Ankara, Turkey – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday referred once again to the notion of a Blue Motherland (Mavi Vatan) – a term coined by Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar when referring to a 462,000 square meter area in the Aegean, Mediterranean and Black seas, declaring that Turkey will defend its rights and indicating that it might boost its military fleet.
“Today, as one of the 10 countries that can design, construct and maintain war ships, we will continue to boost our naval forces and protect the Blue Motherland (Mavi Vatan) in order to boost the sense of trust with our allies while continuing to defend our interests,” President Erdogan said.
Invoking an expression of his “forefathers” according to which, if you want peace you prepare for war, President Erdogan said that Turkey was equipping its navy and military units in a bid “to safeguard peace and security in our country, our region and the whole world.”
Akar struck a similar note, saying that Turkey will “continue to defend our interests in all the seas, particularly in the Aegean, the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.”
The comments by Erdogan and Akar came on the occasion of events marking the anniversary of the 1538 Battle of Preveza.
They followed comments by Erdogan’s adviser Ibrahim Kalin on Friday according to which exploratory contacts with Greece will focus on “the continental shelf, the [exclusive] economic zone and air space in the Aegean.” The 61st round of talks will continue where they left off, he said, referring to the interruption of talks in 2016.
Greece has repeatedly said that the delineation of the continental shelf is the only issue Greece and Turkey have to discuss.