The command of the NATO component will be performed by the Turkish Maritime Force and Türkiye will hand over the task to Italy a year later.

Türkiye is currently NATO's second largest army.
Türkiye is currently NATO's second largest army. (AA Archive)

Türkiye has taken over the helm of NATO's Response Force Maritime Component from the UK for one year.

The command of the NATO component will be performed by the Turkish Maritime Force (TURMARFOR) until January 31, 2024.

Rear Admiral Huseyin Tigli, head of TURMARFOR and the Turkish Surface Action Forces, said NATO has five headquarters with this capability and TURMARFOR’s headquarters is one of these five.

Tigli said it has a large headquarters that can plan and coordinate such a comprehensive operation and coordinate the command.

"Giving such a capable headquarters structure to NATO's service shows the importance Türkiye attaches to NATO,” he added.

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Collective defence

Cuneyt Talayman, a Turkish Navy official and the secretary general of TURMARFOR, said NATO high readiness naval component commands were created to command its operations in case of crisis and war.

Noting that the UK, France, Italy, Spain and Türkiye already have these kinds of headquarters, Talayman said Germany is on its way to achieving it.

Possible missions were determined as collective defence, contributing to the protection of territorial integrity, peace support operations, embargo operations, the protection of critical infrastructure and security and pioneer force operations, he added.

TURMARFOR’s headquarters started its activities in 2020 with the appointment of the core staff, he said.

Türkiye will hand over the task to Italy a year later.

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Source: AA