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Turkish Navy conducts mine warfare exercise with France.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by NATO on April 29, 2024, Standing NATO Mine Counter Measures Group 2 (SNMCMG2) participated in the multinational Exercise Olives Noires, hosted by the French Navy off the southern coasts of Toulon and Sete.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Aydin-class mine countermeasures vessel TCG Amasra. (Picture source: NATO)

During this period, allied ships engaged in intensive training exercises to secure freedom of navigation, a pivotal aspect considering the significant threat naval mines pose to both maritime security and the global economy.

The exercise scenarios were crafted to reflect realistic, multi-threat environments involving mine detection, clearance operations, and the use of diving and remote-operated vehicles for both mine recovery and environmental assessment.

Adding to the strategic depth of the training, SNMCMG2 included a diverse fleet comprising units from several NATO countries: the Hellenic flagship HS Heracles (A-472), the Spanish minehunter ESPS Segura (M-31), the Turkish TCG Amasra (M-266), the Italian ITS Chioggia (M-5560), the Greek HS Evropi (M-62), and the French FS Capricorne (M-653). The group also made a logistical stop at the Toulon Naval Base.


The relationship between the Turkish and French navies reflects broader geopolitical dynamics and has seen both cooperation and tension over the years. In recent times, the Turkish Navy's activities, such as the deployment of the Ada-class corvette TCG Kınalıada to France, illustrate ongoing operational interactions. This corvette, part of Turkey's national shipbuilding project MILGEM, visited the main naval base of the French Navy, marking a moment of cooperation.

However, historical tensions have also shaped the relationship. For instance, in the past, France and Turkey have had conflicting interests in regional crises such as in Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean. These conflicts have occasionally strained relations, as seen in 2020 when a hostile maritime incident occurred between a French frigate and Turkish naval vessels off the coast of Libya, leading France to suspend its contribution to NATO's Operation Sea Guardian​.

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