Turkey prevailed before negotiating the last maritime dispute. Greece

As Turkey and Greece prepare to negotiate to calm a bitter maritime dispute, Ankara released a video this week citing the 16th-century naval victory that led to the Ottoman Empire taking control of the Mediterranean Sea .

The video, shared on Twitter by the President’s Department of Communications and viewed nearly half a million times, tales of ancient maritime battles with footage of modern Turkish warships, driving home a message that Turkey must protect its interests in offshore waters .

Called “Blue Homeland” in the video and accompanying song, the doctrine has been championed by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government as it challenges Greek and Cypriot maritime claims that limit Turkey to narrow strips of Aegean and Mediterranean coastal waters. is.

The policy, reflecting Turkey’s vocal military interventions on land in Syria and Libya, has come to prominence in the past year – more than 10 years after it first emerged – and is feeding into a dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.

Retired Rear Admiral Sihat Yasi, who played a major role in developing the doctrine, said Turkey’s maritime policies were intensified by the “aggressive stance” of Greece and Cyprus, which marked a special economic zone in the eastern Mediterranean Several charges were signed. 2003.

“They did not want to share the sea with Turkey, they wanted to seize the Turkish seas. Turkey felt that,” Yasi said.

The dispute resumed last November when Turkey signed a maritime border agreement with Libya, which was plundered by Yassi a decade ago but Athens said it had cut its own claims.

In the wake of the Libyan deal, tensions with Greece escalated in August when Ankara sent the survey vessel Oruch Reis to the eastern Mediterranean Sea to locate hydrocarbons.

They relaxed after Ankara brought Oruk Reis back to port, but Cyprus has called for EU sanctions against Turkey. EU leaders are set to discuss the dispute at their summit starting on Thursday.

Battling crusaders

In an interview, Yayci traced the roots of Blue Homeland to a 16th-century Ottoman admiral celebrated in a government video.

“The real founder of the concept of blue blueland is Barbrosa Heretin Pasha, who said that ‘whoever controls the seas controls the world”, said Yacey at Istanbul’s Bahçisar University, where he runs a marine research center .

The video shows Ottoman sailors battling crusaders, surrounded by images of modern Turkish warships and sailors. It is accompanied by a song revealing Blue Homeland and a nationalist poem read by Erdogan.

Historical similarities extend Turkey’s gas exploration. A seismic survey vessel operating from Cyprus is named after Barbrosa, while two drills are named after powerful Ottoman sultans.

‘No danger’

To the enthusiasm of all the Patriots, Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said that this week he considered that talks with Greece would “soon make good progress”, which are set to resume after a four-year hiatus.

When asked about Greek concerns about the Blue Homeland, Kalin said it was not a threat to any other country.

He said, “It is the idea of ​​turning this sea land, the vast sea land in the Mediterranean Sea, rather than the source of tension and friction between the Mediterranean countries.”

“Of course, we are open to negotiation and negotiation to agree on a model that is inclusive, that is reasonable, based on the sharing of whatever resources we have.”

The Greek Foreign Ministry declined to comment directly on Blue Homeland.

But it rejects Turkey’s claims in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean Sea, stating that Ankara has not signed the United Nations Convention for the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which covers islands up to 320 km (200 mi) Places authority on the continental shelf of.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said last week, “I hope that Turkey will give up its illegal actions and provocations to this argument consistently and over a long period of time and make negotiations its priority.”

An indication of the storm that came about a year ago came after Erdogan covered an area of ​​some 462,000 square kilometers (178,379 sq mi) in a military ceremony in front of a map showing the Blue Homeland – more than half the size of Turkey Was. Aegean, East Mediterranean and Black Sea.

The image was tarnished in Greek newspapers, and Dandias stated that Turkey was establishing itself as a “troublemaker”.

While both sides have agreed to resume broken talks in 2016, the vast gap between that map and Greek maritime claims to bridge both sides shows that if they have to compromise.

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