Having strong navy not choice but essential for Turkey: Erdoğan
The Turkish Navy and the Coast Guard have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants in the waters of the Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said, vowing that the government's efforts to turn the Turkish Naval Forces into the strongest fleet of the world will continue uninterruptedly.
'It's a necessity and not a choice to have a strong naval force for Turkey whose three sides are surrounded by seas. That's why we attach special importance to improve our Navy Forces both in terms of equipment and personnel and to keep them ready to contribute to the defense of the homeland,'' Erdoğan said in a video message he conveyed on April 21 to the Blue Homeland military drill being carried out by the Turkish Naval Forces in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas since April 11.
Turkey's largest navy drill has been conducted by the participation of 122 sea vessels, 41 aircraft and 12,000 military personnel between April 11 and 21. Erdoğan said the exercise has been concluded with success and the Turkish military has shown that they are always ready.
Erdoğan vowed to continue working to make the Turkish Navy Forces one of the strongest forces in the region and in the world by constructing new submarines and developing new national weapon systems.
''Our army is the one that carries out most substantial humanitarian aid campaigns along with its jobs to defend the nation,'' Erdoğan said, drawing attention to the fact that the Turkish Navy saved the lives of scores of migrants on the seas, whereas some developed and modern countries were leaving these people to their fate.
''We have won the appreciation of the world thanks to our humanitarian aid operations and search and rescue activities from...