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Turkish Navy conducts joint exercise with Greek MCM vessel HS Europa.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Turkish MoD on March 9, 2024, the Turkish minehunter TCG ANAMUR, assigned to the Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 2, conducted joint training exercises with the Greek naval unit HS EVROPI in the Aegean Sea.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Aydin class minehunter TCG Anamur and mine countermeasure vessel HS Europa. (Picture source: Turkish MoD)

Amidst their intricate history marked by occasional disputes, Turkey and Greece, both members of NATO, have actively participated in mine warfare exercises. In October 2021, Turkey led the Nusret 2021 mine warfare exercise in the Gulf of Saros, in the northern Aegean Sea.

This exercise was notable for its broad participation, including the NATO Mine Countermeasures Group-2, the NATO Center for Maritime Research and Experimentation, and the NATO Mine Warfare Center of Excellence. Countries such as Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Iraq, Libya, Oman, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Romania, and Tanzania took part.

The focus of Nusret 2021 was on mine warfare planning and execution, aiming to enhance interoperability among NATO allies and partners. The exercise was designed in three stages: force integration, mine laying and countermeasures activities, and post-exercise evaluations and port visits.

Concurrently, diplomatic relations between Greece and Turkey have shown signs of warming, with efforts made towards resolving longstanding disputes. In December 2023, Greece and Turkey agreed to reset their relationship, focusing on good neighbourly relations, military confidence-building measures, and boosting trade volumes.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's visit to Greece highlighted a mutual desire to turn the Aegean into a "sea of peace" and serve as a model for international relations. This thaw in relations followed years of disputes over territorial waters, energy resources, and military presence in the Aegean Sea.

Turkey's collaboration extends beyond its immediate neighbor, Greece, into broader regional security initiatives. Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey have established a mine countermeasures task force in the Black Sea to address threats from sea mines and enhance navigation safety.

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