Turkish Navy To Help The Reconstruction of The Libyan Fleet

Turkish Navy will return to Libya to help the reconstruction of the Libyan fleet and to help the training of the mariners.

Libyan Naval Forces Command has asked Turkey’s cooperation in reconstruction of its armada, training of mariners and in military issues.

Bases in Tripoli, Homs, Misurata, Sirte and Benghazi cities have been damaged during NATO’s operations in May following the the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.

Libyan officials recalled that several Turkish companies had constructed the ports in Tripoli and Homs 20 years ago, noting that some Libyan officers had been trained in Turkey too. Commander Mustafa Joha in Tripoli base told AA that Turkey had an advanced fleet force, adding that they wanted to make cooperation with Turkey. 

Noting that warships, arsenals and ports had been severely damaged during NATO operation, Joha said that it would take a few years to reconstruct the armada. Joha said that Libya and Turkey were two Muslim countries, adding that Turkey extended great support to Libya during the civil war.

This invitation from Libya could be seen as a payoff that Turkish Navy was helping the Libyans to get rid of the Gaddafi Regime but in the mean time was not actively destroying the country.

Click here for more photos from the remains of Libyan Navy in the Post Gaddafi Era.

Turkish Naval Special Forces Appear On A NATO Video

In this video Turkish special forces team deployed on board of MEKO 200 Track I class,Turkish frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım are boarding the Romanian frigate F-221 Regele Ferdinand. This boarding was made as a demonstration for the Lieutenant General Charles Bouchard, Operational Commander of the Operation Unified Protector.

Click here for the photos of the same demonstration.

TCG Zafer Taking Part In Unified Protector

TCG Zafer receiving fuel from USNS Kanawha

Turkish Navy’s sole surviving Knox class frigate F-253 TCG Zafer is taking part in Operation Unified Protector. Or she was, as today NATO’s website about the operation does not list she, but her name does appear on the Google cache of the same page.

But the photo of the left leaves no doubt that TCG Zafer was off Libya some time in May as the photo is from the Facebook page of USNS Kanawha.

I am surprised to see this old ship still going strong as I was thinking that she may have been already decommissioned.

H/T: Dave Shirlaw 

Bulgarian Frigate Takes A Break In Crete

BS Gordi, sister of BS Drazki.

Bulgaria’s contribution to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector, the frigate BS Drazki is having a three day break on the Greek island of Crete for refueling and fresh food and water supplies.

The captain of the Drazki frigate, Pancho Panchev, reported that the vessel has been patrolling in the Mediterranean as instructed by the NATO command but has not been given the task yet to inspect cargo ships or fishing boats.

Captain Panchev further reported to the Bulgarian Defense Minister that the crew are in good condition, and the frigate has no technical issues. Panchev stressed that the Bulgarian Navy crew has found that its training to be adequate for the international mission in the Mediterranean.

The range of activity of the Bulgarian Navy is traditionally confined to the Black Sea; the only time it operated outside the Black Sea was in 2009 when a Bulgarian crew brought from Belgium via the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean three vessels that Bulgaria bought second-hand, according to Bulgarian news agency Novinite.

The Bulgarian government has approved sending a frigate for three months to the Mediterranean Sea to take part in the NATO operation, but the ship will be rotated with the rest of her class BS Gordi and BS Verni so that each ship will spend  one month in Mediterranean.

This is the first long ranged, out of area operation for Bulgarian Navy.

H/T: Dave Shirlaw 

Turkish Aid Ship Shelled In Misrata Port

Yesterday a Turkish flagged merchant ship carrying humanitarian aid docked at Misrata port. But as soon as the ship was in harbor forces royal to Ghaddafi  started to shell the port. The ship was able to get underway and leave the port undamaged.

According to Foundation for Human Rights and Freedoms and Humanitarian Relief (IHH) – yes, the same IHH that send the M/V Mavi Marmara to Gaza last year – the ship was charted by them to carry humanitarian aid to Misrata. The ship was waiting the last four days off the coast of Misrata as the NATO forces were countering the sea mines placed by Ghaddafi forces to block the port and its approaches.

As soon as the aid ship proceeded into the harbor and docked several Grad rockets were fired and some fell as close as 10 meters. The captain decided not to risk his ship and made a dash out of the port so quickly that the mooring lines were cut in hurry.

There is a video from Channel 4 News showing the aid ship getting out of the port.  The ship is safe and waiting 25 miles off the coast of Misrata now.

M/F Ankara Returned To Turkey

The position of M/F Ankara on 26 April 2011 @08:20 local time

The missing Turkish ferry M/F Ankara returned to Çeşme, İzmir. The ship of course was never missing officialy but she was not seen or reported for the last couple of days.

M/F Ankara is a civilian ferry. She was used in the evacuation of civilians from Libya in March with her sisters M/F Samsun and TCG İskenderun.

In early April she was used as a make shift hospital ship to evacuate ca. 300 wounded Libyans from Misrata and Benghazi.  Later she returned to Benghazi to evacuate 1025 Egyptian from the town.

She was later seen of AIS, heading back to Libya. Then she was off the coverage of AIS system only to emerge today. Apparently there was no use for her in Libya or she will pick up some supplies to be delivered to Libya.

About previous trips of M/F Ankara to and from Libya:

M/F Ankara Is Heading Back To Misurata

M/F Ankara In Libya

M/F Ankara Is Heading To Benghazi Again

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya

M/F Ankara Returning To Turkey

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara Could Not Dock In Misurata

M/F Ankara Is Heading Back To Misurata

M/F Ankara

The Turkish ferry M/F Ankara has left Alexandria, Egypt and is heading to Misurata. With her current speed she will arrive in the Libyan town in 26 hours.

On 12 April she has left Benghazi with 1025 Egyptian evacuees on board. She was in Alexandria since 14 April 2011.

Disaster and Emergency Management Agency and Turkish Red Crescent are sending 818 tons of humanitarian aid to Libya, including food, drinking water, hygienic supplies,  100 generators, 2 ambulances, 15 mobile satellite telephone sets, on board of Turkish flagged cargo ship M/V Kaptan Selim.

M/V Ankara on her way to Misurata

About previous trips of M/F Ankara to and from Libya:

M/F Ankara In Libya

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya

M/F Ankara Returning To Turkey

M/F Ankara In Misurata

M/F Ankara Could Not Dock In Misurata

M/F Ankara In Libya

M/F Ankara

The ferry M/V Ankara arrived in Benghazi on 11 April 2011. She took 45 Libyans, treated in hospitals in Turkey back home. According to the announcement from the Office of Prime Minister the ship will remain in the region as she will evacuate Egyptians from Libya.

Today the ferry left Benghazi with 1025 Egyptians and is heading to Alexandria. She is expected to arrive there on 14 April 2011.

Ukraine Completes Its Evacuation From Libya

Exactly at midnight of 23th March 2011, the Ukrainian Ropucha 1 class landing ship U-402 Konstantin Olshansky, departed  from  Sevastopol to conduct Non-Combatant Evacuation of Ukrainian citizens trapped in Libya.

She has passed through Bosphorus on 24 March 2011 early in the morning and left Turkish territorial waters late at night. She spent a few days off the coast of Libya, while diplomatic arrangements for the evacuation being done.

She docked in Tripoli on 3. April and picked up 210 evacuees. 129 are Ukrainian citizens and 81 are from Belarus, Libya, U.S., UK, Russia, Serbia , Moldova, Bulgaria, Kyrgyzstan, Romania , Malta, Slovakia, Uzbekistan, Iraq, Italy and Tajikistan.

Currently she is heading to Malta.

How M/F Ankara Was Protected During Her Stay In Libya


Official Turkish General Staff Graphic

Turkish General Staff  made a detailed announcement about protection provided by Turkish Armed Forces to the Ferry M/F Ankara during her humanitarian trip to Libya.


On sea MEKO 200 class frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım escorted the ferry M/F Ankara. TCG Yıldırım is one of the four frigates Turkey has assigned to NATO’s Operation Unified Protector.

For the period that  M/F Ankara was docked in Misurata, air cover was provided by 12 F-16 fighter planes from bases Bandırma and Dalaman. These planes flew a distance of 1330 km (730 NM) in round-trip. 4 KC-135R tanker planes supported the operation by providing fuel for the fighter planes.

There was no immediate air cover when M/F Akara was evacuating wounded  Libyans in Benghazi as there is no on going fighting around this city. But 2 F-16 fighter planes were on 15 min. alert in Dalaman .

For more photos and for the full text of the announcement click here.


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