WPR On Turkish Navy

World Politics Review published an e-mail interview with  Bill Park, a senior lecturer in the department of defense studies at King’s College London. This is what he thinks about the capabilities of Turkish Navy.

WPR: How does it compare with other navies in the region in terms of effectiveness and experience?

Park: The Turkish coastline abuts the Black, Aegean and Mediterranean seas. Thus Turkey straddles a number of regions and has to consider a range of neighboring naval forces. These include the declining and decaying — but still quite large — Russian Black Sea fleet, the Greek navy and the naval arm of the Israeli Defense Force. Greek and Israeli maritime capabilities are similar to those of Turkey, with an emphasis on littoral defense and amphibious capabilities, although the Turkish navy has a slightly larger number of vessels in most categories. The Greek navy has an enormous coastline to protect, but is probably comparable to its Turkish counterpart in terms of its professionalism. The Israeli navy is very well-trained and highly motivated, and with its considerable maritime air capability would be a formidable foe. Arab navies are generally quite small, often neglected and not rated especially highly. Further afield, the French and Italian navies are altogether more impressive. 

WPR: What has been its core mission set historically, and how is that changing? 

Park: During the Cold War, the role of the Turkey’s NATO navy was to ensure the security of the Black Sea against Warsaw Pact states as well as to operate in the Mediterranean to counter perceived threats in that region. With the demise of the Cold War, the Turkish navy has developed a more “blue water” orientation, although it remains an essentially littoral force. It has also embarked on a process of modernization. The navy’s mission now includes the protection of the country’s sea lines of communication (SLOCs), of increasing importance given Turkey’s rise as a trading nation. In addition, the navy is tasked to combat drug smuggling and international terrorism. Partly with these tasks in mind, the Turkish navy conducts exercises with the navies of its NATO partners in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, and with its Black Sea neighbors, notably Russia, in the Black Sea. The Turkish navy also contributes to multilateral anti-piracy operations off Somalia, and provides a maritime contribution to the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Lebanon



The full and original text at the WPR’s website is now only available to subscribers. But this Greek blog has the whole text too.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: