Turkey, Turkish navy

Erdoğan: A strong navy for Turkey is not an option, but essential

The Turkish president promised to further strengthen the Turkish navy. Turkey has the 5th most powerful naval force in NATO.

Having a strong navy and naval forces is not an option for Turkey, but essential for a country that is surrounded by the sea, Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan declared, vowing to continue efforts to make the Turkish Navy the most powerful fleet in the world, and further recalling that the Turkish navy and coastguards have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of migrants in the Aegean and Mediterranean.

It is a necessity, not a choice, to have a strong naval force for Turkey, which is surrounded on three sides by seas. That is why we attach special importance to upgrading our naval forces, both in terms of equipment and personnel, to keep them ready to contribute to the defence of the homeland,” Erdoğan said in a video message yesterday on the occasion of the end of the Mavi Vatan 2022 (Blue Homeland 2022) military drills, started on April 11.

“Blue Homeland” is the name given to the largest naval military drills carried out to date by Turkey, with the participation of 122 ships, 41 aircrafts and 12,000 soldiers. During his speech, the Turkish president stressed that the armed forces have shown their readiness and promised to continue strengthening the Navy until it becomes one of the most powerful naval forces in the region and in the world, with the construction of new submarines and the development of new weapon systems.

Turkey has the 5th most powerful naval force in NATO

Currently the Turkish Navy is ranked 8th in the world by number of troops (more than 48,000) and 3rd by tons of displacement of its fleet (about 256,000), and is the 5th most powerful naval force in NATO, only surpassed by the navies of the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Italy: a power that will be increased with the upcoming entry into service of the first Turkish aircraft carrier, the TCG Anadolu.

“Our army carries out important humanitarian and aid campaigns, along with its task of defending the nation,” Erdoğan stressed, recalling that thousands and thousands of lives have been saved in Aegean and Mediterranean waters by the Turkish navy, rescuing to the migrants and refugees who try to reach the shores of Europe, while other developed countries – he assured – leave these people abandoned at sea to their fate.

“We have earned the appreciation of the entire world thanks to our humanitarian aid operations and rescue actions around the world, from Ukraine to Libya, from Africa to Central Asia,” stressed Erdoğan, who had words of praise for the navy but also for the entire army, which is currently carrying out a major offensive against the PKK in the mountains of northern Iraq.