Authorize $2,000,000 for International Military Education and Training (IMET) assistance for Greece and $2,000,000 for Cyprus.

The bill helps us understand why there are US warships in the Eastern Mediterranean today. Meanwhile, MOSSAD President Yossi Kohen announced the country that “poses a threat to security”.

On Sunday, it was reported that Yossi Cohen, the director of MOSSAD, ‘discussed the Turkish threat with their counterparts in the Gulf about 2 years ago’, claiming that ‘Iranian power is fragile, but the real threat is from Turkey’. These statements supported allegations that Israel, which has recently signed peace deals with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Bahrain, is making preparations for an anti-Turkey Arab-Israel-NATO.

Israel’s encouragement of both Gulf countries and European countries to pursue proactive policies against Turkey also reveals the source of the threats against our country.

From now on, any development in Eastern Mediterranean cannot be considered apart from the fact that Israel considers Turkey its primary threat.

European dıvısıons

The Oruc Reis issues that have resulted in escalating tension between Greece and Turkey simultaneously revealed various problems and contradictions  in the European Union. Assembling on 27-28 August to discuss the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense of the EU refused to pass sanction on Turkey despite intense pressure from Greece and France. While Germany, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Malta and Bulgaria vetoed the requests for sanction, it was argued that steps could not be taken in Eastern Mediterranean by excluding Turkey. The fact that Germany and Spain played the role of mediators in the Oruc Reis crisis, that Italy did joint military drill with Turkey despite tensions being at their highest level, and that Malta withdrew from the Irene Operation, confirmed that Europe will not able to take action in line with the provocations of the US and Israel, at least as a whole. It was also observed that England carried out joint transition training with Turkey instead of supporting Greece in the process. This confrontation, which also carries the cornerstones of the classical European balance of power, seems to indicate that Europe will continue to drift away from indulging France and Greece’s greed.

What are France’s goals ın the Eastern Medıterranean?

With BREXIT, France, the only European ‘Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council’, hopes to become the gendarmerie of Europe. The foreign policy of France, the only country with a compact army in Europe, aims both to solve the problems inside and to settle in the European leadership by assuming a playmaking role abroad. Seeing its former colonial countries as a part of its domain, Paris vehemently objects to China, Russia and Turkey developing good relations with ‘Francophone’ countries in Africa, and, in particular. China’s entry into Africa in recent years, as well as Russia’s military cooperation agreements with 21 African countries since 2015. The assurances from the administrations of the Central African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sudan on the establishment of military bases make these countries a potential threat to Paris.

The fact that Turkey opened 26 embassies in Africa between 2010 through 2016, established close relations with countries such as Senegal, Algeria, Mali, Niger, Somalia and Sudan, and deployed in the strategic Vatiyye and Misrata bases in Libya, have increased France’s anxiety about Turkey’s potential threat. In four countries in Africa where France has military bases, Turkey has made its presence felt. It is well known that Barbaros Turkish Maritime Task Group visited 25 ports in 24 countries, 19 of these for the first time, traveling across the continent in 2014.

Several moves have been made, such as the General Directorate of the Mineral Research & Exploration of Turkey’s getting a license in Niger from which France purchases uranium, Istanbul Airport’s taking the Paris’ place in facilitating connecting flight from Africa, and the signing of a free trade agreement between Algeria with Turkey harass Paris (which is still getting 300 billion dollars from its former colonies).

France is taking action in any and all conflicts that can potentially lock Turkey, Russia and China in their regions. Paris stands against these three countries in all kinds of disputes from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean to the Baltic, from Syria to the South China Sea, provoking potential war in the region to whatever extent it can.

At this point, it seems appropriate to add France to the US-Israeli coalition.

How Can A Balance Of Power Be Establıshed?

Identifying Turkey, Russia and China as the primary threats in the context of the global balance of power, the trio of the US, Israel and France, is conducting a policy of containment through anti-ballistic missile systems, new base construction, and puppet states such as Greece and the GCASC.

Despite losing every war it has fought so far, Greece, which has enlarged its territory five times with the support of other world powers, maintains its dream of the Megali Idea. However, the Atlantic front is aware of the fact that Athens cannot win this war on its own, and is worried that Turkey and Russia will strengthen their presence in the region. There is no need to compare Turkey and Greece in terms of power. It is entirely realistic to make a firm judgment that Athens would raise the white flag within a day. However, we need to examine some data on how France, the US and Israel could affect the balance of military power in a possible war.

* Aircraft carriers are not a force multiplier. The aircraft carriers sent by the US and France are not a serious threat to Turkey in terms of geographic features and air power; 16 of the 18 US ships were sent to Davy Jones’s locker by mines that cost about 2,000 dollars each. This points to the advantage of riparian countries in closed and semi-closed seas. Indeed, the first aircraft carrier sunk in world history was sunk by the Turks: the HMS Ben-My-Chree anchored in Meis was erased from history when it was struck by the cannon balls of Mustafa Ertuğrul Aker, deployed in Kaş. Today, it seems unlikely that an aircraft carrier could protect itself in this region, nor would it be able to operate in Anatolia given the air and land elements it would require. The Turkish Armed Forces, which has developed a defense concept suitable for the semi-closed sea principle for years, is well prepared against aircraft carriers; they are essentially little more than potential targets.

Today, Turkey’s national-equipped-150-piece navy, 400-piece air force, layered air defense system, long-distance air strike capability / supply network, in-depth extending geographic feature, silent submarines with high maneuverability, land and sea stationed long-range missiles, UAVs and drones, radar detection capabilities, wide logistics network, maintenance-repair capabilities, and, most importantly, highly qualified personnel show the world that Turkey is far from being low-hanging fruit.

However, we need to determine our weaknesses as well as our advantages and take measures quickly.

* The decisive factor in deterrence is the ‘second-strike capability/retaliatory strike’. In recent years, the concept of defense has gradually descended under the sea. The fact that Britain abandoned its plan to build an aircraft carrier and turned to nuclear submarine investment confirms this thesis. The essence of deterrence is the ability of a country to respond despite a nuclear attack. Here, nuclear-propelled submarines with the ability to launch nuclear-headed ballistic missiles come into play. Today, Turkey has two vital competencies related to nuclear capability:

* The first is the nuclear propulsion system: This system, which eliminates the need for fuel for ships, allows submarines to travel around the world without surfacing. Today, only 6 countries (USA, Russia, China, England, France, India) have nuclear submarines. Nuclear propulsion systems are also used in many aircraft carriers.

* The second is nuclear warheads: These ammunition heads, which are obtained by using nuclear reaction and nuclear fission together or via much stronger fusion, are recorded as a real force multiplier if they are used in long-range ballistic missiles. Only 9 countries in the world (the US, Russia, China, England, France, Pakistan, India, Israel, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) have access to the approximately 15,000 nuclear warheads in the world.

Submarines that combine these two capabilities, that is, nuclear propulsion with nuclear weapons, are regarded as unique means of the “second strike capability”. However, although they provide high deterrence, it does not seem very suitable for use in closed seas due to the sound and size of the cooling motors used to cool the reactors, the thermal trace of hot water in the sea, radioactive pollution and the fact that it cannot lie on the sea bottom. For this reason, the Turkish Navy is building Reis class submarines that are much quieter, small, highly maneuverable, can stay under the sea for 20-22 days, operate with air-independent propulsion (AIP), and can lie on the sea bottom when necessary. Although information is not yet available about the diameter of the torpedo tubes, Turkey’s defenses to ensure the safety of our concept are seen as the most important force multiplier. 

At this point, we need to take a look at Israel’s new era defense concept.

Having made a major change in its defense concept in recent years, Israel restructured its naval fleet, which was quite weak before the 2000s, in terms of “second strike capability”. In this context, while 6 Dolphin-class submarines entered their inventory, Popeye Turbo SLCMs with a range of 1500 kilometers were also modified to carry nuclear warheads. Today, there are serious reports that the systems in question are deployed on these Dolphins. However, when the US and France is taken into consideration as nuclear capacity, the importance of Turkey’s potential alliance emerges once more.

Russıa ıs ın the Medıterranean once agaın

Today, no equation in the Eastern Mediterranean can be established independently from Russia. Namely;

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the 5th Squadron of the Russian Navy was disabled on December 31, 1992 due to the downsizing of the Russian Armed Forces. During this period, all ports except Syria / Tartus were evacuated, and regular rotations were terminated. Almost all naval power in the Mediterranean has been terminated. After struggling for a long time to recover, Russia’s re-landing in the Mediterranean took place in 2013. With Moscow’s decision to intervene in the events in Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry re-established the 5th Fleet in the Mediterranean, using a combination of ships from the Black Sea Fleet and Northern Fleet deployed in Syria in September 2013. This Fleet consisted of 15 warships and auxiliary ships as of June 2017. In June 2019, the Syrian Parliament approved the lease of Tartus Port to Russia for 49 years. Then, activities for the expansion of the base began rapidly. Vladimir Putin, who wants additional naval space from Syria this year, plans to expand Tartus to deploy an aircraft carrier in the future.

With the re-landing of Russia in the Mediterranean, the search for bases in different countries started again. The Russian forces that settled in Sirte with the war in Libya want to legitimize their presence there in the process of political solution. In addition, negotiations are being held to reactivate the bases established during the Soviet era. Russia has signed military cooperation agreements with 21 African countries since 2015; It is allegedly secured by the Central African Republic, Egypt, Eritrea, Madagascar, Mozambique and Sudan administrations in order to establish a military base. Russian naval bases to be established in countries such as Egypt, Eritrea, Libya, Tunisia or Algeria are considered to have a strategic impact. Russia, whose military bases in foreign countries have reached 700 thousand square kilometers, now has peacekeeping forces in South Sudan, Lebanon, Congo, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Haiti and Morocco.

The Russian Navy has recently made a serious reinforcement to the Mediterranean Squadron. Two new Kilo-class submarines capable of firing Kalibr cruise missiles from torpedo tubes were sent to the Mediterranean. These diesel-electric powered submarines are called ‘black holes’ by NATO because they are the quietest in the world. In addition, the Russian cruiser, Moskva, whose revision was completed in Sevastopol recently, landed in the Mediterranean. Frigates carrying Onyx and Kalibr long-range anti-ship and cruise missiles also regularly rotate. It is stated that whereas the Black Sea Fleet, which has been strengthened for this, reaches 50 ships, a budget of $2.5 billion is allocated to this Fleet for the next 5 years. This number is expected to increase gradually as Russia acquires new bases on the Mediterranean coast.

In summary, the Russian Navy broke its shell years later. It is estimated that a large Russian presence will be seen in every part of the world from the Arctic to the Indian Ocean in the coming years. Having been a serious balance-provider with both its nuclear power capacity and high firepower against the US, Russia’s presence in the Mediterranean is strengthening Turkey’s hand in the region. It will be beneficial to consolidate this relationship with joint exercises, to facilitate mutual use of ports and bases, and to include Russia in Operation Mediterranean Shield (Akdeniz Kalkanı Harekatı). Russia’s contribution to maritime security in the region is important for its own interests in terms of 40% of its trade passing through the Aegean and the Mediterranean.

Can these problems be solved legally?

First of all, we need to separate the problems in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, as their legal status is different. It is observed that the issue is a series of discordance starting with the territorial water in the Aegean, continuing with the continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, search and rescue responsibility areas, FIR Line and the armament of the islands with non-military status, and eventually coming to the issue came to the islands, islets and rocks, whose sovereignty was not transferred to Greece by treaties (EGAAYDAKs). Even if Turkey wants to discuss these issues with Greece as a package, the option of going to the International Court of Justice regarding all of these matters except the continental shelf issue for the Greek government was eliminated by the decision Greece made in its parliament in 2015.

The theses of the two sides diverge mainly due to the different interpretation of Article 16 of the Lausanne Peace Treaty. Greece asserts that Article 16 is a general waiver provision for the islands that are three miles out of the Anatolian costs, therefore, the islands that are given to Italy and Turkey are counted as limiters confirming the border between Italy and Turkey drawn by the treaty on January 4,1932 and the document dated December 28,1932, that this border is also valid between Greece and Turkey as it succeeds Italy, and that the subsequent implications are also confirmation of the Greek theses. Turkey, on the other hand, indicates that Article 16 of the Treaty of Lausanne is not a general waiver provision and that three-mile-principle has not concluded its right over these islands, therefore, the islands handed over to Italy and Greece are counted as limiters in Article 12 and 15, that the document dated December 28,1932 has never become a valid international treaty, and that the Greek implications cannot change the border identified by the international agreements as it was indicated in international courts’ decisions.

Ultimately, since the sea is subject to the land, it does not seem possible to determine any maritime borders without registering the ownership of the islands in the Aegean. So the primary problem to be solved in the Aegean is the problem of islands, islets and rocks that have not been handed over. The primary issue of the property problem is the territorial waters. By breaking the balance of Lausanne, Greece increased its territorial waters to 6 miles in 1936 and reduced the open sea area in the region to less than 5%. According to the 6-mile regime, there is only one open waterway going down to the Mediterranean. This regime cannot pose a problem for other countries, but the size of the continental shelf offshore areas sharing is critical to Turkey. Turkey should make legal preparations for a return to 3-mile-regime, and should begin the official call.

Since all problems in the Aegean are related to each other, discussing all these problems as a package would be beneficial for Turkey. Greece has blocked the way to go to the International Court of Justice, claiming that they do not have any problems with Turkey in the Aegean except in regard to the continental shelf. Thereby, Turkey’s government needs to start applications for the group of approximately 152 islands in the Aegean when the time comes. But the problems in the Aegean, frozen by the Agreement of Bern in 1976, allow Turkey to intensify the priority of rights and interests in the eastern Mediterranean. Today, while the total maritime jurisdiction area of 152 Aegean island group is 15,000 square kilometers, the size of the sea area of Turkey attempted to be usurped in the eastern Mediterranean is 150,000 square kilometers.

The Steps That Should Be Taken In The Eastern Medıterranean

The steps that should immediately be taken by Turkey are as follows:

– Shifting the seismic activities to the west of 28° longitude: Hydrocarbon exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean are the most important practices of Turkey in terms of state registration of maritime jurisdiction. However, the search areas of the Oruc Reis seismic research ship have been announced to the east of 28° longitude. The west border that Turkey has registered with the treaty made with Libya reaches by 26° longitude. Shifting the exploration activities to this region will show the most obvious response to the Greek islands thesis. The borders of the unlawful EEZ agreement signed between Greece and Egypt also extend between 26-28 degrees.

– The announcement of an Exclusive Economic Zone in the Eastern Mediterranean: The concept of Exclusive Economic Zone encompasses the sea itself as well as the submarine and the seabed as a wider cluster of the continental shelf. There is no legal obstacle to unilateral declaration of an EEZ, as it can be determined by mutual agreements. Turkey requires drawing its borders as if it has made agreements with the countries with whom it has identified the opposite shores, and to notify the United Nation declaring an EEZ. Later, the borders can be revised through bilateral agreements with countries with opposite shores. Subsequently, the fishing quota should be announced quickly. The loss of Turkey every year from illegal fishing for tuna is thought to be around $400 million.

– Signing a treaty with Egypt: Today, the most effective step toward throwing away the Sevilla Map imposed on Turkey is an Exclusive Economic Zone treaty to be signed between Turkey and Egypt. Egypt limited the agreement with Greece to 28 degrees, and did not include Meise in order to not offend Turkey. This treaty has not yet been ratified in the Egyptian Parliament. There is no problem in regard to the sea border between Turkey and Egypt. Therefore, the groundwork for the bilateral agreement should be prepared by rapidly developing the relations, and attempts should be made to annul the Greek agreement. The Egyptian public should be informed that they have a lot to gain from a treaty with Turkey.

– Expansion of Operation Mediterranean Shield (AKH): Thanks to the Mediterranean Shield Operation carried out by the Turkish Navy since 2006, 14 drill ships that came to our sea areas unlawfully were prevented within 14 years. It is believed that it would be beneficial to expand the AKH with other countries that can contribute to the security of the region, which turned into an international military drill with the participation of Pakistan and Jordan for the first time last year. While Azerbaijan, Algeria, Georgia, Libya, Lebanon and Tunisia are identified as the first potential participants, chartering facilities can be provided to these countries. In addition, a special effort should be made for Italy and especially Russia to join AKH, given that relations have gradually improved recently.

– Constructing a full-fledged shipyard in Mersin/Taşucu Port: As declared in the 2015 Strategy Document, the Turkish Naval Forces have long ago landed an important combat force down Aksaz, Mersin and Iskenderun. However, due to the lack of a comprehensive shipyard in the Eastern Mediterranean, our ships continue to track the İzmir, Istanbul and Gölcük rotations for maintenance and repair activities. It is believed that carrying out maintenance and repair activities in a fully-fledged shipyard to be established in Mersin/Taşucu port would be a strategic contribution.

– Rapidly establishing a naval base in Cyprus: Turkey’s nearest naval base to Cyprus is located in Aksaz. Our ships departing from this base, which is about 400 miles away, can respond to an emergency in Cyprus in almost 15 hours. It is vital to build a facility that will meet the port needs of all our ships, including TCG Anadolu, in Cyprus, and that will eliminate the need to navigate as far as Iskenderun and Mersin for refueling. The necessary feasibility studies were carried out by the Navy and the report was sent to Ankara on that account. It is considered that a naval base in Cyprus could also facilitate the expansion of Operation Mediterranean Shield.

The Blue Homeland has no HQ

n addition to the steps to be taken in the Eastern Mediterranean, there is a need for a radical change in our maritime policies. Turkey’s Blue Homeland struggle is beyond energy sources. Even Turkey’s interests and benefits in the sea are beyond the boundaries of the Blue Homeland. In this respect, our country should develop an integrated maritime policy and have a central headquarters that will ensure coordination with all institutions. The steps to be taken at this point can be briefly listed as follows:

– To establish the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

– To form the Maritime Policy Board.

– To prepare the Document for Maritime Strategy.

– Proper structuring of all relevant institutions.

– Opening Heybeliada Naval High School, which trains the guards of the Blue Homeland.

n addition to the steps to be taken in the Eastern Mediterranean, there is a need for a radical change in our maritime policies. Turkey’s Blue Homeland struggle is beyond energy sources. Even Turkey’s interests and benefits in the sea are beyond the boundaries of the Blue Homeland. In this respect, our country should develop an integrated maritime policy and have a central headquarters that will ensure coordination with all institutions. The steps to be taken at this point can be briefly listed as follows:

– To establish the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

– To form the Maritime Policy Board.

– To prepare the Document for Maritime Strategy.

– Proper structuring of all relevant institutions.

– Opening Heybeliada Naval High School, which trains the guards of the Blue Homeland.

Conclusion

Turkey is engaged in a vital struggle in every corner of the Blue Homeland, especially in Eastern Mediterranean. This struggle can be described with the following lines written by our famous naval historian Ali Haydar Emir Alpagut right after the Balkan War: “Ottoman Turks are doomed to either be sailors or shepherds in the hot deserts of their former homeland.”[3]

Turkey’s place at sea will also determine its position in the new world in the coming century. Therefore, first of all, our Blue Homeland borders should be secured, and a joint front should be established for our interests beyond the Blue Homeland. As a geopolitical law, global forces can only be responded to by other global powers. The thesis that Turkey, who is still a midsize country with no nuclear capability, can challenge the whole world, will plunge Turkey into chaos. Our potential for alliance against countries such as the US, Israel and France should be mobilized, and cooperation should be made with Russia and China, the two growing sea powers.

In order to increase the operational power of our Naval Forces, it is beneficial for critical infrastructure works to begin quickly. The Turkish Naval Force has been in Mediterranean waters for a long time. In this respect, it is important to shift the maintenance-repair activities and logistics-supply lines to this region. The construction of the naval base in Cyprus is vital. In countries such as Albania, where Turkish soldiers have served for years, initiatives should be taken toward creating naval bases.

Nuclear capabilities are decisive on the road to becoming a global power. The nuclear propulsion system means a revolution in force projection capacity. Turkey should build its medium-term R&D investments upon its nuclear capacity.

Legal solutions to the problems in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean do not seem possible in the short or even medium term. As a matter of fact, the law of the sea is a customary law. Before coming to legal solutions, our sovereign rights should be reinforced with state practices: ‘A loaded gun is always stronger than legal knowledge on the table of diplomacy.’

The Turkish Nation has discovered the Blue Homeland– but it is not enough for us to know our righteousness, we also need to tell the world. The work carried out by Mustafa Kemal by sending the Black Sea Ferry to European countries in 1926 is an exception. Approaching the 100th anniversary of this event, we should perform similar works, and explain Turkey’s righteousness to the world, gaining the psychological advantage.

Our strategic vision in the seas was identified a century ago. I will give the last word to our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk:

Turkey is engaged in a vital struggle in every corner of the Blue Homeland, especially in Eastern Mediterranean. This struggle can be described with the following lines written by our famous naval historian Ali Haydar Emir Alpagut right after the Balkan War: “Ottoman Turks are doomed to either be sailors or shepherds in the hot deserts of their former homeland.”[3]

Turkey’s place at sea will also determine its position in the new world in the coming century. Therefore, first of all, our Blue Homeland borders should be secured, and a joint front should be established for our interests beyond the Blue Homeland. As a geopolitical law, global forces can only be responded to by other global powers. The thesis that Turkey, who is still a midsize country with no nuclear capability, can challenge the whole world, will plunge Turkey into chaos. Our potential for alliance against countries such as the US, Israel and France should be mobilized, and cooperation should be made with Russia and China, the two growing sea powers.

In order to increase the operational power of our Naval Forces, it is beneficial for critical infrastructure works to begin quickly. The Turkish Naval Force has been in Mediterranean waters for a long time. In this respect, it is important to shift the maintenance-repair activities and logistics-supply lines to this region. The construction of the naval base in Cyprus is vital. In countries such as Albania, where Turkish soldiers have served for years, initiatives should be taken toward creating naval bases.

Nuclear capabilities are decisive on the road to becoming a global power. The nuclear propulsion system means a revolution in force projection capacity. Turkey should build its medium-term R&D investments upon its nuclear capacity.

Legal solutions to the problems in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean do not seem possible in the short or even medium term. As a matter of fact, the law of the sea is a customary law. Before coming to legal solutions, our sovereign rights should be reinforced with state practices: ‘A loaded gun is always stronger than legal knowledge on the table of diplomacy.’

The Turkish Nation has discovered the Blue Homeland– but it is not enough for us to know our righteousness, we also need to tell the world. The work carried out by Mustafa Kemal by sending the Black Sea Ferry to European countries in 1926 is an exception. Approaching the 100th anniversary of this event, we should perform similar works, and explain Turkey’s righteousness to the world, gaining the psychological advantage.

Our strategic vision in the seas was identified a century ago. I will give the last word to our Great Leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk:

“Maritime matters must be understood not only as a transportation business, but also as an economic business, and shipyards, ships, ports and piers must be built, sea sports clubs must be established, protected and developed. This is because the boundaries of the power and talent of the people draw the border of its nation whose ends are at sea. With its industry, trade and sport, Turkey is located in a most suitable geographical location and is surrounded by sea on three sides; it has the ability to become a most advanced maritime nation. We must know how to take advantage of this ability. We should think of maritime mastery as the great national ideal of Turks and achieve it within a short time.”

[1] BAŞEREN, Sertaç Hami, Ege Sorunları, TÜDAV Yayınları No:25, Ankara 2006

[2] KISSENGER, Henry, Diplomasi, Türkiye İş Bankası Yayınları, 2004

[3] ALPAGUT, Ali Haydar Emir, Donanma İstemezük, Deniz Mecmuası, 1913

[4] ATATÜRK, Mustafa Kemal, TBMM Beşinci Dönem Üçüncü Toplanma Yılı Açılış Konuşması, November 1st1937 

“Maritime matters must be understood not only as a transportation business, but also as an economic business, and shipyards, ships, ports and piers must be built, sea sports clubs must be established, protected and developed. This is because the boundaries of the power and talent of the people draw the border of its nation whose ends are at sea. With its industry, trade and sport, Turkey is located in a most suitable geographical location and is surrounded by sea on three sides; it has the ability to become a most advanced maritime nation. We must know how to take advantage of this ability. We should think of maritime mastery as the great national ideal of Turks and achieve it within a short time.”

[1] BAŞEREN, Sertaç Hami, Ege Sorunları, TÜDAV Yayınları No:25, Ankara 2006

[2] KISSENGER, Henry, Diplomasi, Türkiye İş Bankası Yayınları, 2004

[3] ALPAGUT, Ali Haydar Emir, Donanma İstemezük, Deniz Mecmuası, 1913

[4] ATATÜRK, Mustafa Kemal, TBMM Beşinci Dönem Üçüncü Toplanma Yılı Açılış Konuşması, November 1st1937 

Tevfik Kadan
Tevfik Kadan was born on April 27, 1990 in Isparta.He studied Turkish Naval High School and Academy.He took computer and electrical electronics engineering courses and worked as a Freelance Consultant Engineer for some time.Kadan has been working in the field of journalism since 2010, and served as the Head of Vatan Party Press Office for 2 years and as Aydınlık Newspaper’s News Manager for 2 years. He works as the Editor in Chief at Aydınlık.com.tr.

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