Turkey has recently increased its navy buildup in the eastern Mediterranean Sea off Cyprus, and Turkish drilling vessels are currently operating in the company of Naval Forces Command elements.
Turkey’s Naval Forces Command is providing full protection to the drilling vessels, both on the surface and underwater, with the help of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), the country’s National Defense Ministry said in a tweet on July 23.
“Our Naval Forces Command is continuously and incessantly accompanying our drilling vessels in the eastern Mediterranean,” the ministry tweeted, providing video footage of the vessels which was taken by a UAV.
The vessels are being protected by air with the Bayraktar TB-2 UAV, a maritime patrol aircraft and naval helicopters. Some corvettes, frigates and assault boats are providing protection on the surface, the ministry added.
In addition, submarines are also escorting the drilling vessels by guarding them underwater, the ministry’s tweet noted.
Ankara has sent two drilling vessels — the Fatih, and most recently the Yavuz — to the eastern Mediterranean this Spring and Summer.
Deniz Kuvvetleri Komutanlığımız, Doğu Akdeniz’de sondaj çalışması yapan gemilerimize;
havadan “BAYRAKTAR TB-2 İHA , Deniz Karakol Uçağı ve Deniz Helikopterleri”, suüstünden “Fırkateyn, Korvet ve Hücumbotlar”, sualtından “Denizaltılar” ile sürekli ve kesintisiz refakat ediyor. pic.twitter.com/zeqBWAE39n
— T.C. Millî Savunma Bakanlığı (@tcsavunma) July 23, 2019