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TCG Giresun Escorts Turkish Aid Ship To Somalia

M/V Sebat leaving Mersin harbour. Photo: AFAD.

On 4. June 2017, bulk carrier M/V Sebat, left Turkey with 13 thousand tons of food and aid on board. The ship’s destination is Mogadishu, Somalia.

The cargo on board of M/V Sebat was organised by Turkish Red Crescent, Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) and Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency (AFAD).

The ship will be escorted by Turkish frigate TCG Giresun. In pervious years Turkish Navy, provided protection to other ships, carrying humanitarian aid from Turkey to the region.

After escorting the aid ship to her destination TCG Giresun will join the piracy task force CTF-151 and perform patrols in Gulf of Aden. There is a Seahawk helicopter a diving chamber, one naval special forces team and one VBSS team on board. The ship will return to Turkey in November 2017.

This is the fifth deployment of TCG Giresun to the region. She was there in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015.

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TCG Gelibolu Visited Oman

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Last week TCG Gelibolu made a courtesy visit to Oman. The ship is deployed to Gulf of Aden. Before arriving in Oman the ship was in Pakistan and took part in the naval exercise AMAN 2017. After the port visit TCG Gelibolu joined CTF-151 to support it in anti piracy operations.

A reception was held on board the vessel with the participation of officials from the Royal Army of Oman, Royal Navy of Oman and embassies.

Speaking at the event, H E Atilay Ersan, Ambassador of Turkey to Oman said, “I am deeply honoured and privileged to welcome you onboard the Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu on the occasion of its port visit to Muscat. Gelibolu is one of the towns of Çanakkale, a city where I come from.

“Turkey and Oman are enjoying friendly relations of more than five centuries in every field.

“And I must confess that we are improving our cooperation satisfactorily in the area of defence as well. In this regard, I would like to express my sincere thanks to His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and his government for the goodwill and support shown in every field.”

Well the good relations between Turkey and Oman, have not prevented HM Sultan Qaboos to donate a warship to Greek Cypriots in February, just before the visit of TCG Gelibolu. The donated warship is neither new nor sufficiently armed but as a gesture that speaks in volumes.

In my humble opinion Turkey should have canceled the visit of TCG Gelibolu to clearly demonstrate its displeasure with Sultan Nightmare. Since Turkish frigate visited Oman this either means Turkey doesn’t care about the warship that Greek Cypriots got or we don’t care what Sultan Nightmare does. Or worse, we stuck our head under the earth like an ostrich and hope for the best.

Turkey Will Take The Command Of CTF-151 In June

The Minister of National Education and former Minister of Defence İsmet Yılmaz announced that Turkey will led CTF-151 for a fifth time in 2017. He revealed this information during the debates in parliament about extending the deployment of Turkish Naval Forces for anti piracy operations.

A Turkish rear admiral will command CTF-151 between 29 June and 26 September 2017. Previously Turkish Navy led the task force  in,

  • May – August 2009 by Read Admiral Caner Bener
  • September – November 2010 by Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul
  • September – December 2012 by Rear Admiral Oğuz Karaman
  • August – December 2015 by Rear Admiral Ayhan Bay

A Gabya class frigate will act as the flagship of Turkish rear admiral.

 

TCG Gelibolu Takes Part In Cutlass Express 2017

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Turkish frigate TCG Gelibolu in Marmara Sea. 14 September 2008

Gabya class frigate F-493 TCG Gelibolu departed from Aksaz Naval Base, on 22nd January 2017 for a deployment in Gulf of Aden and adjacent seas.

Last Turkish ship to be dispatch to this region was TCG Büyükada in October 2016.  According to Turkish Navy press release TCG Gelibolu will take part in Cutlass Express 2017 and AMAN 17 naval exercises and will visit  Djibouti, Karachi, Muscat, Jeddah.

The frigate will also contribute to anti-piracy operations of CTF-151.

 

TCG Büyükada Back In Gulf Of Aden

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TCG Büyükada escorts M/V Lila. Photo: Turkish Naval Forces

After a considerable period of absence, Turkish Navy is back in Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia.

In early September Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster & Emergency Management Authority dispatched an aid ship to Somaliland, Ethiopia and Putland. M/V Lila, loaded with 11 tons of aid, left Mersin, Turkey on 10 September 2016. Ada class corvette TCG Büyükada escorted the merchant ship on this voyage.

After the delivery of the aid, TCG Büyükada stayed in the region. She is now conducting anti-piracy patrols under Combined Task Force 151 command.

This is the second deployment of TCG Büyükada to the region. She was in the region  from January till April 2015, and evacuated 55 Turkish citizens trapped in Yemen.

TCG Gemlik Returned Home

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TCG Gemlik acted as the flagship of the Combined Task Force 151 between August and December 2015. She is seen here during the 18 March naval parade in March 2015.

The frigate TCG Gemlik returned to her home port Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris on 29 December 2015. She was deployed to the Gulf of Aden since August 2015.

During her deployment to the region she acted as the flagship of the Combined Task Force 151. And the Rear Admiral Ayhan Bay was the commander of the task force.

The Combined Task Force 151 is created to disrupt piracy and armed robbery at off the coast of Somalia and to engage with regional and other partners to build capacity and improve relevant capabilities in order to protect global maritime commerce and secure freedom of navigation.

Vice Admiral Kevin Donegan, Commander Combined Maritime Forces, presided over the handover ceremony and noting the achievements of CTF 151, said: “Rear Admiral Bay, your accomplishments are numerous and impressive. The hard work of the ships and sailors under your Command has made it possible to keep the waters of the Gulf of Aden safer than they have been in decades. There have been no attacks in your tenure, maintaining a proud record of forward-leaning prevention that benefits everyone in the region.”

This was the fourth time Turkey led the multinational maritime task force. during her 5 month-long deployment TCG Gemlik, sailed 21.600 nautical miles and spend 2.350 hours on high seas.

Turkish Navy To Lead CTF-151

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TCG Gemlik in Çanakkale during 18 March victory celebrations.

Ten days ago, frigate TCG Gemlik left her home port Aksaz Naval Base for a deployment in the Gulf of Aden.

She will escort merchant ships and protect civilian ships from possible pirate attacks. She will act as the flagship of the multinational task force CTF-151 between 27 August and 21 December 2015. During that time a Turkish admiral will be at the helm of the task force CTF-151.

This is the forth time Turkish will command CTF-151. Previously Turkish Navy led the CTF-151:

  • May – August 2009 by Read Admrial Caner Bener
  • September – November 2010 by Rear Admiral Sinan Ertuğrul
  • September – December 2012 by Rear Admiral Oğuz Karaman

TCG Gemlik is not a stranger to the region. This will be her forth deployment to the Gulf of Aden. In her previous deployments she spend a total of 370 days hunting pirates and escorting merchant vessels.

This is the list of 18 previous deployments of Turkish warships to Gulf of Aden to take part in anti piracy operations. The list does not include warship which conducted anti piracy operations when they were in the region but they deployment was not confined to this region.

Number Name Start of Deployment End of Deployment
F-496 TCG Gökova 29.10.2008 06.12.2008
F-491 TCG Giresun 17.02.2009 17.06.2009
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 17.06.2009 06.10.2009
F-495 TCG Gediz 21.06.2009 15.10.2009
F-496 TCG Gökova 16.10.2009 08.02.2010
F-492 TCG Gemlik 08.02.2010 24.04.2010
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 27.02.2010 13.08.2010
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 05.08.2010 22.10.2010
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 22.10.2010 25.01.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 25.01.2011 15.06.2011
F-495 TCG Gediz 18.09.2011 07.12.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 28.11.2011 19.06.2012
F-492 TCG Gemlik 07.06.2012 10.12.2012
F-496 TCG Gökova 10.12.2012 15.06.2013
F-497 TCG Göksu 06.06.2013 07.12.2013
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 07.12.2013 14.03.2014
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 10.03.2014 17.06.2014
F-492 TCG Gemlik 31.08.2014 18.12.2014

I wish TCG Gemlik and her crew, calm winds and following seas and good hunting.

Turkish Parliament Extended The Anti-Piracy Mission Of Turkish Navy

On 3 February 2015, The Grand National Assembly of Turkey, extended the presence of Turkish Navy in  Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, and adjacent seas.

The first bill allowing Turkish government to deploy Turkish Naval Forces for anti piracy operations was accepted in 10 February 2009. It was extended in one year periods ever since.

Turkish warship are  tasked with:

  • Performing reconnaissance and patrol duties,
  • Calling on ships suspected of piracy/ armed robbery, on the radio, boarding them if their flag country approves and interfering in accordance with the international law if the ship is not showing any flag,
  • Escorting and protecting merchant ships,
  • Helping merchant ships under attack of pirates/sea robbers,
  • Intervening, stopping, neutralizing, and confiscating any vessels used by pirates/sea robbers, and using appropriate force if necessary,
  • Arresting and detaining pirates/sea robbers and armed persons in these vessels,
  • Accepting the representatives of the countries that will prosecute pirates/ armed robbers on board, for the preparations of judicial proceedings, according to the UN resolution 1851.
  • Arresting and detaining, pirates/armed robbers on board until they are being handed over to the countries that will prosecute them,
  • Turning in, the suspects of pirates/sea robbers with the exception of the case that these are Turkish citizens, to the authorities the nation where the pirates/sea robbers will be prosecuted,
  • Executing all kinds of policing duties including interrogation, collecting evidence.

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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TCG Gemlik Replaces TCG Gökova In Gulf Of Aden

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F-496 TCG Gökova.

F-496 TCG Gökova has passed through the Suez Canal as she is returning from her deployment in Gulf Of Aden. She was replaced by F-492 TCG Gemlik.

TCG Gökova was part of multinational anti piracy task force CTF-151 and was in the region since March 2014.

Here is the list of Turkish warships, deployed to Gulf of Aden to combat piracy:

Number Name Deployment Start Deployment End
F-491 TCG Giresun 17.02.2009 17.06.2009
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 17.06.2009 06.10.2009
F-495 TCG Gediz 21.06.2009 15.10.2009
F-496 TCG Gökova 16.10.2010 08.02.2010
F-492 TCG Gemlik 08.02.2010 24.04.2010
F-493 TCG Gelibolu 27.02.2010 13.08.2010
F-494 TCG Gökçeada 05.08.2010 22.10.2010
F-490 TCG Gaziantep 22.10.2010 25.01.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 25.01.2011 18.06.2011
F-495 TCG Gediz 27.09.2011 07.12.2011
F-491 TCG Giresun 07.12.2011 07.06.2012
F-492 TCG Gemlik 07.06.2012 10.12.2012
F-496 TCG Gökova 10.12.2012 06.06.2013
F-497 TCG Göksu 06.06.2013 07.12.2013
F-493 TCG Gelibolu  07.12.2013 14.03.2014

 

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