The hills around Fethiye have been echoing to the sounds of naval guns this week as ships and aircraft involved in Operation Sea Wolf made themselves heard.

The military exercise began on Monday and continues in the Black Sea, Aegean and Mediterranean until May 25.

The boom of guns was audible throughout yesterday and at dusk as armed forces were put through their paces, rehearsing strategies which could be utilised in times of crisis or if Turkey went to war.

Security

“With the exercise, we aim to show Turkish Armed Forces’ resolution and capability in protecting the country’s security as well as its rights and interests in the seas,” national defence minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying in The Daily Sabah newspaper.

The navy is leading the manoeuvres but in all, 131 warships, 90 aircraft and 25,900 personnel are involved in Operation Sea Wolf. It will also test missile systems and includes the operation of military drones.

Search and rescue teams are also involved along with Turkey’s submarine force.

On patrol … A Turkish navy gunboat. Picture by Steve Parsley.

Protection

“Naval forces will continue activities with the highest technology based upon (the) domestic defence industry. While showing maximum attention to good relations with our neighbours, we will protect our people’s interests in the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea,” Minister Akar was reported to have said.

The exercise is the second large-scale operation this year, with 13 frigates, six corvettes, 16 assault boats, seven submarines, seven mine hunting vessels and 14 patrol boats also involved in Blue Homeland in February.

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