Turkish And Chinese Naval Forces Are Doing Reciprocal Port Visits

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F-495 TCG Gediz arrives at naval port Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, for a 3-day visit. Photo: Xinhua/Li Qian

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 550 Weifang in Istanbul.

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The Chinese Jiangkai II (Type 054A) class frigate 547 Linyi in Istanbul.

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The Fuchi class replenishment tanker Weishan Hu 887 in Istanbul.

 

I think we are witnessing a rare moment in naval diplomacy. Turkish and Chinese Naval Forces are conducting reciprocal port visits.

Turkish Gabya class frigate F-495 TCG Gediz arrived at a naval port in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, on May 22, 2015 for a 3-day visit. As reported earlier she is on an a commemorative deployment to honor the sunken Ottoman sail frigate Ertuğrul in Japan. Therefore TCG Gediz is visiting the same ports Ertuğrul visited 125 years ago.

While TCG Gediz is in China, 3 PLAN warships, 550 Weifang, 547 Linyi and 887 Weishan Hu arrived today in Istanbul for a port visit. The ships have passed through the Çanakkale Strait yesterday morning and arrived in Istanbul this morning. The duration of the port visit was not disclosed.

The Chinese do not talk much about the visit of the Turkish warship. And while the Turkish ship will be open to public visits, the Chinese ships in Istanbul are not open to visit, thought the Chinese allowed visitors on board, while they were in Russia earlier this month.

This double standard makes me, a very sad man.

TCG Gediz In Hong Kong

When PLAN ships were passing through the Turkish Straits, a Turkish frigate was visiting China to return the favor.

TCG Gediz arrived in Hong Kong on 15 May and will stay there till 18 May. The visit of a Turkish warship to a Chinese port is equally rare as Chinese warships passing through the Turkish Straits.

The Turkish navy is paying a rare visit to Hong Kong and mainland waters this week, in a four-day trip that analysts describe as a shrewd move by the European nation to show its traditional allegiance to the West, but also its desire to build ties in Asia, particularly with China.

Last night, Turkey’s top diplomat in Hong Kong, Haldun Tekneci, hosted a reception aboard the frigate TCG Gediz, which docked on Friday in the country’s first naval visit for four years.

“We are super happy and we are so proud to see this warship because it has travelled so far,” he said, adding that the visit was a sign of growing relations with China and the East Asia region.

There was also a meeting at the People’s Liberation Army’s Hong Kong garrison – a courtesy call, Tekneci said – before they head to Qingdao , Shandong , tomorrow.

The TCG Gediz is making Asia the focus of a 122-day tour that started on April 1, taking in 14 nations with 18 stops in the region.

The China stops come at a sensitive time as Turkey’s planned purchase of a long-range missile defence system is still in limbo. It angered fellow Nato members over a 2013 deal to buy from a Chinese firm and has since agreed to look at versions offered by other countries while putting the Chinese deal on hold.

Nevertheless, Ankara’s relations with Beijing have grown significantly in recent years. In 2012, then vice-president Xi Jinping travelled to Turkey, resulting in deals worth US$4.3 billion across industries including finance, renewable energy and mining.

TCG Gediz in Port Klang

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TCG Gediz arrives at Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

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TCG Gediz at Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

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TCG Gediz in Port Klang in Maleysia. Photo: Dzirhan Mahadir. Used with permission.

Turkish frigate TCG Gediz arrived in Port Klang in Malaysia on 3 May 2015. She will continue to her journey on 5 May 2015.

The frigate is on a commemorative cruise replicating the route of the ill fated deployment of the Ottoman frigate Ertuğrul.

SNMG-2 Finished It’s Stay In Istanbul

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On 21 March 2015 the ships of the NATO’s SNMG-2 have left the Black Sea. While the Turkish frigate TCG Turgutreis left the task force and returned to her home port in Gölcük, İzmit, the flag-ship of the SNMG-2, USS Vicksburg sailed straight to the Mediterranean.

The Canadian and Italian frigates made a 2 day port visit in Istanbul which ended on 23 March 2015.

HMS Duncan In Çanakkale

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The last of the Type 45 class destroyers, HMS Duncan made a port visit in Çanakkale during the 18 March Naval Victory Commemorations. I do not know her exact arrival and departure dates but she was there on 17, 18 and 19 March.

She was commissioned in 2013 and left UK for her  maiden deployment to the Mediterranean and Middle East on 2 March 2015.

TCG Büyükada Exercises With Bahraini Warship

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TCG Büyükada conducts a passing exercise with Bahraini warship Hawar. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces.

TCG Büyükada is continuing with her Indian Ocean deployment.

She was in Doha, Qatar, between 3 and 6 March for a scheduled port visit. After leaving Qatar she made PASSEX with the Bahraini war ship RNBS Hawar.

TCG Büyükada is now making a port visit in Jubail, Saudi Arabia. She is scheduled to return to Turkey in 30 days.

TCG Büyükada In Pakistan

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TCG Büyükada arriving in Karachi. Photo: Corporate Ambassador.

 

On Tuesday, 17 February 2015, F-512 TCG Büyükada arrived in Karachi, Pakistan. The ship is expected to leave the city today, according the to press release made by Turkish Navy.

The Pakistani newspaper Daily Times reported that Pakistan Navy and Turkish Navy will hold a bilateral naval exercise commencing on February 19 with an aim to enhance interoperability and operational understanding. Turkish Navy Ship TCG BUYUKADA arrived at Karachi to participate in the exercise, which included an elaborate harbour and sea phase, said a statement on Tuesday. Turkish Naval Attache in Pakistan and senior officials of Pakistan Navy received the ship. The exercise being first of the series is a landmark reflection of historic ties between the two navies. Pakistan Navy and Turkish Navy have been interacting since long in order to improve upon level of coordination, interoperability and training.

TCG Turgutreis Celebrated Her 1000th Sailing From Port

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TCG Turgutreis sailing through Dardanelles.

Turkish contribution to NATO Maritime Group Two, F-241 TCG Turgutreis celebrated her 1000th departure from port on 16 February 2015.

According to NATO MARCOM press release this happened when the task force left Trieste, Italy.

The Commander of SNMG-2, Rear Adm. Brad Williamson (USA N) took the opportunity to join TURGUTREIS on this special occasion and addressed the crew over the ship’s PA system, “I know how much hard work and dedication goes into every sailing from port,” Williamson said to the crew. “I hope as you took in the lines this morning you also paused for a moment to reflect on this special day.”

Sailors aboard TURGUTREIS marked the occasion by taking a photo of the entire ship’s crew on the flight deck and hosting a banner declaring the 1,000th sailing, which the ship will display until the next port. TURGUTREIS is also flying signal flags on the mast which spell out “Sail, 1,000.”

“We are very happy to celebrate our 1,000th sail and are glad to have the honor of Rear Admiral Brad Williamson aboard for the event, and celebrate our ship and the commitment of our crew to serve with dedication and honor,” said TURGUTREIS Commanding Officer, Cmdr. Hüseyin Temizel.

“It was very special to be aboard TURGUTREIS today,” said Williamson. “It is an honour I will carry with me always.”

FS La Fayette In Marmaris

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The French La Fayette class frigate F-711 FS Surcouf making southbound passage through Bosphorus on 17 June 2014. FS La Fayette has the same appearance.

 

The French frigate, F-710 FS La Fayette  arrived in Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris for a port visit.

The duration of the visit was not disclosed but I assume it would be at least a 3 day visit.

The ship, first of its class, is a multi-mission stealth frigate. Her design inspired many warships designed after her.

TCG Büyükada Sets Sail For Indian Ocean

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It will be spring when they return.

 

Today, on a sunny winter day, with a solemn ceremony the Ada class corvette F-512 TCG Büyükada set sail to the Indian Ocean.

On board are one S-72B Seahawk helicopter, tail number TCB-69, one naval special forces team and 124 sailors.

During this 87 day deployment, TCG Büyükada will join the task force CTF-151 and conduct anti-piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.

The warship will participate Pakistani led naval exercise AMAN 2015 and Kuwaiti exercise Eagles 2015.

With this deployment of TCG Büyükada, Turkey wants to increase its presence in the region and develop good working relationship with local navies. Another obvious aim of the deployment is to present and show the Ada class corvette to other navies planning of purchasing similar warships. Showing the flag, increasing the presence and bolstering defence export opportunities are classic usage of naval forces.

The corvette is expected to arrive back in Turkey on 15 April 2015.
More photos from the farewell ceremony:

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The executive officer of TCG Büyükada, Lieutenant Commander Toker, with his family.

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TCG Büyükada ready for the deployment.

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The crew of TCG Büyükada waiting for the order to man the ship.

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The commanding officer of TCG Büyükada, Lieutenant Commander Baysal delivering his speech.

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The commanding officer of TCG Büyükada, Lieutenant Commander Baysal

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