Turkish Naval Forces

Turkish Naval Forces Strategy

Dependable in Cooperation, Deterrent in Crises, Decisive in Combat...

“Strong at Sea Safe at Home; Present at Sea Influential in The World”


Turkey has a significant geopolitical position at the heart of the Afro-Eurasian geography which has become the focal point of various theories. To be long-lasting in this challenging geography and to sustain a stable and a prosperous state, maintaining a strong military has been a ‘must’ throughout history along with some other vital factors.

Our region has recently undergone a historic transformation. In addition to the perpetual issues against which Turkey has always been vigilant, our country has also faced new risks and threats in the recent years.

In this context, despite our constructive approaches, problems posed by the implementations upsetting the balance in the Aegean Sea set forth by the Lausanne Treaty and by restricting our rights arising from international law continue to exist.

Disputes over delimitation of maritime jurisdiction areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, which also encompasses the Cyprus conflict for over half a century, continue to aggravate. Moreover, the historic transformation in the Middle East and the North Africa has diversified the risks experienced in the region. The Black Sea region, where a historic peace and stability environment was established through regional initiatives at the end of the Cold War, has once again become vulnerable to the adverse effects of the geopolitical global scale rivalry between the Western Bloc and the Russian Federation. The Ukrainian Crisis further undermined the stability in the region.

These developments, which threaten the stability and security in the extended environs of Turkey, have turned the comparatively stable environment of the post-Cold War era into a chaotic structure. The maritime domain has inevitably been exposed to the reflections of this transformation.

The importance of global maritime domain has continuously increased not only in terms of defense and security matters but also in terms of sea transportation. Therefore, the uninterrupted flow of the ever increasing maritime traffic has become indispensable for the economies of the nations.

As clearly seen in the piracy and armed robbery against ships incidents in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia, the sensitivity over the security of sea transportation routes and crucial choke points has significantly increased. The current trend shows that more and more countries are inclined to utilize their navies in the areas that bear significant national and international security risks.

Moreover, the maritime domain is becoming more important particularly in terms of energy exploitation as well as natural resources. Increasing contest among countries to benefit from these resources further aggravate the disputes over maritime jurisdiction areas.

In the backdrop of these significant political, military and economic developments, the use of military power as a diplomatic tool has become more popular. In this context, the naval forces have assumed active roles in various fronts from defense against conventional threats to the show of flag; from safeguarding maritime boundaries against asymmetric threats to protecting economic interests in maritime zones where delimitation disputes arise.

In such a maritime security environment, the Turkish Naval Forces’ unthwarted ambition to be “Dependable in Cooperation, Deterrent in Crises, and Decisive in Combat” still continues. While deepening and extending its cooperation with allies and friends at one hand, the Turkish Navy also stands ready to deter and defeat any potential aggressor in line with its mission aiming to “contribute to the defense of the homeland and to protect the Republic of Turkey’s sovereign rights and maritime interests at sea.”

Likewise, in the light of the great leader Atatürk’s principle "Peace at home, peace in the world", the Naval Forces support our foreign policy objectives by showing our flag, conveying peace messages, friendship and cooperation as well as delivering humanitarian assistance to various regions of the world. Naval Forces also contributes to the development of our defense industry and assumes critical roles in promoting regional / global peace and stability within the framework of the UN, NATO and other multinational Joint Task Forces.

Since the force structure and activities of the Turkish Naval Forces are directly interacted with our national interests and objectives, the issue of how to use and improve this force concerns not only the naval personnel but also the members of the Naval Forces and the individuals and institutions working as decision-making and decision-implementing bodies in defense, foreign policy and economy.

“Turkish Naval Forces Strategy” is prepared in a way to overcome these challenges, ensure doctrinal unity of the Turkish Navy personnel and provide information on future perspective of our forces for various circles ranging from the decision makers setting the direction of Turkey in the international arena and conducting defense planning activities to the relevant academic circles.





Commander of Turkish Naval Forces


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Updated : 28-03-2016