Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Turkey Launches Maneuvers East of the Mediterranean Under NATO’s Umbrella

Turkey Launches Maneuvers East of the Mediterranean Under NATO’s Umbrella

Wednesday, 8 November, 2017 - 08:15
A Turkish flag flies among others flags of NATO members during the North Atlantic Council following Turkey's request for Article 4 consultations, at the Alliance headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, July 28, 2015. (FRANCOIS LENOIR/REUTERS)

Less than a week after the end of joint Egyptian-Greek maneuvers in the island of Rhodes, the Turkish Navy Command announced the launch of joint military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean under the umbrella of the second permanent NATO naval group, which began on Tuesday and continues until November 16.

The Turkish Air Force Command said in a statement that Turkey was hosting the exercises involving naval forces from the United States, Bulgaria, Britain and Romania as well as naval, air and coast guard forces from Turkey.

The exercise is aimed at training joint naval forces against the threats and risks of regional crises and training military headquarters personnel, the statement noted.

A Turkish frigate, 21 ships, 17 fighter jets, and a helicopter, in addition to a British warship, a Bulgarian frigate and nine helicopters, a Romanian frigate and two American ships were participating in the drills, according to the statement.

The exercise comes three days after a joint military exercise between Egypt and Greece on the Greek island of Rhodes, conducted under the name «Medusa - 5», which Turkey described as a clear violation of international law.

On Friday, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that it had received information from military sources about drills conducted by Egypt and Greece in Rhodes between October 3 and November 4, noting that the Paris Peace Treaty signed in 1947 provides for the prohibition of all types of military exercises in Rhodes, which was abandoned by Italy in favor of Greece on condition of disarmament.

The statement added that the foreign ministry had warned the Greek Embassy in Ankara of the exercises.

Egypt and Greece have conducted joint military exercises since December 2015, most recently on the shores of the Mediterranean in August, to coordinate efforts and work to meet the growing challenges in the Mediterranean region.

Editor Picks