SACEUR, Admiral Stavridis Is In Ankara

Adm Stavridis with LtG Gantz and Gen Özel

SACEUR, Adm. Stavridis arrived in Ankara today. He had meetings with General Özel, Cheif of Staff of Turkish Armed Forces, with Mr. Yılmaz, MoD Turkey, and Turkish MoFA delegates.

He was in Israel yesterday and the day before attending some meetings too.

When the most senior commander within NATO visits two countries that have a problem with each other, in a row then this means something to all parties. Yesterday the Greek PM Mr. Papandreou called the Turkish PM Mr. Erdoğan and according to the press reports they did talked about the latest situation in the East Mediterranean.
Guess what is Adm Stavridis talking to his peers in Tel Aviv and Ankara.

The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean (Part 2)

While thew worlds attention is turned to the recent meetings and debates in the UN in New York, the high tension situation continues in the Eastern Med. The harsh rhetoric of last week turned into concrete actions.

Turkey signed an oil and gas exploration agreement with Northern Cyprus the Turkish Cypriot part of the island. This move was immediately condemned by Greek Cypriots who consider themselves the real and only inhabitants of the island.

Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, making good on earlier threats, has signed an agreement with Dervis Eroglu, president of the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), to explore for oil and natural gas offshore in the eastern Mediterranean.

“This agreement we signed today with the Republic of Turkey is a precautionary measure to make our Greek counterparts desist,” Eroglu said, referring to the Greek-speaking Republic of Cyprus.

Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974, when Turkish troops occupied its northern third in response to what it saw as an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at union with Greece.

Turkey has repeatedly called on Cyprus to postpone its exploration for oil and gas, saying that the Greek side has no right to undertake a unilateral search for sources of energy while the island remains divided.

On Friday, the old, tried and dependable Turkish seismic research ship R/V K. Piri Reis departed from her homeport and is heading towards Cyprus. She is the only Turkish registered civilian ship for this purpose. The 38 years old ship is destined to be replaced by newer ships.

Turkey has sent an energy exploration ship to search for gas and oil in waters off the Turkish-controlled north of Cyprus.

Turkey had warned it would take the step unless Greek Cypriots cancelled their own plans to drill for gas in waters they control to the south.

Live footage of the Piri Reis leaving the port of Izmir on Friday was broadcast on Turkish television.

There was no sign of a naval escort despite earlier suggestions by the Turkish government.

While BBC reports that there was no sign of close naval escort of R/V K. Piri Reis, there are reports that three Turkish warships, the frigate  F-247 TCG Salihreis, the training ship A-577 TCG Sokullu Mehmet Paşa and the tug Y-161 TCG Öncü  have sailed to the Aegan Sea. There are also reports that Turkish submarines are deployed in the region but due to the stealthy nature of submarines such news are impossible for us either to confirm or to deny.

The US based think tank STRATFOR suggested that it could be a wise move for Greece to stage an attack against Turkey using the current situation as an excuse. STRATFOR is run by Mr. George Freidman who in this book “The Next 100 years” foresees a large scale war between alliance of Turkey and Japan and the alliance of USA and Poland.

Turkey reckons that Europe is far too distracted with the eurozone crisis to come up with a coherent policy for Greece’s troubled finances, much less an energy dispute in Cypriot waters. Ankara also assumed that the United States, already dealing with multiple, growing crises in the eastern Mediterranean, and looking for Turkish assistance to put out many of these fires, would defend Turkey and pressure the Greek Cypriots and Noble Energy to hold back on drilling.

The Turkish government may need to factor in an additional concern. Greece may indeed be far too distracted with its financial crisis to react decisively to Turkey’s actions against Cyprus. But if Turkey actually tries to follow through with its threat — carrying out overflights and providing naval escorts to energy exploration crews in disputed Cypriot waters — things could get messy. And if a hard-pressed Greek government is looking for a distraction to rally public support, a conflict with Turkey may not be a bad idea — especially if it’s one the Turks weren’t anticipating.

While this kinda warmongering article is interesting to read it fails entirely to answer one simple question: A war is a very costly matter. Look how the two relatively low intensity wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, crippled US economy.

So how on earth will Greece finance Greece a shooting war with Turkey when the whole economical survival of this nation is dependent on the money she is going to receive from EU and IMF?

Turkey’s involvement in the Eastern Mediterranean is not limited to Israel or Cypruss. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and US President Barack Obama agreed during a meeting on 20th September 2011 Tuesday, to build up pressure on Syria’s embattled president to produce a result that would meet Syrian people’s demands. Just 4 days after this annonucement Turkey sized an Syrian flagged ship carriying arms to Syria.

Turkey has seized a Syrian-flagged ship loaded with weapons, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. He did not say where or when the vessel was stopped, but vowed to confiscate any arms shipments for Syria coming through Turkish waters or airspace.

Mr. Erdogan has repeatedly criticised Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over his government’s violent crackdown on street protesters.

Last week, Mr. Erdogan said the era of oppressive dictators was over.

“Turkey has arrested a ship flying the Syrian flag and carrying weapons,” Mr. Erdogan said in New York where he attended the UN General Assembly, Turkey’s Anataolia news agency reports. “If in the future arms shipments (to Syria) are made by air or land, we will stop and seize them,” he added.

I hope that we would be more careful with the storage of the seized weapons than Cyprus. With so much going on in the Eastern Mediterranean we cannot risk to lose any harbor installations.

I have tried to summarize what happened in the last couple of days in the region. The tension in region will remain high. So stay tuned. Click for the previous installment.

The Situation In The Eastern Mediterranean

As 19th September 2011, US based energy company Noble Energy is starting to drill for gas off Cyprus in Block 12. The company has already conducting exploration for gas off the Coast of Israel and found some large gas reservoirs.

Block 12 lies just across the border of the Israeli-Cypriot maritime exclusive economic zones from Leviathan. Noble Energy has had the concession to Block 12 since 2008, and under a March 2010 agreement, Avner and Delek Drilling have an option to 30% of the concession.

Under the terms of the exploration license, Delek Drilling and Avner will bear 15% of Noble Energy’s expenditures for Block 12, including exploration and appraisal wells, development or production, and/or other operations, in accordance with the Production Sharing Contract.

The deadline for the Cypriot authorities to approve the transfer of rights to Block 12 has been extended to August 1, 2013. Until then, Avner and Delek Drilling can transfer their rights to a third party acceptable to Noble Energy and subject to approval by the Cypriot authorities.

Noble Energy is due to begin drilling an exploratory well in Block 12 by October 1. Until the Cypriot government approves the transfer of rights in Block 12 to Avner and Delek Drilling, they will have no access to any confidential information about Block 12 activities nor influence on drilling decisions.

Turkey objects to any exploration of hydro carbon resources off the coast off Cyprus before a solution is found to the separation of the two communities living on the island. This not going to happen soon (if at all). The Greek Cypriot part is recognized as the Republic of Cyprus in the international arena and is a member of EU. They have diplomatic and economic backing from EU and they  effectively and successfully excluded the Turkish community after Turkish invasion in 1974. And in my view the Greek Cypriots do not have any reason to end this separation as they are better off divided.

Greek Cypriot government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the island adheres to international law and would defend its rights “calmly, but with much determination and vigor,” claiming “it’s others who are violating the law.”

Greek Cypriot officials last year accused Turkish navy ships of interfering with an offshore oil and gas survey off Cyprus’ south coast.

Ankara also insists that Turkish Cypriots, who run their own state in the north of the island, should have a say in the island’s oil and gas rights.

Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Hüseyin Özgürgün said last week oil and gas exploration could harm ongoing reunification talks. 

At the heart of the problem lies the division of the EEZ boundaries in Eastern Mediterranean.  What Cyprus and Greece want to achieve is to bottle up Turkey and divide the most of the EEZ between themselves.  Turkey does not approve this notion.

The current political crisis between Turkey and Israel over the Israel’s refusal for an apology for the killing on board of M/V Mavi Marmara gives Turkey a very good reason and opportunity to send its warships to the region.

But apparently Turkish is not the only nation interested in sending its warships to the region.

Russia has sent two nuclear-powered submarines to patrol Eastern Mediterranean waters around Cyprus and enforce the island’s right to explore for undersea oil and gas in its territorial seas, according to information from Defencenet.gr, citing a Russian FM spokesman.

Well sending submarines is a very easy thing to do. Unlike surface warships the main purpose of any submarine is to remain unseen and unobserved. This stealth nature of the submarines makes it impossible for most of the common folk to see if they have been actually send or not as it is not possible to prove either the presence or the absence of the submarines. But why on earth is Russia involved in the Eastern Mediterranean?

The support of Moscow to Nicosia for exploitation of the EEZ is by no means accidental. Besides the enduring friendship of the two countries, a “serious game” is unfolding on the background. The Russian state company Gazprom, which is currently the Number 1 player in the international gas market, is interested on securing rights to gas fields in Cyprus. Indeed, according to information from “Kathimerini”, the Russian giant has shown strong interest in two fields, whose rights will be claimed in the second licensing round, expected on early 2012.

In the meantime the tension remains high between Turkey and Israel.  Two sides showed some muscles last week.

The Israeli Armed Forces have made the high seas successful test of missile defense system Barak.

The exercise scenario involved the simulated incoming enemy missile in which the system failed to stop, according to a statement a senior Israeli Navy. 

The system has undergone Barak upgrades that enable it to successfully intercept most advanced missiles, firing missiles against them automatically.

The emphasis given to the system because it has increased the danger of missiles against surface vessels, such as the Russian-built Yakhont which acquired the Syrian armed forces. Usually, weapons systems deployed by the Syrians, sooner or later end up in the hands of the Lebanese Shiite organization Hezbollah.

Turkey threatened to veto Israel, if the Jewish state establishes an office as part of NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue initiative which Israel is a part of along with other six countries. And Turkey published photos of the first test firing of its own stand-off munition know as Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM).

Turkish air force has recently displayed its first medium range Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM). Missile has been displayed along with F-16 fighter jets. SOM is developed by the Tubitak-Sage for the Turkish Undersecretariat for Defence Industries.

Turkish Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM) also offers features like In-flight Mission Selection Re-Targeting, Resistance to Counter Measures and Chaff.

Contract was awarded to the Tubitak-Sage in 2006 for the development of a medium range Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM) which can be launched by the fighter jets of the Turkish air force.

Turkish Stand-off Precision Guided Munition (SOM) has a range of over 180 kilometers when launched by the fighter jets. SOM is reported to have extremely high accuracy to destroy its intended targets with pin point accuracy.

SOM uses combination of Global Positioning System (GPS)and inertial navigation system (INS) for inital flight while a Aselsan-built infrared imaging guidance is used for the terminal attack to ensure the precise strike.

I have tried to summarize what happened in the last couple of days in the region. The tension in region will remain high. So stay tuned.

Click for the second part.

Both Turkey And Israel Are Taking Part In DANEX / Northern Coasts 2011 Naval Exercise

Participating Units. Source: © 2011 Bundeswehr / Mediendesign/Presse- und Informationszentrum Marine

This is going to be one of the largest NATO naval exercises out side of the Mediterranean.

The exercise Northern Coasts (NoCo) was first held in 2007. The aim of the exercise is  to prepare participants for potential NATO operations.

This year the exercise Northern Coasts is combined with exercise Danex. Consequently, there are also references to current, real operations. To the security of international maritime transport is by blocking threats such as pirates, terrorists or possible intervention by nations in the freedom of maritime transport.

Besides, from the merger of the two naval maneuvers this year Explosive Ordnance Disposal and the German (EOD) training in SANDY BEACH will be integrated into Danex/NoCo too.

The Sandy Beach is one of the largest mine clearance divers and explosive ordnance disposal exercises. With  this exercise the soldiers are getting ready for the challenges in the NATO Response Force. Thus, for the first time on a larger scale soldiers from various nations involved to the mainland.

And two of these nations taking part in this exercise are Turkey and Israel. Turkey participates with the frigate F-245 TCG Oruçreis and special forces EOD teams. I find such situations funny and ironic. On one hand to politicians of the two countries are fighting a war of words and rising the tension on the other hand the soldiers of the two nations are taking part in the same exercise. It is obvious that the preparations for a naval exercise of this proportions started long before the recent crisis between Turkey and Israel. But I think it can be seen as a good indication that the EOD teams of both countries are participating the same exercise.

Click here for the scenario of the Danex/NoCo naval exercise.

The Barbaros Action Plan

A few days ago the Turkish Daily Sabah run an article about the Barbaros Action Plan of Turkish Navy.

The owners of Sabah have a very personal and close relationship with Turkish Prime Minister Mr. Erdoğan. That creates a dilemma. Did Sabah run that article because they have received some insider information from sources close to Prime minister or did they wrote this article to appear niche to Ankara and to create a public opinion that supports Ankara’s latest measures against Isreal.

Any way the article has found a relative large audience on the internet and is used by many analysts pundits, bloggers etc as a source for their writings about the latest Turco – Isreali crisis.

But to be honest here is not much in that article beyond the very obvious fact that the presence of Turkish Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean will increase. Well this should be not news to anyone, ( including regular readers of this blog) as Turkish Navy is trying to increase its presence in the last couple of years.

SABAH is releasing an important detail regarding the Turkish Navy’s presence. Declaring their Plan B in response to Israel’s attitude following the release of the Palmer report, it turns out that the decision to “take all precautionary measures to establish further presence in the Eastern Mediterranean” is actually a part of an important plan of action.

In upcoming days, Turkey will begin to display a more active presence along with maritime components in both the east and southern regions of Cyprus. Within this framework, the number of frigates, assault boats, submarines and naval station planes serving in the Mediterranean Shield Operation which provide security in the Eastern Mediterranean will also be on the incline.

The Barbaros Action Plan, which aims to display the Turkish Navy’s presence in neighboring seas, now plans for Turkish maritime components to be in constant navigation not only in the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean but also in the Adriatic Sea, the Red Sea as well as the Indian Ocean.

In 2010, the first display of presence conducted by the Turkish Sea Task Group had the Turkish Navy paying visits to ports in the Aegean, the Mediterranean and the Adriatic. During that time the public of the nation’s visited were allowed to come on board to see the ships. The following is a list of the Turkish Navy’s activities in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Sea as well as the Adriatic, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean:

Well Turkish Navy is maintaining a regular and strong presence especially in the Black Sea and Turkish frigates has been present in the fighting against piracy in Gulf of Aden since 2008. So far there is nothing new there except the part I have emphasized. And this was expected after the statements of Mr. Davutoğlu and Mr. Erdoğan last week.

I do not see anything really newsworthy in the Sabah’s article. It just states the obvious,  shares a little information about the ongoing operations of Turkish Navy and gives the plan a name.

MEDITERRANEAN SHIELD TO BE ACTIVATED: It turns out that there are new procedures being put into place to further activate the Mediterranean Shield which was first established by the National Security Council in 2006 in order to establish security in the region following the establishment of the Ceyhan region as a center for energy. Upon Israel’s insistence on continuous postponement in regards to the apology issue, the number of frigates in the Mediterranean Shield program will be increased from two to four, the number of assault boats from three to five and the number of coast guard ships will be increased from one to three.

This paragraph raises the questions a) Whether the Operation Mediterranean Shield was deactivated? b) If so when it was deactivated? As far as Turkish Navy is concerned this Operation started as a national mission in accordance with NATO’s Active Endeavor is aimed to protect the oil terminals in Ceyhan Adana and to provide a deterrence through constant presence in the SLOC’s  east of Cyprus, leading to Ceyhan. I think that this inconsistency is due to the poor wording of the journalist or his/her lack of knowledge about the active operations of Turkish Navy.

One important question never mentioned in this article is whether Turkish Navy is going to set up permanent task forces or task groups. Both task groups established in 2010 and 2011 were temporary organisations with a specific purpose.  The Task Group in 2010 sailed trough the Mediterranean including the Adriatic Sea and visited several African and European States. This year’s task group sailed through the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean. It conducted anti piracy patrols, escorted convoys and visited several African, Middle East and South East Asian States. In fact one frigate from this task force F-492 TCG Gemlik is still in the region. But the task forces are disbanded when their scheduled cruises ended. So whether Turkish Navy is going to create constant task forces is for me the question.

One of the main duties of Turkish Navy is to be present in any part of the world where Turkey has a national interest. This is why we keep a frigate around year for the last couple of years in Gulf of Aden: to protect the Turkish ships passing through the region among other nations ships. Current political situation forces Turkish Navy to be in Eastern Mediterranean.

Gas Is The Reason For Tensions in The Eastern Mediterranean

Political analysis has never been my strong suit. Therefore I was reluctant to write about the press statement of the Turkish Foreign Minister, regarding Turkish-Israeli relations.

This statement can be regarded as the end of Mr. Davutoğlu’s own personal “Zero problems with the neighbors” foreign policy. Whether that was a sustainable and realistic policy is a different matter, but that era seems to be over now.

The measures to be taken by the Turkish government against Israel are creating a bunch of speculations and discussions.

From a naval point of view the statement “As a littoral state which has the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey will take whatever measures it deems necessary in order to ensure the freedom of navigation in the Eastern Mediterranean”. is the most important one. And open to speculations.

The first thing that come to mind regarding measures deemed necessary for the freedom of navigation are warships. Nobody would be surprised if the existence of Turkish Navy in the Eastern Mediterranean would increase any further. And current Turkish Navy has an impressive force in the region. 3 frigates TCG Kemalreis, TCG Gaziantep, TCG Gökçeada and one submarine TCG 1. İnönü are in region for Operation Unified Protector. There is one frigate or corvette attached to Unifil’s Maritime Task Force. One replenishment ship and one submarine is periodically join Operation Active Endeavor. Plus there is the national Operation Mediterranean Shield stated to provide security of oil transportation from Ceyhan terminal area and to demonstrate presence against possible risks and threats existing in the eastern Mediterranean and discourage them.
So these days on average Turkish Navy has at least 4 to 5 frigates and two submarines plus some support ships in Eastern Mediterranean.

Despite the harsh tone of Mr Davutoğlu’s statement in general I do not think that there will be any engagement between Israeli and Turkish warships. Maybe some shadowing, and show of flag. Any further escalation is not in the in the interest of any nation.

If I am interpreting the text correctly, there is no overt or covert mentioning of Turkish naval escorts for ships going to Gaza Strip.

Despite the harsh tone of Mr Davutoğlu’s statement in general I do not think that there will be any engagement between Israeli and Turkish warships. Maybe some shadowing, and show of flag. Any further escalation is not in the in the interest of any nation.  Seemingly, Mr. Ayalon thinks likewise.

Further more I think that although the Mr Davutoğlu’s speech is aimed to Israel, other Eastern Mediterranean nations  Cyprus and Egypt are also addressed.  Turkey made it clear that it does not want any explorations of  hydrocarbon sources before a resolution over the Cyprus conflict is reached. Disrupting the Israeli Cypriot rapprochement over the gas explorations is more vital to Turkey than the apology for the Mavi Marmara.

Never the less it is beyond any doubt that there will be some tension in the Eastern Mediterranean for the coming weeks.

>Greece Will Paticipate In US – Israeli Naval Exercise

>According to Greek blog Strategy Report, Greek Navy will participate for the first time in anti-submarine exercise «Noble Dina», which until now was held between Israel and of the U.S. 6th Fleet in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region.

The exercise is scheduled for 4 to 14 April and will cover an area from  Sudan, to  Crete and to Israel. The scenarios and the precise areas of international waters, which will develop co-trainee forces will be determined on a tripartite meeting in early February.

The Greek Navy is expected to participate with a frigate, a submarine and naval cooperation aircraft.

>Caner Gönyeli 2010 SAR Exercise

>Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) will conduct the annual serach and rescue exercise Caner Gönyeli between 14 and 18 June 2010.

The exercise area covers, TRNC, its territorial waters, and Turkish SAR area in Eastern Mediterranean. It will be a joint exercise where civil maritime instructions like Coast Safety Directorate will cooperate with military units.

The date of this exercise coincides with the arrival of and Israeli flotilla to protest the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. This flotilla is born out of the idea to organize a protest against Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident

On the other hand if the Israeli Reveres Flotilla really reaches TRNC as they plan, then can expects and undeserved warm welcome as they would breach what Greek Cypriots are trying to isolate: TRNC. Therefore this Israeli flotilla would not get any support from the Greek side.

I do not expect that any of the participants of Caner Gönyeli exercise to get directly in contact with the Israeli protest flotilla.

>Don’t Rely On Reliant Mermaid

>I think nobody would be surprised to hear that this years Reliant Mermaid naval exercise is canceled. The naval search and rescue exercise was the only venue there Turkish and Israeli navies come together officially.

The annual exercise with the objective to practice coordinated emergency search and rescue procedures and measures for safety of life at sea was scheduled for August. It would have been the 11th.

Last year, after the heated exchange between Peres and Erdoğan in Davos, Switzerland, the fate of the exercise seemed to be doomed. But never the less it was conducted despite all odds.

But after the Mavi Marmara incident there was no way to salvage the exercise.

>About Israeli Raid On Mavi Marmara

>Very has been said and written about the Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid flotilla on Monday 31 May 2010. And many things will be said and written in the future. So here in my own blog and space, I will try to share my 2 kuruş.

1) I believe the flotilla reached its strategic targets of getting aid to Gaza and drawing the world’s attention to the situation in Gaza. This is a clear gain for the organizers. After the ships have been docked in Ashdod, Israeli government announced that some of the cargo was loaded on trucks and delivered to Gaza. Egypt felt that it was necessary to open its border to Gaza at Rafah. It is not clear how long that the border will remain open, but never the less it has given the Gazans an important breathing period. These two actions effectively diluted the blockade around Gaza. And for the time being the blockade around Gaza and the situation of Gaza is in the spotlight of world wide public opinion. So even the flotilla failed to reach its intended target, it has fulfilled its strategic aim.

2) Like the sinking of INS Eliat on 21 October 1967, we are witnessing the beginnings of a new era in naval war fighting. Irregular warfare has been long fought on land. Now it has become a naval warfare as well. This was the first incident of a naval clash between a regular and national force and non-state actor/ non-governmental organization. Naval forces are already conducting law enforcement operations around world. Anti piracy patrols in Gulf of Aden, anti narcotics operations in Gulf of Mexico are amongst the common naval operations of today’s naval forces. But this about to change. Even before the the raid on Gaza flotilla, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday that his militants were capable of wiping out Israel’s navy and any other ships heading to Israel in the event of a new war with the Jewish state. In the future the navies will clash more frequently with irregular forces on the sea. Almost all existing weaponry, sensory is prepared for a regular naval warfare. Naval forces are already struggling to find and adopt useable new ways to fight piracy in Indian Ocean. Very few navies have any doctrinal and tactical preparedness for the coming new form of warfare and they are not battle tested. In 1967 the navies were busy adapting against the emerging new threat posed by guided weapons and small fast boats carrying them. Now they will be busy to adapt themselves against new threats posed by irregular forces and non-state actor/ non-governmental organization.

3) One of the main rules for an irregular warrior is to blend with the crowd like a fish swims in the sea. This maxim is also valid for naval irregular warfare. The maritime situational awareness will become vital for the naval forces in order to separate friend from foe. This is already an issue in Gulf of Aden. There is no magic way to distinguish between a legal harmless fishermen and a potential pirate. Both use the same skiffs and look very very similar. The warships conducting anti-piracy patrols are looking for small but telltale sign such as nets or ladders to differentiate between friend and foe. When the presence of non-state actor/ non-governmental organizations increase on the seas it will be vital to have a complete naval picture in order to provide the maritime security. Remote sensing devices and unmanned vehicles will be of uttermost importance.

4) There are wild rumors that the next flotilla will be escorted by Turkish Navy. This is rumors, are based on a speech of Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan. But then again I find this highly impossible. None of the ships in the flotilla with the exception of the freighter Gazze was registered in Turkey. In other words only Gazze had Turkish flag whereas Mavi Marmara is Comoros flagged. If Turkey did not send any warships with the original flotilla in the first time it will not send any in the second flotilla (if there will be a second one). Despite harsh words and angry rhetoric neither country did break their bilateral relations definitely. Yes the Turkey – Israeli relations are at a very low at the moment and will remain so but there is a change for improvement in time.

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