Turkish frigates headed for Algeria amid Mediterranean tensions
Turkish Naval Forces have dispatched two frigates toward Algeria to attend a commemoration ceremony for an Ottoman governor and hold exercises with the Algerian navy.
The move arrives as Turkey continues to ramp up efforts to strike deals with nations on the Mediterranean.
The Göksü and Gökova frigates have set out for the Port of Algiers for a ceremony commemorating Turkish seaman and governor Oruç Reis and will remain in the waters of the country between January 7-10, Sözcü newspaper reported.
The Turkish fleet will also support NATO’s Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean Sea, it said.
The Turkish Naval Task Group which consist of our frigates TCG GÖKSU and TCG GÖKOVA, is transiting to the Port of Algiers to provide associated support to NATO's Operation Sea Guardian, after completing the passing exercise with the Italian frigate Zeffiro. pic.twitter.com/0WLIpA1ANm— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) December 29, 2019
Tensions are soaring in the Mediterranean over maritime and territorial disputes between Turkey on the one hand and Greece and Cyprus on the other.
Turkey last month signed an accord with Libya’s internationally recognized government seeking to create an exclusive economic zone from Turkey’s southern Mediterranean shore to Libya’s northeast coast. The deal ignores the waters Cyprus and a number of Greek islands, including Crete.
Greece and Cyprus, which are seeking to build a pipeline carrying gas to Europe across those waters, have objected to the agreement.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan this week visited another country bordering the Mediterranean, Tunisia, for talks with Tunisian President Kais Saied on recently signed Turkish-Libyan deals.