Ex-admiral criticizes Navy's Africa campaign
Toygun Atilla / ISTANBULRetired admiral Nusret Güner, has criticized the upcoming African campaign of the Turkish Navy in which he once served as a commander.
In Ukraine, Crimea's pro-Russia parliament has scheduled a referendum on March 16 to decide whether the region should remain as a part of Ukraine or annexed by Russia. Rostec, a Russian state arms and technology group, has said a United States surveillance drone has been intercepted above Crimea.
As tensions rise in the Black Sea, a Turkish naval task force is scheduled to depart for an African campaign on March 17-June 27. Barbaros Turkish Naval Task Force, which is composed of two frigates, one corvette and logistics ship, will visit 27 countries in Africa.
"The Black Sea waters are boiling because of what's happening in Crimea and Ukraine. The United States and Russia are playing chess. They make moves one after another. When there is an imminent risk of clash, it's an unacceptable situation that the Turkish Naval Forces are engaged in an African campaign in a way that they weaken their presence in the region," Güner told daily Hürriyet.
Güner said he considers the African campaign as a wrong move for one more reason, which is the current status of Turkish naval forces. "The Sledgehammer trial and other legal cases have weakened the professional experience and skills of the Navy staff," he said.
The coup plot trials led the arrests of scores of military officers. Güner had resigned when he was expected to become the Commander of the Turkish Naval Forces, after a 1.5-year tenure as the head of the Fleet Command.