Passex with Omani Navy. Official Turkish Navy Photo.
The Turkish Navy Task Force is continuing its deployment and is making headlines around the Gulf region. The task force is composed of F-244 TCG Barbaros as flagship, F-492 TCG Gemlik, F-493 TCG Gelibolu and A-595 TCG Yarbay Kudret Güngör.
This is from Oman Daily Observer:
Muscat City Centre (Seeb) will play host to a Turkish Navy band today from 7pm onwards. The band itself will be on board one of the four frigates which docked at the Sultan Qaboos Port in Muscat yesterday.
The band will be presenting some of Turkey’s most famous songs, in addition to numerous well-known, classic editions.
Play it once, Sam. For old times’ sake. Play for the hearts and minds of those people.
And this one is from The National of UAE:
“On the 26th we will conduct a bilateral passage exercise with the UAE navy and the participation of some units. Then we’ll continue with our programme as scheduled at sea.”
The admiral said he believed land-based solutions were the key to combating piracy: “If there’s a political solution ashore, we’ll support it.”
In the Indian Ocean, he said: “A ship there is not even a dot. How can we cover it? If you bring all the navies of the globe, it is nothing. But we do our best by positioning our ships in camps around Somalian coast, not to let them get access to the open seas, by keeping them in the region, in their territorial waters.”
But sensitivity was required, he said. “We are there to make a distinction between ordinary humble fisherman, and pirates.”
Admiral Ertugrul added: “Turkey is a valuable and very active member of the international community and that is why we believe that counter-piracy is a threat to the peace and prosperity not only to the region but worldwide as it has an impact on the maritime trade and safe navigation, maritime security.”
The Admiral, Sinan Ertuğul is no stranger to these waters. He has commanded CTF-151 in 2010. So he knows what he is talking about. I think it is safe to say that Turkish Navy sees the solution to the problem of piracy lies on land and the efforts of combating the piracy is just buying time.