6 submarines to go into service in 2022-2027: Erdogan

Turkey may raise level of military support for UN-recognized Libyan government if required, says Turkish president

Ali Murat Alhas  | 22.12.2019 - Update : 23.12.2019
6 submarines to go into service in 2022-2027: Erdogan


A total of six new submarines, one every year, will go into service in the Turkish Naval Forces between 2022 and 2027, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday.

Speaking at the ceremonies of New Type Submarine Project at Golcuk Naval Shipyard Command in northwestern Kocaeli province, Erdogan said he hoped that the submarines would be useful for the country, the nation, the army and the sailors.

Erdogan said that each of the submarines were named after "truly monumental personalities".

Referring to the maritime deal with Libya, Erdogan said that the deal does not contradict Turkish or international laws.

"We have no steps contrary to established practices, both on the continental shelf and on the issue of exclusive economic zones and maritime jurisdictions," he said.

The Turkish president said that his country could raise the level of military support for the UN-recognized Libyan government with aerial, navy and ground facilities if required.

Erdogan said that Turkey took the first steps on the maritime jurisdiction with Libya 10 years ago after discussions with then Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi and reached consensus with him.

"The conflict of maritime jurisdiction between the territory of our country facing Libya and the territory of Libya facing our country gives us this right according to international legislation and practices," Erdogan said.

He stressed that the text of the agreement was delayed due to turmoil in the region.

Erdogan underlined that the stakeholders of the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea are all the countries along its coasts.

"As the longest [Mediterranean] littoral country, we are resolved to exert efforts with all our means to protect our rights here."

He also added that Turkey "definitely" will not change its policies in Syria and Libya.

The Turkish parliament on Saturday ratified a motion on the approval of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on security and military cooperation with Libya.

On Nov. 27, Ankara and Tripoli signed two separate MoUs; one on military cooperation and the other on maritime boundaries of countries in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The maritime pact asserted Turkey's rights in the Eastern Mediterranean in the face of unilateral drilling by the Greek Cypriot administration, clarifying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to the resources in the area. It went into effect on Dec. 8.

Since the ouster of late leader Gaddafi in 2011, two seats of power have emerged in Libya: one in eastern Libya supported mainly by Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, and another in Tripoli, which enjoys UN and international recognition.

* Additional writing by Jeyhun Aliyev

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