Turkish Navy Day

The Turkish Navy is having a really big party at the weekend to celebrate the Navy Day and to commemorate the Battle of Prevesa.

40 warships of various types will be open for public in 16 different cities.

The whole list of activities is long and can be found here.

The following ships and boats will be open to public:

Number Name Type City
A-1542 Söndüren 2 Tug Aksaz
P-1202 Köyceğiz Patrol Boat Aksaz
P-1208 Kaş Patrol Boat Aksaz
P-141 Yunus 1 Patrol Boat Aksaz
S-356 Anafartalar Submarine Amasra
F-493 Gelibolu Frigate Antalya
F-500 Bozcaada Corvette Bozcaada
P-1203 Kumkale Patrol Boat Çanakkale
P-1205 Karabiga Patrol Boat Çanakkale
P-1210 Türkeli Patrol Boat Çanakkale
M-262 Enez Mine Hunter Erdek
M-269 Anamur Mine Hunter Erdek
M-270 Akçay Mine Hunter Erdek
M-502 Fatsa Mine Sweeper Erdek
M-517 Sapanca Mine Sweeper Erdek
P-347 Fırtına Fast Attack Craft Fethiye
F-501 Bodrum Corvette Foça
F-502 Bandırma Corvette Foça
P-1206 Karşıyaka Patrol Boat Foça
P-340 Doğan Fast Attack Craft Foça
P-341 Martı Fast Attack Craft Foça
P-342 Tayfun Fast Attack Craft Foça
P-348 Yıldız Fast Attack Craft Foça
P-332 Mızrak Fast Attack Craft Gazimagosa
F-494 Gökçeada Frigate Gökçeada
A-595 Yb. Kudret Güngör Tanker Gölcük
F-240 Yavuz Frigate Gölcük
F-246 Salihreis Frigate Gölcük
F-493 Gökova Frigate Gölcük
P-330 Kılıç Fast Attack Craft Gölcük
S-349 Batıray Submarine Gölcük
S-355 18 Mart Submarine Gölcük
F-242 Fatih Frigate İstanbul
P-1200 Tuzla Patrol Boat İstanbul
P-1207 Tekirdağ Patrol Boat İstanbul
S-353 Preveze Submarine Karadeniz Ereğlisi
S-357 Gür Submarine Karadeniz Ereğlisi
F-505 Bafra Corvette Mersin
P-333 Tufan Fast Attack Craft Sinop
F-497 Göksu Frigate Trabzon

SNMG-2 Arrives In Varna

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HMCS Toronto entering into Varna harbour. Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

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ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon arriving in Varna harbour.  Photo: Nikolay Zlatev. Used with permission.

Task Unit 2 of SNMG-2 consisting of F-102 ESPS Almirante Juan De Borbon and Canadian frigate FHH-333 HMCS Toronto arrived in Varna Bulgaria today.

Led by Commander Jason Armstrong (Royal Canadian Navy), SNMG2 TU.02 is currently composed of HMCS TORONTO (Royal Canadian Navy) and AMIRALTE JUAN de BORBON (Spanish Navy).  SNMG2 is visiting the port as part of the Group’s deployment to the Black Sea to enhance maritime security and NATO’s readiness in the region.

“This visit has been planned for quite some time, and in light of current events it; has become all the more significant,” said Commander Jason Armstrong, Commander SNMG2 TU.02. “We are delighted to come and train together, eager to enhance our mutual understanding, and eager to bring a strong message to Bulgarian people and to all Allied Nations regarding NATO’s resolve and commitment to collective defence.

Constanta, Romania was the Task Force’s previous port of call.

On 16 September 2014, under the banner of Standing NATO Maritime Group Two (SNMG2) Task Unit 02 (TU02), HMCS TORONTO, ESPS ALMIRANTE JUAN DE BORBON and ROS REGELE FERNIDAND have completed their 4 day visit to Constanta, Romania. The port visit served to reaffirm the Alliance’s commitment to maritime defence and security and reassure Black Sea NATO Allies.

“Our ships were honoured and humbled to be a part of NATO’s maritime visit to the historic city as Constanta, Romania,” said Commander Jason Armstrong, Commanding Officer of HMCS TORONTO and Commander of SNMG2 Task Unit 02 (SNMG2 TU02). “Our presence here serves to reaffirm NATO’s strong support and commitment to Alliance solidarity.”

Visit the excellent blog Sea Dog for more photos from SNMG-2.

RFA Lyme Bay In Bodrum

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L-3007 RFA Lyme Bay in Bodrum. Photo: memuruz.net

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Lyme Bay has docked in Bodrum for a port visit. Her sister, RFA Mounts Bay, made also a port visit in Bodrum during last year’s deployment.

L-3007 RFA Lyme Bay is currently on a 4 month-long deployment in the Mediterranean called Cougar 2014 with other Royal Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary  units.

According to Royal Navy the Cougar is a four-month deployment, 14, includes a series of demanding amphibious and maritime-based exercises with partner nations throughout the Mediterranean and Middle East region and ensures that the task group is ready to respond to any contingency the UK Government directs upon it.

The Royal Navy’s Response Force Task Group (RFTG) in Cougar 2014 has already conducted exercise with Greek and Albanian armed forces.

RFA Lyme Bay will leave Bodrum on 21 September 2014.

Brazilian Training Ship Arrived In Istanbul

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The training ship of Brazilian Navy U-27 Brasil arrived this morning in Istanbul.

BNS Brazil stops by in Istanbul every couple of years during the training cruise of Brazilian Naval Cadets.

I have no information how long she will stay here.

SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

SNMCMG-2 In Istanbul

The resolution of the photo is not excellent but it is good enough to recognize the shapes of the warships of SNMCMG-2 making a port visit in Istanbul.

The NATO taskforce arrived,  on 23 July 2014 in Istanbul, after making port visits in Varna Bulgaria and Constanta Romania. While in Bulgaria, the task force took part in the Bulgarian led naval exercise Breeze 2014.

USS Vella Gulf In Kuşadası

CG-72 USS Vella Gulf in Kuşadası. Dwarfed by the cruise liner Queen Elisabeth . Photo: aydinpost.com

On 3 July 2014 the US cruiser USS Vella Gulf arrived in Kuşadası for a port visit.

According to news reports the ship will stay till Sunday

SNMG-2 Is Back In Istanbul

Almost one year later, the Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 is in Istanbul again.

According to NATO Maritime Command web site the SNMG 2 is made up from the following ships: F-105 SPS Cristobal Colon as flagship, F-247 TCG Kemalreis, FFG-50 USS Taylor, 334 HMCS Regina and A-630 FS Marne. The task force, without the US and French warships arrived in Istanbul on 19 June 2014 afternoon.

The big question is where it will sail when their port visit is over? To the Black Sea or to the Mediterranean?

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F-247 TCG Kemalreis. Turkish contribution to SNMG-2. Last year her sister F-246 TCG Salihreis was with the task force.

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. Most if not all Álvaro de Bazán class ships served as the flagships of SNMG for in turn during the Spanish command of the task force.

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Long time no see: A Canadian warship in Istanbul. FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

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US made Bushmaster as CIWS instead of indigenous Meroka!? What was the reason for this decision? space or weight limitations or performance issues?

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F-105 Cristobal Colon. The flagships of SNMG.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina. The side of the funnel is an unusual place to install Sea Sparrow SAM missiles.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

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FFH-334 HMCS Regina.

Turkish Navy Training Ships In Venice

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A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa in Venice. Photo: Dilek Yaylalı.

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A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa in Venice. Photo: Dilek Yaylalı.

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A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa in Venice. Photo: Dilek Yaylalı.

The two training ships of the Turkish Navy A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and A-579 TCG Cezayirli Gazi Hasan Paşa are cruising in Mediterranean with the Turkish Naval Petty Officer Vocational School on board.

Every year the cadets take part in these open sea cruises as a port of their training.

During this year’s cruise the two ships will visit Split, Croatia, Venice, Italy, İzmir and Çanakkale before returning to home.

The above photos show the ship during their visit to Venice, Italy between 18 and 23 May 2014.

FS Var In Marmaris

A-608 FS Var in Marmaris. Photo: yeniasir.com

A-608 FS Var in Marmaris. Photo: yeniasir.com

French Durance class underway replenishment tanker A-608 FS Var arrived in Marmaris in the morning hours on 5 April 2014.

Although it was not disclosed how long the ship will stay in Marmaris, it is safe to assume that the port visit will take at least 3 days. It was reported that FS Var is going back to France after completing her deployment for NATO’s Active Endeavor in Eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Task Force Starts Its Circumnavigation Of Africa

TDGGTomorrow, on 17 March 2014, the Barbaros Turkish Maritime Task Group will leave Turkish Naval Base in Gölcük to starts its circumnavigation of Africa.

The task force will contain the frigates F-495 TCG Gediz, F-245 TCG Oruçreis, the corvette F-511 TCG Heybeliada and the replenishment tanker A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör.

During the deployment, which is expected to take 102 days, Barbaros TMTG will navigate round the African continent from west to east and will make 40 port visits in 28 countries and conduct military exercises with their navies.

It will be the first crossing of Cape of Hope by Turkish ships after 148 years. The ships will travel for about 15,000 nautical miles approximately 30,000 km throughout their sail.

This deployment is not just a navigational exercise of circumnavigation around Africa. It is also a powerful application of Turkish soft power to Africa. During the last decade Turkey finally realized that there is more Africa than just the Mediterranean countries where Turkey had links for centuries. With the discovery of sub Saharan Africa Turkish entrepreneurs started to do business with these countries. They were followed quickly by missions of Turkish Foreign Ministry and flights from Turkish Airlines.

As I learn more about the details of the activities planed during this deployment more I understand how much background work must have been done to make this happen. Below are the some highlights of the planned activities:

  • Turkish defence companies Meteksan, Otokar, TAI, Dearsan, Havelsan, Roketsan, Aselsan, STM will show their products in following cities:

Thema, Ghana
Lagos, Nigeria
Luanda, Angola
Dar es Salaam Tanzania
Mombasa, Kenya

  • Turkish Ministry of Health will conduct health checks and provide medical assistance in following cities:

Banjul Gambia
Dakar, Senegal,
Port of Sudan, Sudan

  • Military music bands will perform concerts in following cities:

Las Palmas, Spain
Conakry, Guinea
Abidjan, Ivory Coast
Pointe-Noire, Congo
Cape Town, South Africa
Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Mombasa, Kenya
Djibouti, Djibouti
Port of Sudan, Sudan

  • Members of Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence will conduct maritime security and boarding training in following cities:

Lagos, Nigeria
Pointe-Noire, Congo
Luanda, Angola
Simon’s Town, South Africa
Mombasa, Kenya

  • There will be theoretical training in all ports of call.
  • Various high-ranking Turkish officers will visit their counterparts in 17 different cities.

This deployment of Barbaros TMTG is not just about hearts and minds either.

The frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis will take part in Obangame Express Exercise between 19 and 21 April 2014. Obangame Express, conducted by U.S. Naval Forces Africa, is an at-sea maritime exercise designed to improve cooperation among participating nations in order to increase maritime safety and security in the Gulf of Guinea.  It focuses on maritime interdiction operation, as well as visit, board, search, and seizure techniques.

The two frigates and the corvette will conduct live missile firing exercise in Denel Overberg Test Range between 5 and 9 May 2014. There they will test their skills to the limits.

And when the Barbaros TMTG reaches Gulf of Aden it will conduct anti piracy operations between 5 and 11 June 2014.

This deployment is one of most meticulous prepared foreign deployments of Turkish Navy and a text-book example how nations can use their military to gain affection abroad. But not everybody is sharing my sentiments.

Admiral Nusret Güner, who had resigned to protest the Sledgehammer and other trials when he was expected to become the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, after a 1.5-year tenure as the head of the Fleet Command, criticized the upcoming African campaign of the Turkish Navy, pointing out the tensions in the Black Sea over the Crimean crisis .

The Black Sea waters are boiling because of what’s happening in Crimea and Ukraine. The United States and Russia are playing chess. They make moves one after another. When there is an imminent risk of clash, it’s an unacceptable situation that the Turkish Naval Forces are engaged in an African campaign in a way that they weaken their presence in the region,” Güner told daily Hürriyet.

Güner said he considers the African campaign as a wrong move for one more reason, which is the current status of Turkish naval forces. “The Sledgehammer trial and other legal cases have weakened the professional experience and skills of the Navy staff,” he said.

I agree with Mr. Güner’s remarks that the Black Sea waters are boiling and the shady trials against the Turkish high-ranking officers mostly from Naval Forces has created a havoc among the ranks of Turkish Navy. But I do not think that these are enough reasons to cancel the deployment of Barbaros TMTG. As being the former Commander of Turkish Naval Fleet, he must be in a better situation to judge the strengths and weaknesses of our navy but if we cannot spare 2 frigates and one corvette out of our fleet of 16 frigates and 8 corvettes, then something is not correct.

Even if the points made by Mr. Güner are correct we have other means to counter them. We have a good fleet of submarines that can creep very close to Crimea and gather very important intelligence. If we have to show the flag in the Black Sea we have many fast attack craft and some long range coast guard vessels that can fulfill the mission even if we cannot spare any of the 14 frigates left.

It is a very big pity that because of the shady trials many aspiring high-ranking officers are behind the bars today. The loss of their collective expertise and experience is a big blow to our navy. But expertise and experience are not gained by staying at home. They are gained by daring to new adventures and going to places that are new. Barbaros TMTG is just going to do that.

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