Turkish and Pakistan Navies Hold Joint Exercises in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish and Pakistan Navies Hold Joint Exercises in Eastern Mediterranean

Turkish and Pakistan Navies Hold Joint Exercises in Eastern Mediterranean. The bilateral exercise, dubbed Turgutreis-9, is currently underway from June 10th to June 14th, 2024, involving elements from both countries’ naval forces. Notably, the Pakistani Navy corvette PNS Babur, one of the corvettes built for Islamabad by Turkish shipyards as part of the MILGEM project, is participating in the drills while sailing in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The Turkish Defense Ministry’s statement highlighted the exercise’s objective of “improving cooperation between Turkey and Pakistan, two friendly and brotherly countries.”

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The Turgutreis series holds a unique distinction as the only joint naval exercise conducted by Pakistan and Turkey in both the North Arabian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The inaugural exercise took place in April 2018 in the North Arabian Sea, with subsequent iterations alternating between the two regions.

In addition to the bilateral Turgutreis exercises, Turkey and Pakistan also participate in multilateral naval drills. Turkey is a regular participant in the Pakistan-led AMAN exercise, with the most recent edition, AMAN 2023, taking place in Karachi in February 2023.

These joint exercises aim to enhance interoperability and cooperation between the two countries’ naval forces, including joint patrols and training scenarios.

The ongoing naval drills in the Eastern Mediterranean coincide with an official visit by Pakistan’s Chief of General Staff, General Sahir Shamshad Mirza, and his delegation to the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, Admiral Ercüment Tatlıoğlu, on June 10, 2024.

This visit further underscores the strengthening of military relations between the two countries, which share a long-standing and robust defense partnership dating back to their participation in the US-led Baghdad Pact and Central Treaty Organization (CENTO).

Faced with arms embargoes and restrictions from Western suppliers, Turkey and Pakistan have forged closer strategic ties, fostering joint ventures in defense technology, co-production of equipment, and increased self-sufficiency in weapons manufacturing.

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