Turkish Navy tightens its precautions against sea mines during the war in Ukraine


The Turkish Naval Forces Command has stepped up precautionary efforts to find and defuse any sea mines lost in connection with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the National Defense Ministry said on Sunday.

According to the statement shared with related images, maritime patrol aircraft, helicopters, drones and patrol vessels were deployed to defuse the drifting mines.

Coastal minehunters play an important role in efforts to find and defuse possible sea mines, while personnel from the Undersea Defense Branch (SAS) of the Turkish Army are tasked with the elimination afterwards.

If a mine is detected, SAS commandos swim underwater to defuse it after securing the perimeter.

Turkish forces recently defused an errant naval mine floating in the Bosphorus, in an incident that came days after Russia issued warnings about errant mines floating in the Black Sea amid its war with Ukraine .

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar described the object, first discovered by fishermen in the northern Bosphorus, as an ancient type of mine and said he was in contact with Russian and Ukrainian authorities at this time. topic.

Turkish military helicopter is seen on a boat during mine clearance operations, April 3, 2022 (DHA Photo)” onerror=”this.style.display=’none’;”/>

A Turkish military helicopter is seen on a boat during mine clearance operations, April 3, 2022 (DHA Photo)

The Bosphorus, a key trade channel linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, was briefly closed due to the suspected mine risk last Saturday.

Several vessels, including tankers and freighters, had to stand by at both entrances during this period, according to the Coastal Safety Directorate. According to the management, more than 40,000 ships on average cross the 33-kilometre (21-mile) strait each year.

Meanwhile, the agriculture minister said “all kinds of fishing activities” had been banned at night in Turkish waters in the southwestern Black Sea, citing security concerns.

SAS commandos defuse a lost mine in the Black Sea, April 3, 2022 (DHA Photo)

SAS commandos defuse a lost mine in the Black Sea, April 3, 2022 (DHA Photo)

“Sunset to sunrise” fishing along the sea from Bulgaria to Turkey’s northwest coastline, including the Bosphorus Black Sea entrance, is suspended until further notice, a he said on Twitter.

Turkey shares the Black Sea borders with Russia and Ukraine, which Moscow invaded last month.

Russia’s main intelligence agency said on Monday that several mines had drifted out to sea after severing cables near Ukrainian ports, a claim dismissed by kyiv as disinformation and an attempt to shut off parts of the sea.

The Black Sea is a major maritime artery for grain, oil and petroleum products. It is connected to the Marmara and then to the Mediterranean Sea via the Bosphorus which crosses the heart of Istanbul – the largest city in Turkey with 16 million inhabitants – then the Dardanelles further to the south-west.

Asked about the possible risk of mines reaching Turkish waters, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said this week that the necessary measures were being taken.

Earlier this month, Ankara restricted access to the strait for all warships except those registered in Black Sea ports in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Under the Montreux Convention of 1936, Turkey controls the Turkish Strait linking the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. While merchant ships can freely cross the strait in times of peace, battleships are subject to certain restrictions.

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