Maritime security has been high on the agenda of the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union (BE EU Presidency), whose approach associates four main challenges to four different maritime spaces at the edges of Europe: the North Sea, the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea and the Gulf of Guinea. Within this landscape, the Republic of Türkiye stands out, especially in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, as the guardian of the Marmara Sea and its straits (Bosphorus and Dardanelles), which connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean.
For quite some time, the Mediterranean basin has undergone dramatic transformations, under the increasing pressure of transversal challenges such as global warming or refugee crises. However, for at least two decades, it has also witnessed significant geoeconomic developments through massive discoveries of natural gas and subsequent rows revolving around – amongst others – exclusive economic zones, energy hubs and commercial corridors. Among the different state actors involved, Türkiye has grown particularly vocal on these maritime issues, often at odds with several neighbours (Greece, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, etc.). The Turkish strategy regarding those matters has a name: the Mavi Vatan (‘Blue Homeland’) doctrine.
In order to better grasp what the ‘Blue Homeland’ doctrine is about and which historical grievances are behind it, we will have the privilege to listen to its own creator, Rear Admiral (Retd) Cem Gürdeniz from the Turkish Navy, director of the Istanbul Koç University Maritime Forum. We will also have the honour to host Air Force Brigadier General (Retd) Patrice Moyeuvre, former French defence attaché in Ankara and an associated researcher at the Institut des relations internationales et stratégiques (IRIS), to discuss Türkiye’s geopolitical ambitions and frictions with international law.

Source image : A. Brosmann

Evening conference

Maritime Security and Strategy:
Türkiye’s ‘Blue Homeland’ Doctrine

Rear Admiral (Retd) Cem GÜRDENIZ
Air Force Brigadier General (Retd)

Moderator : Didier LEROY

Language: English, French
Simultaneous interpretation in Dutch, English and French

20 June 2024, 17:00 – 18:30
> 16:30 – Registration
> 17:00 – Conference
> 18:30 – Reception

Campus Renaissance
Rue Hobbema, 8
1000 Brussels