Erdoğan attends launch of Turkey’s first naval intelligence ship

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday attended the launching ceremony of Turkey’s first intelligence ship, the Ufuk corvette, Dünya newspaper reported.

“I believe that the Ufuk corvette will fill a big hole in today's world where preventive intelligence, signal intelligence in particular, has gained vital importance. The Ufuk corvette will be Turkey's eyes and ears in the seas,” Erdoğan said during the ceremony held at the Tuzla shipyard in İstanbul.

Noting that the ship has a pad for a 10-tonne helicopter, Turkey’s strongman said the vessel is capable of 45-days of navigation under harsh weather conditions.

The Turkish president has repeatedly warned that he will not permit what he called the seizing of natural resources by Greek Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean, where a standoff over hydrocarbons rights is heightening tensions between Athens and Ankara. 

Turkey, the only country to recognize North Cyprus on the divided island, has promised to stop what it sees as unilateral moves by the Greek side of the disputed island to exploit the potentially rich waters amid an ongoing standoff.