No joint drill with Tehran, says Ankara
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkish officials have denied Iranian media claims that the Turkish navy was scheduled to stage the ‘Sea Lion 2012’ maneuver under the supervision of Iranian military forces in the Aegean Sea along the coasts of İzmir today.
State-run IRNA news agency reported that units of Turkey’s navy, air forces, coast guard and the Ministry of Transportation will take part in the exercise using different kinds of naval vessels, fighter bombers and helicopters supervised by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Islamic Republic Army as well as certain other countries. The maneuver is held in the Aegean Sea once every two years for discovery and rescue in the sea, the report says.
According to Turkish officials there is no such joint military drill with Iran as suggested by the IRNA. “Three Iranian officials will be present on the international monitoring day of the drill, a routine implementation in every military exercise. Not only Iranians, but a number of military observers from other countries will also be there,” officials said. Officials did not indicate whether it was the first ever invitation extended to Iran from the Turkish military.