Greek-Turkish Relations
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Turkish and Pakistani navies held joint exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean

A Pakistani Navy corvette, namely the PNS Babur, which is one of the corvettes of the Turkish MILGEM project built by the Turkish shipyard for the Islamabad Navy, is currently sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean.

It will remain in the region until at least 14 June as it participates in the bilateral exercise Turgutreis-9.

The Turkish Defence Ministry's statement specifically states: "The 1st Exercise Turgutreis-9 will take place in the Eastern Mediterranean between 10-14 June 2024. The purpose of the exercise is to improve cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan, two friendly and brotherly countries. Elements from Turkey's Naval Forces Command and Pakistan's Naval Forces Command will participate in the exercise."

Exercise Turgutreis holds a unique distinction as the only joint naval exercise between Pakistan and Turkey conducted in the North Arabian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The first time the exercise was held was in April 2018 in the North Arabian Sea. Turkish Navy ship TCG BURGAZADA visited Karachi on December 29, 2022, participating in the bilateral Exercise TURGUTREIS-VII with Pakistan Navy. The bilateral exercise aimed at enhancing interoperability included joint patrols in the North Arabian Sea and defence against asymmetric attacks.


Apart from this, Turkey also regularly participates in the Pakistan-led AMAN exercise. The 8th AMAN series, AMAN 2023, took place in Karachi in February 2023. Senior military officials from 51 participating navies, foreign diplomats and Pakistan Navy personnel participated.

The strengthening of military relations between the two countries, which are anyway very close, included these days an official visit by Pakistan's Chief of General Staff, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza and his accompanying delegation to the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, on June 10, 2024.

In the same context, the Turkish Armed Forces Medal of Merit was awarded to Chief of General Staff of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, General Sahir Shamshad MIRZA, who was in Ankara as an official guest of Chief of General Staff General Metin GÜRAK.

Turkey and Pakistan share a long and strong defence relationship that has been deepened over decades. Historically, Pakistan and Turkey were part of the US-led Baghdad Pact and its subsequent avatar, the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO). Both Turkey and Pakistan have faced arms embargoes and restrictions from Western suppliers such as the US and Europe for various reasons. This has led the two countries to forge closer strategic ties and increase domestic production capacities to reduce dependence on external suppliers. From joint ventures in defence technology and equipment co-production to joint training and exercises, Turkey and Pakistan aim to support each other in developing self-sufficiency in weapons manufacturing.

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