Türkiye is a Country of Two Peninsulas

Opening Speech

First of all, I will mention two things. First; it is related to the statement "Turks are not sailors", I would like to point out that this is an insulting expression to Turks and is due to ignorance of history. The other is about how I draw the map of the Blue Homeland....

First of all, I will mention two things. First; it is related to the statement "Turks are not sailors", I would like to point out that this is an insulting expression to Turks and is due to ignorance of history. The other is about how I draw the map of the Blue Homeland. Is this an expansionist, maximalist, imperialist and neo-Ottomanist approach? Does it have anything to do with it? I will not put it in a general geopolitical, geostrategic point of view, but technically and legally. That's the main thing and that's what we need. So we know the importance of the seas. We understand the importance of the seas. Because the world understands. The government is also aware of this. But it needs to be based on legal and technical grounds. That's what matters.

How do we put it on legal and technical foundations? I will present these for the first time as a scientific paper with this key talk. Sir, Turks were not sailors (!). If you start the history of the Turks with 1071, or if you start the Turks with Islam, it would be a huge mistake to say that even then the Turks were not sailors. Because today, the phrase "we did not make discoveries, we did not sail to the oceans in the world and go to other places" is not a suitable word for us. Why did they go out to the oceans? The reason is Turks. Turkish maritime. If we close the Spice and Silk Road, turn the Mediterranean into a Turkish lake, then they cannot trade here, of course they will have to find other ways. That's the reason.

Due to the arrival of the Turks, other states and other nations had to become sailors. Now, look; Sakas and Scythians are, of course, prototypes, with all historical facts now evident. When we say Sakas and Scythians, you go to 4000 BC. When you say Etruscans, you go to Rome and the history of the Turks goes back to 10000 - 12000 BC. Now, our historians have a huge mistake. My academic reviews showed it. They type "Turkish" as if they were searching on Google. When they write Turkish, they find whatever the source is. However, in history, Turk was also mentioned with the expressions "Turuku, Turku, Turuk, Törük, Yiwu, Turku, Turks, Saka, Scythian". That's why, once again, I recommend everyone to read the "Turkish History Thesis" of the great Atatürk.

Anacharsis is a Scythian Turk. Our Scythians, Sakas spread from the Yakutia region, that is, the region where the Yakut Turks are located, to the Black Sea regions, Azerbaijan, Georgia - that is, where the current Adjara Turks are located - to Ukraine, to the region where the Crimean Tatars are located and much further. When you say "Tatar", don't get slanted eyes. The Russians called all Turkish tribes "Tatar". In other words, "Crimean Tatar" means "Crimean Turk", "Kazan Tatar" means "Kazan Turk", "Chuvash Tatar" means "Chuvash Turk", "Yakut Tatar" means "Yakut Turk".

Sakas, Scythians settle in Odessa. Do you know what the Greeks called the Arctic Ocean? “Scythian Ocean, Saka Ocean“. The reason is these Saka Turks from Yakutia. What is the first Turkish female name as far as we know? Tomris. Who does Tomris Hatun come from? Who are the first users? Sakas. They are buried with their horses, they drink kumiss, they speak Turkish. Do you know why I'm taking this so long? It is said that “Turkish is not a sailor in history“, Turkish is a sailor in history.

I would like to express that you do not have any doubt about the fact that they are Turkish. Anacharsis is a philosopher, he says, "I will go to Athens". Our Turks didn't like the Greeks back then either, "Will you go to Athens and get poisoned?" they say. So they want to say “Are you going to get poisoned with your mind“. Anacharsis goes to Athens, where he sees the Greeks using a single-winged anchor; “We Scythians use both sides, one wing doesn't hold the ship,“ he says. It was Anacharsis who introduced the double-winged anchor to the Greeks and made them use it. The word "anchor" also comes from Anacharsis.

Now, the Turks have named the directions by the colors and the seas by the directions. Now we look at where the Turks came from. The Turks said "black" for the north, "white" for the west, "red" for the south and "blue" for the east. Here, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean, and the Red Sea are all Turkish names. When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk said, "Your first goal is the Mediterranean," he did not go to Antalya, our armies went to the West, they went to Izmir.

Oguz Kagan Epic is ten pages long, but it has been chosen very filtered. There, for the Turks, Oguz Kagan describes the future country borders; “More sea, more river. Let the sun be a brick, the sky a tent.“ Our ancestors always wanted to reach the sea when they flocked to China. They are sea-targeted, and whenever they reach the sea, then they succeed. Sultan Melikşah comes to İskenderun from Antalya after his father Alparslan was killed, puts his sword into the sea and says: "O my father Alparslan, good news for you. Your son, whom you left as a child, is conquering the whole world.“ Reaching the sea, conquering the sea is perceived as conquering the whole world.

The Etruscans were the founders of the Roman Empire. Are Etruscans Turks? Until 1750, that is, until the British decided to destroy the Ottoman Empire, it was mentioned as such, they are historical facts. Then, in order to create a sympathy for the Greeks, it is said that those who founded the Roman Empire were Greeks, and some theses are tried to be formed. But for example, the famous Medici Family says “No“, “We are Etruscans“. Visitors to museums in Rome see the depiction of two brothers, Romulus and Remus, sucking milk from a wolf. Do you know what the names of the Etruscan gods are? It is very interesting, "Turan". What do they call their president, "Tarkan". What do they call their city, "Tarkuna". There is the Ergenekon Epic, the same. Now, wasn't Rome a maritime state, could there be such a thing? Rome is a maritime state. If the Etruscans are the founders, then the history of the Turks is intertwined with maritime, I mean this.

Now look, in 1071, the Turks came to Anatolia for the last time, not for the first time, but for the last time, forever and they completely made a homeland. But when entering Anatolia, not only soldiers entered the Battle of Manzikert. Behind them, families, the elderly, children, all their belongings on their backs, enter with them. They enter in 1071. No trains, no buses, no planes, nothing. In 10 years, they reach Çeşme in 1081 and Çaka Bey builds the first navy. Is it possible for someone without a maritime vision to become a navy in 10 years? Where and how are you doing? You find local craftsmen, you get them to do it, you conquer Lesbos and Chios. In 1084 Lesbos and Chios are conquered. You came from the steppes of Central Asia, what does it mean to build a navy? Where did the conquest of the islands come from, why are you conquering the island, what kind of vision was this? Then, in 1090, they destroyed the Byzantine navy (the navy of the Eastern Roman Empire), and it was left without a navy. But our life, the life of Turks is always like this. We are always eating ourselves with such mischief and sedition from within.

Çaka Bey is Kılıçarslan's father-in-law. After these victories, they provoke Kılıçarslan by saying, "Çaka Bey will replace you." One day, he invites his father-in-law to dinner. Çaka Bey accepts the meal by saying that there will be peace for the country and the nation. Kılıçarslan thrusts his sword into Çaka Bey's chest at dinner. What happens after 3 years, no navy, nothing? The Crusades begin. Just like we mentioned before; just like when they came to Anatolia, which was left without a navy, to the shores of Çanakkale and landed them.

We have great victories such as the Preveza Victory. We also have the oldest living ship in the world; “The galley“… The Americans built their navy because of us. From where? Algerian Governor Gazi Hasan Pasha is a sailor, he closed the Mediterranean in 1795, so they have to go out. I produce security in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic. If you want to trade here, I will protect you against pirates. Piracy was the official income source of the states until 1841. It was banned in 1841. How is it going to be? He says to me, you will pay for it, if you pay for it, American ships will come and sail easily in the Mediterranean and the North Atlantic. He's making a deal. This is the first agreement in another language (in Ottoman) in the history of the United States. September 5, 1795, Tripoli Agreement!

Algerian Grand Seigneur, Uncle of Algeria. Grand Seigneurs are called "uncle", that's where the word uncle comes from. In other words, when you say "do you have an uncle in the state", you do not mean your relative, but "uncle" in the sense of do you know a grand seigneur. Algerian uncle raises salaries. When we raise salaries, Americans say we need to build a navy. I am telling these, I may be telling it like a story, but I saw it, let those who have not seen it see it. If you go to the maritime museum in Baltimore, you will see this agreement text first. It is chronological and the mehter anthem plays while passing by with a soft voice. This is how the US Navy was founded. That's why it is very wrong to say "Turks are not sailors". Turks are sailors.

The period when the Ottoman state reached its peak was the 16th century, the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, is it true? Actually it is not. The 16th century is the period of Barbaros Hayrettin Pasha. The more the Ottoman Empire grew in maritime, the higher the state became. His vision was so formidable that many navies were made at work. Suez Navy, Indian Navy, Aceh Campaigns, etc. Three options are presented to Suleiman the Magnificent. Shall we go to Europe, to the East, to Rhodes? He decides that Rhodes is much more important and takes Rhodes. He goes to Rhodes himself on an expedition. The siege of Crete lasted 33 years. The conquest of Cyprus, the conquest of the islands is very important. Look, this is what came to my mind when I said Cyprus. Do you know the Eastern Mediterranean and the Turkish Sea during the Karamanoğlu Principality? The Eastern Mediterranean is called the Karaman Sea. We cannot ignore these facts now. On one side of the sultan is the grand vizier, on the other side is the Captain-i Derya. Captain-i Deryas are directly subordinate to the sultan. They are not connected to the grand vizier especially during the ascending period, the peak period.

Now let's come to the present. Drawing the map of the Blue Homeland is not something that stems from my admiralty or naval officer ship, I fell in love with it. I worked, read, researched and learned these techniques for 17-18 years. Not every naval officer knows this technique, it is not possible. They can only know the maritime law and the basic maritime law concepts. This is a very special area. That's why I founded the Turkish Maritime and Global Strategies Center and I am raising young people. I deal with them every day so that they learn and know these things. This is the reason, otherwise I am an international relations teacher as a result; I also know how to talk about geopolitics and geostrategy and how to defend this business legally and technically, it is important. This map is not a ruler drawn map. Some of them appear on TV, in newspapers, take a pencil and a ruler; He draws it up to the middle of the Sea of Islands, and turns it from there. How do you draw, how do you translate? You have to work for months for each point of this. Türkiye is a maritime country. Türkiye is not actually a peninsula, it is a country of two peninsulas. One is the Anatolian peninsula, the other is the Thrace peninsula. Even our most seafarer says it is a peninsular country, whereas Türkiye is a country of two peninsulas. It is necessary to look at the subject a little differently.

The mentality of thinking like a land-based nation has been instilled in us recently. How long has it been vaccinated? From the 18th century. It was removed from the seas, its navy was hit, the center of gravity was determined to reduce the state, and its navy was destroyed by the raids of Çeşme, Sinop and Navarin. It is the center of gravity. In this period, the center of gravity was chosen at the same place. Is not it? Wherever there are traitors, they first targeted the navy to destroy the Turkish state. They aimed to bring him down. It was like this before. This is nothing new. Three quarters of Turkey's borders are sea. There are gas-hydrate deposits around Turkey. When I wrote about the studies of the Middle East Technical University, Istanbul Technical University, Bogazici University, Bahçeşehir University, Yıldız Technical University, Dokuz Eylül University and my studies in 2010, it was said, “Where does this Cihat Yaycı get it from, he throws it out“. I got those numbers out of geology, gas-hydrates were unknown at the time. I used a map made by MTA and Dokuz Eylül University in 2007 in my first article, Libya. Gas-hydrates in the Black Sea - in the north - meet Turkey's natural gas needs for 272 years. And the gas-hydrates in our exclusive economic zone, which we call this "problematic area", meet our natural gas needs for at least 550 years. Now we need to change the mentality in terms of maritime.

You know the Spratly Islands are not natural? What you call an island is actually reefs. They filled the lands from China on planes and ships, transported them for ten years, piled them up. Then they filled it, they built buildings and observation buildings on it. This is one thousand eight hundred and fifty two kilometers from China. They are filled with the brought lands, a base is built. The thing called island is the rock here, the boundary stone, the life jacket. Two Chinese soldiers, thousands of miles away from their hometown, are standing guard at the border stone, with guns in their hands and binoculars in their eyes. They call the place where they stand with their boots an island, we call this 40-acre place Kardak Cliff. We have to change this mentality. What is the need for two rocks, we say to struggle. What do we need for this island right under our noses, three miles away, the man is fighting for the stone a thousand miles away.

We teach students about maritime jurisdictions in 4 main categories; “inland waters“, “territorial waters“, “continental shelf“ and “exclusive economic zone“. The first is “inland waters“; lakes, rivers, seas and gulfs such as the Sea of Marmara. State jurisdiction is exactly the same here as on land. In terms of international law, jurisdiction in inland waters is the same as on land. State law sees this place as land. In other words, the Sea of Marmara is a land without the Montreux Convention. National straits are also seen as such. I'm talking about an interstate business. In other words, the state uses all its authority there. For him, the Sea of Marmara is an inland sea. To enter the inner sea, to enter the inner water, you will be treated like entering the Kapıkule. Freedom of use of the seas does not apply to inland waters. Freedom of use of the seas, this must be separated very well.

After that, the state has the maritime jurisdiction area of "territorial waters", which can be considered as brown land. Here, too, states grant a few concessions. They allow the passage of ships such as transit passage, harmless passage. But in other respects, the state is almost completely sovereign in territorial waters. The calculation of territorial waters begins in the 1800s. Territorial waters starts at three miles, as far as the range of your cannon on land. So, you throw the ball, the ball falls into the water, you say "ok, this is me", that's where the three-mile thing comes out. Later, this work comes to a level where it can be increased to six miles and then up to twelve miles.

The concept of the "continental shelf" came to the fore in 1958 when states realized that there was an abundance of oil and natural gas in the seas. It covers only non-living resources on the sea floor and below. There is also a nuance there, there are such shellfish stuck to the bottom. Because they are immobile, they enter the seafloor and the stagnant inanimate resources below. The continental shelf is the area where the powers to search, find, extract, use, sell and transport all these are recognized.

But after 1958, it is seen that; it has fish, it has a body of water on the seafloor, it has wind energy, it has current energy, it has tidal energy. Do you know how much electricity potential we can obtain from current and wind energy in the Eastern Mediterranean? It meets 15% of Turkey's electricity needs (only in the Eastern Mediterranean). That's why the "exclusive economic zone" is very important not only for fish but also for energy production, and there are some projects towards energy production for the celestial mass in the air due to magnetic differences. The exclusive economic zone for them gets code ethics in 1982. In other words, the exclusive economic zone is actually the upper cluster, below it is the continental shelf. The exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf are maritime jurisdiction areas (areas in which the state can exercise its economic powers). The main difference between the two is that one is living and non-living resources, and the other is non-living resources.

Exclusive economic zone requires declaration. The continental shelf, on the other hand, does not require an announcement, it is a "ipso, inito, sui jeneris" (self-born, self-appointed) right. But a transaction that requires an announcement requires diplomatic effort. Nobody is talking about the continental shelf anymore, they are talking about the exclusive economic zone. There are some funny excuses for stating the coordinates of our exclusive economic zone. It would be done if the fishermen wanted it, and it would not be possible if we declared an exclusive economic zone and could not protect it. Is the Greek Cypriot Administration a stronger state than us that it declared an exclusive economic zone in 2003? If it is said that if foreign fishermen enter, the exclusive economic zone becomes meaningless; irregular immigrants are also entering through land borders, so should we abolish land borders too, is there such a logic?

Now, what is this Blue Homeland? These are the maritime jurisdiction areas that have been declared or envisaged to be declared in accordance with the principles of maritime law within the framework of Türkiye's rights arising from international law. We declared the first exclusive economic zone in the Black Sea in 1986, when we were a front country during the Soviet Union and a wing country of NATO. We first announced it, and then we confirmed it with gradual agreements for nine years. Meanwhile, when the Soviet Union collapsed, other riparians appeared in the Black Sea, and we made a deal with them again. At that time, I searched whether the fishermen were asked to declare an exclusive economic zone, but I could not find such information (we would be pleased if anyone came across and forwarded it to us).

According to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the Sea of Marmara is an inland sea. In other words, the seas connected or not connected to the open seas by two, three or five straits from an island whose entire coast is surrounded by a state are called inland seas. In national straits, the nuances connecting an open sea or an exclusive economic zone to an inland water, connecting the inland sea are called "national straits". Inland water regime is also applied in national straits. So like the land, the state is completely sovereign. Because our Dardanelles and Bosphorus connect the open sea with an inland water. If it connected the high sea or EEZ to another EEZ or international water then it would be an international strait. When there was an international strait, it would be a strait subject to transit within the framework of the principle of free use of the seas. But here we are grateful for two national straits and an inland sea, we do not apply the internal process given to us by the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea in this region, we apply the 1936 Montreux Convention. By implementing the Montreux Convention, we contribute to the peace, stability and security of the region and the world. Something very important. We waive some of our rights.

Do not let it be understood from here, is the Montreux Convention against us, no. The Montreux Convention is in our favour, and no one should tamper with it. From where? Imagine now, if there was no Montreux Convention, we would have taken this place as it is, if we had said so. America would come to our door and say, “My aircraft carrier has arrived, I am your NATO ally, and in the context of collective defense preparations, this aircraft carrier should also pass through here“. Could we resist? Difficult. Russia would say, "This is my only warm sea, this is the sea that does not freeze, I am building a shipyard here, I will build the navy from here, build the navy from a nuclear submarine to an aircraft carrier and release it from here, I am a strong neighbor of yours," and we would be in big trouble. Now we say to everyone, "Hold on, there is the Montreux Convention". It should not be confused with it.

But we need to take the gold franc measure under it (Montrea), 3 billion dollars (we lose 3 billion dollars annually instead of 150 million dollars). A ship passes through our straits every twelve minutes. A dangerous cargo ship passes by every fifty-nine minutes. There are some statements that the number of ships passing through the straits has decreased. It is true, but it is related to the increase in the tonnage of the ships. In the last ten years, the tonnage passing through the straits has increased by 30%. It is not the number of passing ships that matters anyway. Our pricing is per tonnage. It is the same in the world. That's why we need to get this gold franc first.

The issue regarding the Islands Sea is as follows; Greece has islands. Greece said during the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea; “I am an island state like Indonesia, Philippines, Japan, accept me as such, and do all my maritime jurisdiction measurements from my islands. Because I am an island country.“ but no one accepts. Because Greece is a peninsula with a mainland, or rather islands. Therefore, the dimensioning is not done by islands. There is article 121 of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. It is clear which island will be under what conditions. Therefore, the measurements are made on the basis of two opposing main lands within the framework of the principle of proportionality. There are decisions of the arbitral tribunals and the Court of Justice, in which issues such as the principle of proportionality, the superiority of geography, the superiority of the mainland over the islands, and demographic characteristics are taken into account. They are principles derived from all of them. How to measure is not written in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. All of these are in the decisions of the arbitral tribunal and the Court of Justice. The coastal length of the mainland of Turkey is 3,484 kilometers. It is 2,667 kilometers from Greece.

You know, when they call us maximalists, if we had applied the technique normally applied in the world, the line would not have crossed the middle, we had to move 25%-30% further within the framework of the proportionality principle. It is thought that when we draw the map of the Blue Homeland in the Sea of Islands, all the islands of Greece are ours. It's not like that. Of course, the nominally ceded islands of Greece have territorial waters. Apart from that, we are talking about the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone. We are talking about it. The midline is drawn accordingly. This is the Turkish maritime jurisdiction part of the archipelago, the part of the Blue Homeland, this is how it was calculated.

When we say the Eastern Mediterranean, it is actually referred to as the east of the border between Sicily and Tunisia in the literature. But our area of interest is the east of 25 degrees east longitude. This is the line between the Sea of Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, which we reported to the international hydrography organization in 2011. All of these islands remain within the Sea of Islands, not the eastern Mediterranean, and the border passes outside it. The Greeks say worse. He says that Meis Island is in the Sea of Islands, in the Aegean Sea. When the Syriza MP said "would he be in the Sea of Islands" last year, they excommunicated the man. This is the case when we look at both the discourse and the law of the sea. Again, by far, it is a coastal length of 2,280 km.

They asked the European Union whether the map of Seville is used, or are these maps your official map. The European Union cannot say "this is my official map" because under international law it is neither a state nor a federation (it is neither the Russian Federation nor the United States of America). The European Union is an economic union. States maintain their sovereignty, armies, laws, borders. For this reason, the European Union has neither a sea border, a land border, nor an air border. That's why he can't say "I have such a map". This is the exploitation of the Hellenic-Greek duo, which is shown as the European Union's land border, sea border, so let's not fall for this trick. That's why the European Union denied them, saying "we don't have such an official map". But for whatever reason, the European Union continues to use these maps in all its agencies. The European Union tries to impose sanctions when Türkiye enters the areas of the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece shown here. It cannot accept this map but uses this map.

In 2003, the Greek Cypriot Administration declared an exclusive economic zone on behalf of the "Republic of Cyprus". For a very long time our people showed it on maps as if they had declared it in the south. It was an illusion for him. Then he made deals. Look, it announced in 2003, it made an agreement with Israel in 2010. First he announced, then he made a deal and deceived them too. Israel decided to review the 2010 agreement and got a share of the Bed of Aphrodite. What we did, when we declared an exclusive economic zone in 2003, we couldn't even look at the map properly. We looked directly at the map like this, Türkiye lies flat in the east-west direction. At most, the reciprocal coast is drawn directly with the ruler in our opinion, and it is said that there is only a reciprocal coast in Egypt. Nothing is being done with Libya, Israel or anyone else. There is no such technical meeting with Egypt, it is just said. With technical discussions that lasted for weeks, Greece has been meeting with Egypt for 18 years, and the Greek Cypriot Administration for 15 years.

If we had offered an agreement to Israel until 2010 instead of Greece - Greek Cypriot Administration in 2003 and we said to Israel, you will gain a maritime jurisdiction area as much as one and a half Cyprus islands according to the agreement you will make with the Greek Cypriot Administration, with whom would he make the agreement? Relations were good then. He would do it with Türkiye. Then there would be no problem. There would be no Eastern Mediterranean problem today.

I just drew the map showing the Libya Agreement line to go step by step, but on the next map I marked it as 189,000 km². This number; it emerges when the opposite shore with Israel, the opposite shore with Lebanon, and the opposite shore with Syria include. My previous map, I used it until the Libya Agreement. After the deal, I brought up the next one. This is how the Blue Homeland is formed.

( Rear Admiral [R] Cihat YAYCI, Head of Turkish Maritime and Global Strategies Center [Turkish DEGS] | Keynote Speech, 3rd Marine and Maritime Security Forum, 04 November 2021 )

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