Mavi Vatan, or Blue Homeland – Turkey’s doctrine claiming extensive maritime jurisdiction in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas – is back in the news with an agreement that Libya’s Tripoli government and its main backers in Ankara announced last week.
The two governments concluded an agreement on Nov. 28 on their respective sea borders that sees the two countries as maritime neighbours, drawing Turkey’s marine boundaries across an area that discounts maritime claims of Greek islands, including Crete.
Ironically, the deal concerns areas that the internationally recognised Tripoli government does not currently control, since it has lost the east of the country to the Libyan National Army of General Khalifa Haftar.
Nevertheless, the agreement prompted vehement reactions from Greece, Cyprus and also Egypt, and may be raised by Athens in the NATO summit in London this week.
The agreement with Libya is a product of Turkey’s Mavi Vatan doctrine. As far as its Mediterranean portion is concerned, it refers to a huge sea area across half of the eastern Mediterranean that ignores the continental shelves of the islands of Cyprus, and the Greek islands of Rhodes, Kastellorizo, Karpathos, Kassos and the eastern section of Crete.
The Mavi Vatan doctrine was first laid out in June 2006 by Admiral Ramazan Cem Gürdeniz during a symposium at the Turkish Naval Forces Command Centre.
A classic anti-Western and ultranationalist, Gürdeniz is obsessed with Turkey’s maritime supremacy in areas marked out by Mavi Vatan and eventually beyond.
Read more: ahval