Turkey passes NATO role to Germany
MUĞLA - Anatolia News Agency
Soldiers pose with Turkish, German and NATO flags during the ceremony.
The command of the Standing NATO Maritime Group-2 (SNMG-2) was handed over to Germany from Turkey, in a ceremony at the Aksaz Naval Base in the western town of Marmaris on June 15.
Only a few ship hijacking incidents had taken place in Somalia during Turkey’s period of duty, Rear Admiral Sinan Azmi Tosun said at the opening of the ceremony. Tosun, who handed over the mission to his German colleague Thorsten Kahler, said that during Turkey’s year-long duty, six and a half months had been spent in Somalia fighting successfully against sea pirates.
Tosun said they were proud that sea piracy had decreased by 65 percent during Turkey’s duty, thanks to their successful fight against it. “We conducted operations against 10 sea pirate ships and arrested 175 sea pirates … A total of 15 NATO ships were involved in operations during Turkey’s command,” he said.
The ceremony ended after the Turkish troops handed over the NATO flag to their German counterparts, who will now command operations.