BLUE HOMELAND: TURKEY’S LARGEST NAVAL EXERCISE IN THE TURKISH REPUBLIC HISTORY

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There are only a few historical sources that give some informations about Çaka Bey (Chaka Bey) who was the first Naval Commander of the Turks during the 11th century. The source was writen by the Alexiad of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Princess Anna Komnene, daughter of Emperor Alexios I Kommenos (1081-1118)

Çaka (Chaka) Bey (Reign between 1081-1093)

Alexiad of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine) princess Anna Komnene, daughter of Emperor Alexios I Komnenos 1081–1118). Çaka Bey also mentioned in Danishmendname (Danişmetname) in the 13th century as Çavuldur Çaka Bey. His based was in İzmir (Smyrna), he gave war against the Eastern Romans and Chrusaders. Çaka Bey was the first pioneer who introduce the maritime environment to the Turks. He built a fleet, with which he captured Foça (Phocaea), Sisam (Samos), Kos (Chios), Rodos (Rhodes), and Midilli (Methymna). Since his sieges the Turks gave war againts some different enemies and established different Beylics, States and Empires like the Aydınoğulları, Saruhanoğulları, Seljuks and the Ottoman Empire.

During the Ottoman Epire’s first century’s under the Süleyman Phasa son of the second Sultan of teh Ottomans Orhan, the Ottoman Army sieged the Gallipolli in 1352. He played a major role in early Ottoman expansion into Trakya (Thrace) in the 1350’s.

Süleyman Phasa, died in 1357.

The Ottoman Empire was getting much stronger against the European Christian States during the 15th and 16th centuries. Especially the Ottoman Empire became a significant player on the world stage after becoming a great naval power in the 16th century.

Undoubtedly, the rise and the decline of the Ottoman Empire were closely related to the capabilities of her Navy. The Ottomans had a powerful Navy when they were ruling 3 continents and honoring glorious victories. Equally, the loss of superiority on the seas was an important factor in the deterioration of the institutions of the Empire.

In fact, it was impossible for the Ottomans, which had expanded over 3 continents, to survive by ignoring the maritime activities. The history of the Ottoman Navy can be analyzed in three main periods: The period of the Fleet Commanders (1324-1390), the period of the Commander in Chiefs of the Navy (1390-1867) and finally the period of the Navy Ministry (1867-1922).

Especially the period of the Commander in Chiefs of the Navy was the most succesful period of the Turkish Navy history of all time. The modern organization of the Ottoman Navy commenced in the period of Sultan Bayezid I (1389-1403). After the completion of the construction of the Gelibolu Naval Base in 1401, the term “Commander in Chief of the Navy” was used in the Ottoman Navy. The first Commander in Chief was Saruca Pasha in the history of the Turkish Navy. During the period of Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror, the Ottomans, after the conquest of İstanbul, headed towards the Mediterranean after firmly establishing their sovereignty in the Aegean and the Black Sea. In 1455, Sultan Mehmet II the Conqueror constructed the Istanbul Shipyard (Tersane- i Amire) in Kasımpaşa and it was highly regarded by all foreign countries. It was one of the largest shipyards in the world.

Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror

In 16th century, Mediterranean became as a Turkish Lake with the military success of the Ottoman Naval Commanders and Levends. Oruç Reis, Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha, Turgut Reis, Salih Reis,Piyale Pasha, Kılıçali Reis and more were the most successful ones.

Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha (Barbarosa)

The Turkish Navy provided logistic support to the Ottoman Army during the march of Selim I towards Egypt. After the conquest of Egypt by Sultan Selim I the Yavuz (1512-1520), the Ottomans developed an interest in the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. After Selim I, Süleyman the Magnificent (1520-1566) also attached great importance to the Ottoman Navy and it enjoyed its golden age during his reign. During this period, Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha and his brothers Oruç and İlyas Reis, as well as many famous Turkish sailors such as Selman Reis, Murat Reis and Seydi Ali Reis, established an absolute dominance over the Mediterranean with their extraordinary brilliance in commanding the Ottoman Navy. The maritime knowledge, experience and the tactical ingenuity of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha was best demonstrated in the Preveze Naval Battle on 27 September 1538. The Crusader Fleet under the command of Andrea Doria was utterly bewildered by these strikes and they dispersed in panic. The Crusader Fleet became overwhelmed and withdrew suffering heavy losses. This victory left Barbaros as the undisputed master of the Mediterranean. In this period, Sultan Süleyman II the Magnicifant was ruling the Empire.

Battle of Preveza 28th September, 1538.

During the 18’s and 19’s century, Ottoman Empire had lost its magnicifant land and navy forces against the European states. After teh second siege of the Vienna, 1863, the Ottomans also lost wars and lands.

In 19th century, British Empire were the dominant navy power all around the world, and he second power was French Navy. The Ottomans and the Russians were third or fourth navy power in Europe. Once again in this century and after European powers was trying to invade and occupy the Turks land. In 1914, the First World War started, on th eone hand alliee d powers Great Britain, France, Italy, Russia and their dominions, on th eother hands the central powers Germany, Ottomans, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The was lasted 4 years. The Ottomans resisted and fight very well in Gelibolu, Iraq, Caucasian and other fronts but the Turks were lost against the allied powers.

ANZAC Soldiers during the I. World War. They are going to Gelibolu front

Maybe Turkey were lost the I. World War but, Gelibolu Sea and Land Wars gave them a special strenth during the Turkish Independent War in 1919-1922.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk was a land force commander but he knew and so sure that, ıf Turkey could establish a modern Navy Power then Turkey can survive forever.

ATATÜRK

Present days, Turkey has attacked in national military industry. So much the more in navy and airfoce Turkey can build its own wepons, military war ships and so on. Turkey has developed a new doctrine. “Mavi Vatan (Blue Homeland). Accoridng to this doctrine, Turkey has rights more than 450 thousand km2 in its borders sea and sea costs.Developed in 2006 by Admiral Cem Gurdeniz, who was then head of Turkish naval planning, the strategy has been interpreted as the maritime component of Ankara’s drive for greater independence in its dealings with the world. The Blue Homeland is centered on a trilateral basis. Firstly, the concept has a pronounced power projection aspect. Coupled with Turkey’s burgeoning forward-basing posture across the horn of Africa and the Gulf, Turkey aims at pursuing its national interests in an enhanced zone d’influence. Secondly, this understanding adopts a more active role for the Turkish Navy in energy geopolitics competition, coercive efforts, and naval diplomacy. Thirdly and finally, the sustainability of the concept depends on maintaining the uptrend in Turkey’s indigenous defense industry.

 Turkish Navy, which flew our flag during the recent naval drill Blue Homeland in the Aegean, Black Sea and the Mediterranean, revealed that it is following in the footsteps of Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha, whose tomb its warships saluted as they were crossing the Bosporus at the end of the drill. Naval power remains at the epicenter of the Blue Homeland. The Turkish Navy is transforming into a blue-water asset with growing power projection capabilities. The core strategic advantage of operating such a flagship remains the marge de manoeuvre she would provide. Wherever Turkey would opt for deploying the TCG Anadolu, be it the Black Sea or the Mediterranean, the vessel would bring about a broad array of options and a robust political signaling capacity. Besides, she would make an important naval diplomacy asset too. Turkey’s other driil ships are also important as much as its naval war ships. Oruç Reis, Fatih, Yavuz, Kanuni and its crew are working alpha plus.

The Navy’s manoeuvre and the use of new national military systems and equipment reflect Turkey’s awareness of the benefits and responsibilities arising from its maritime territory and the ability of a strong Navy to enhance military, political and economic success. Unlike other traditional branches of the armed forces, navies are truly effective diplomatic means that can benefit Turkey, especially in the current regional context. In this sense, one of the most impressive messages of Blue Homeland is Turkey’s commitment to using its maritime options more actively in the coming years to achieve its political, economic and military goals and, above all, increase its status in the region.

Consequently, Turkey is not going to let be happend of the fictitiously Seville Map and Greeks’ maximum stupid political willings. Greeks has no right in the Eastern Medditerranean region. Turkey has the largest and the longest sea costs of this region.

Mavi Vatan means independent for the Turks and the Turkey.

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