>TCG Giresun Helps M/T Guanabara

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Today, F-491 TCG Giresun assisted to Japanese owned and Bahamian flagged tanker Guanabara.

The tanker was attacked by Somali pirates 330 miles south east of Duqm, Oman. The pirates were able to to board the ship but the crew hide in side a safe room.

Turkish contribution to Standing NATO Maritime Task Group 2 (CTF-508), TCG Giresun was diverted to help the tanker.

The frigate arrived at the vicinity of the tanker in the morning of 6. March 2011. The frigate established contact to the crew of the tanker and the on obard helicoper was send to reconnaissance and surveillance. Apeerantly the pirates gave up their efforts to hi jack the ship and with the arrival of TCG Giresun they decided to surrender.

Later the US destroyer DDG-84 USS Bulkeley arrived at the scene and the boarding team of the US warship, boarded the tanker. The boarding was unopposed by the pirates. The pirates are under custody on board of the USS Bulkeley.

Since then, TCG Giresun returned to her orginally assigned area of duty.

For more photos and for the original press release of the Turkish General Staff click here.

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)

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Fast ferries M/V Osman Gazi and M/V Orhan Gazi on their
return trip to İstanbul. As of afternoon of 2. March.

According to the PrimeMinister’s Office, from 19 February till 2 March,  Turkey hasevacuated 21.505 people from Libya. 2.982 of the evacuees are foreignnationals.

The 1049 passengers onboard of ferry M/V Ankara are not included in the above total.
This was the biggestnon-combat evacuation operation Turkey has conducted in the recentyears.
The first noticable NEOwas evacuation from Albania in March 1997. The Knox class frigate F-251 TCG Adatepe was send to Albania to pick up 253 evacuees.
The second NEO was theevacuation from Lebanon in July 2006. This time the frigates F-493TCG Gelibolu, F-504 TCG Bartın and the naval ferry A-1600 TCGIskenderun were send to Beirut to pick up 700 Turkish citizens.
As you can see theprevious operations were very small in scale of the latest NEO fromLibya. I am very happy to see that the whole operation run verysmoothly and there were no serious incidents that might endanger thelives of the evacuees.
Nobody made an officialannouncement yet but it appears that the main part of the evacuationoperation is finished. The two fast ferries M/V Osman Gazi and M/VOrhan Gazi, which made two round trips to Libya are heading to hometo Istanbul.
One of the civilianferries M/V Ankara is as mentioned above on her way to Marmaris. I donot expect her to go back to Libya again. The second ferry M/V Samsunis in Benghazi. It is possible that she will be used for theevacuation of Egyptians trapped in Libya.
Today Turkish General Staff finally shared the names of all the naval vessels that took part in the evacuation operation. They are the frigates F-240 TCG Yavuz, F-245 TCG Oruçreis, F-246 TCG Salihreis, F-492 TCG Gemlik, F-493 TCG Gelibolu, F-494 TCG Gökçeada, the replenishment tanker A-585 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör, and the trustworthy naval ferry A-1600 TCG Iskenderun.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
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The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 2)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)

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M/V Osman Gazi. Official photo.

Yesterday the fast ferry  M/V Orhan Gazi arrived in Ras Lanuf, to embark the evacuees in this port. After completing this task she proceeded to Benghazi to pick up additional evacuees. She has left Benghazi with 1209 passengers on board and is heading to Marmaris at the moment.

Her sister M/V Osman Gazi was in Misurata yesterday morning to collect the evacuees here. Later she headed to Benghazi too. After taking more evacueess on board she has left Benghazi at 04:30 this morning with 1326 people on board.

M/V Ankara.

M/V Orhan Gazi is expected in Marmaris at 01:00 and M/V Osman Gazi is expected at 23:30. Before departing from Benghazi, naval replenishment tanker TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör supplied oil and water to these ferries  in the port.

The ferry M/V Ankara left Tripolis today at 14:00 with 1049 passengers on board. 161 of them are Turkish citizens, rest from other nationalities. She is expected in Marmaris in 77 hours.

There is no word about M/V Samsun on today’s official announcement of the MoFA. Yesterday she was heading to Tripolis harbor.

The frigate F-246 TCG Salihreis is escorting M/V Osman Gazi while frigate F-492 TCG Gemlik is escorting M/V Orhan Gazi. The replenishment tanker A-585 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör and probably frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu are staying off the coast of Libya to provide protection and logistical support to other ships.

With todays evacuations the number of people evacuated by see increased to 8351. Turkey evacuated approximately  20444 people since the beginning of the crisis.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)
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The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)

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It’s nice to back at home.

Yesterday evening, at 17:30 the frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis docked at Marmaris harbor. The frigate was carrying 212 people evacuated from Libya’s Benghazi port.

Just short before midnight A-1600 TCG Iskenderun arrived in Marmaris harbor with 1528 evacuees from 26 nations.

Both ships were on the way since 25 February.

The Turkish Navy published photos from their voyage. They can see seen here.

While the naval ships were disembarking their guest in Marmaris the civilian ferries M/V Ankara and M/V Samsun docked in Tripolis harbour to pick up evacuees. This will be their first trip. The severe weather last week prevented them to reach Libya earlier.

TCG Iskenderun escorted by TCG Yavuz.

The fast ferry M/V Orhan Gazi arrived in Ras Lanuf, to embark the evacuees in this port. Later during the day she proceeded to Benghazi.

Her sister M/V Osman Gazi was in Misurata in the morning to collect the evacuees here. Later she headed to Benghazi too.

Currently all ferries are in Benghazi.

The MoFA reported that they were no Turks waiting for evacuation at the Tripoli airport.

And it was announced that as of 27 February 16,860 person was evacuated by Turkey from Libya. When the ferries leave at least with 4,000 additional evacuees, the operation will slow down I guess.

TCG Oruçreis arriving in Marmaris.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)
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The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

>TCG Giresun Foils An Pirate Attack To M/V Kıran Asya

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TCG Giresun and M/V Avramid

The Turkish frigate F-491 TCG Giresun, foiled and attack of Somali pirates on the bulker M/V Kıran Asya on 27 February 2010.

The Turkish flagged bulker, was on route to Iraq, 85 miles east off the coast of Oman when she was attacked by pirates.

The helicopter of the frigate was rushed to the help of the merchant ship and with its arrival the pirates abandoned their attack.

The pirates tried to attack Panamanian flagged, Turkish owned M/V Avramid and Chinese fishing boat M/V Zen Hua within the hour. Again the helicopter intervened the pirates with warning shots and foiled their attack for the second time.

This incident clearly shows again that an armed helicopter is one of the most effective measures against pirates.

TCG Giresun will remain with the merchant ships and escort them till their passage from the region is completed.

Photos from Turkish General Staff.

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 7)

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A-1600 TCG Iskenderun.

According to the Ministryof Foreign Affairs, civilian ferries M/F Samsun and M/F Ankara areheading to Tripoli to pick up evacuees.

In the meantime the fastferries M/F Osman Gazi and M/F Orhan Gazi, left Marmaris for a secondround and are heading to Libya again.

M/F Osman Gazi will dock inMisurata and M/F Orhan Gazi will dock in Ras Lanuf. Both ships areexpected to arrive at their destines ports in the morning of 28.February 2010.

F-245 TCG Oruçreis loadedwith 210 evacuees is sprinting to Marmaris. TCG Oruçreis was alsoproviding protection to the A-1600 TCG Iskenderun the naval passengercarrier. TCG Iskenderun has left Libya with 1528 persons on board.427 of these evacuees are from 25 different nations.

M/F Ankara. Civilian sister of TCG Iskenderun

Now the Turkish MoFAannounced that F-240 TCG Yavuz will escort TCG Iskenderun during herjourney to Marmaris. TCG Oruçreis is expected to arrive in Marmaristhis afternoon. The TCG Iskenderun will reach Marmaris aroundmidnight.

The Turkish MoFA alsostated that during their stay in the Libyan ports and during thereturn trip the civilian ferries will be protected by SAT teams ofTurkish naval special forces.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
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>Russia Wants Turkish Warships To Escort Ferry From Libya

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Photo:Fabry Pagliara

According to Voice Of Russia news portal, Russia’s Emergency Minister Sergei Shoygu wants a Turkish warship to escort the ferry M/F Sveti Stefan II, evacuating Russians and citizens of other countries from Libya’s Ras Lanuf port.

The Montenegrin ferry was chartered by Russian Federation and she is on her way to Libya. Russia expects Libya to let the vessel enter  the port Ras Lanuf, where she is awaited by 1126 people, including 124 Russians.

Which one of the Turkish warships will escort the ferry is not clear at the moment.

>UNIFIL News

>While the attention in the Mediterranean is focused on the revolutions in the North Africa especially toward Libya this week, life goes on in other parts of the Mediterranean.

The maritime task force (MTF) of UNIFIL has a new commander. Rear Admiral Luiz Henrique Caroli of Brazil assumed command of the MTF of UNIFIL,on 24 February 2010, in a ceremony aboard Turkish frigate F-243 TCG Yıldırım, at Beirut Harbor.

 Despite taking the command, Brazil did not send a warship to the task force.

Currently UNIFIL-MTF currently comprises from following warships:

Pennant
Ship
County
Type
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Turkey Frigate
F-18 BNS Osman Bangladesh Frigate
P-911 BNS Madhumati Bangladesh Patrol Craft
A-516 FGS Donau Germany Tender
M-1093 FGS Auerbach Germany Minehunter
P-6130 FGS Hyaene Germany Fast Attack Craft
P-26 HS Degiannis Greece Fast Attack Craft
P-266 HS Machitis Greece Patrol Craft
368 KRI Frans Kaisiepo Indonesia Corvette
Bosphorus Naval News
UNIFIL Force Commander Major-General Alberto Asarta Cuevas handed over the MTF command to Rear Admiral Caroli in the presence of representatives of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) as well as diplomats and officers from UNIFIL Troop Contributing Countries.
Major-General Asarta thanked Brazil for its contribution and praised the work of the MTF and the Lebanese Navy. Rear Admiral Caroli said he was looking forward to his task.

Click here to read the official text.

Yesterday, one of the Bangladeshi contributions to UNIFIL-MTF, Jianghu I class frigate F-18 BNS Osman arrived in Mersin for a short port visit.

She was again in Mersin in June 2010.

This time I was able to obtain a photo via a good friend.

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 6 – UPDATED)

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TCG Iskenderun in Benghazi. Courtesy of Turkish General Staff
Today, on 26 February2010, frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis and ferry TCG Iskenderun leftBenghazi with 1738 people on board.
TCG Oruçreis has 210person, 122 Turkish 90 from USA, Bosnia, Poland, Serbia, Macedoniaand Romania.
TCG Iskenderun has 1528person on board, 1099 Turkish, 427 from Vietnam, Bosnia, Macedonia,South Korea, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Poland, Syria, Tunisia,Jordan, Morocco, Thailand, USA, Philippines, Iraq, Pakistan, India,Italy, Canada, Libya, Lebanon, United Kingdom, Romania and Algeria.
Both ships left Libya inthe morning. They are expected to arrive in Marmaris on 28 February,Monday, in the morning. 

TCG Oruçreis in Benghazi. Courtesy of Turkish General Staff

It is not clear at the moment whether the other Turkish frigate in the region are going to embark passengers too.

In the meantime civilian ferries M/F Ankara and M/F Samsun have resumed their journey towards Libya after the gale in the Mediterranean has weakened. They are expected to arrive in Libya tomorrow.
The fast ferries M/F Orhan Gazi and M/F Osman Gazi are still in Marmaris waiting for the dispatch order.
On 25. and 26. February most of the evacuation from Libya was done by airplanes. Turkish Airlines continues its normal scheduled flights to Tripoli. But the company also dedicated numerous planes for chartered flights   and Egypt were many has arrived on land routes.

Turkish Air Force is helping the evacuation from Libya. Since 24 February more than 1500 people have been flown out of Libya on C-130 Hercules and C-160 Transall cargo planes.

UPDATE: The fast ferries M/F Osman Gazi and M/F Orhan Gazi left Marmaris shortly after midnight and are heading towards Libya.

 

 

 

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
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The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 2)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

>The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 5)

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The wind chart of Gulf of Sidra.
Source: http://www.weatheronline.co.uk

The adverse windconditions in the Mediterranean makes evacuation of foreigners fromLibya by sea difficult.

This morning a galewarning was made by Athens’ meteorological center valid from 04:30this morning til 16:00.

The both fast ferries M/FOsman Gazi and M/F Orhan Gazi are still in Marmaris, waiting for abetter sea conditions.

The civilian ferry M/FSamsun was last seen on AIS, off the coast of Crete. As there is abig gap of AIS coverage in the middle of the Mediterranean, betweenGreece and Libya it is not clear whether she has proceed to Libya orwaiting for a better weather. Her sister M/F Ankara left Istanbulyesterday is off the coast Greece again waiting for a better weather.

Yesterday the Ministry ofForeign Affairs reported that the military ferry A-1600 TCGIskenderun docked at Bengazi harbor at 13:10 local time. In theevening the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that passengerswere embarking to TCG Iskenderun.

But, as I write these blog post, it was still not clear whether she has left Libya with passengers ornot.

It seems that to day themajority of the evacuations will be done by air, as the gale in theMediterranean makes sea voyages extremely difficult.

The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 10)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 9)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 8)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 7)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 6)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 5)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 4)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 3)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 2)
The Evacuation Of Turkish Citizens From Libya (Day 1)

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