Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha returns after 473 years. His banner flutters over headquarters. The real ruler of the Mediterranean is back. Turkey-Libya deal changed the nautical map. Sevres plan blew up in their face. ‘Blue Homeland,’ magnificent country: Turkey’s surface area is much greater than we know. - İBRAHIM KARAGÜL

Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha returns after 473 years. His banner flutters over headquarters. The real ruler of the Mediterranean is back. Turkey-Libya deal changed the nautical map. Sevres plan blew up in their face. ‘Blue Homeland,’ magnificent country: Turkey’s surface area is much greater than we know.

Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha’s sanjak (banner) was taken on Sept. 27, 2019 from the museum and was placed at the entrance of the Naval Forces Headquarters. This is happening for the first time. Now, fleets returning from expeditions, drills, perform the military salute in front of the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasha mausoleum when crossing the Bosporus. This tradition, known as “çimariva,” was adopted again starting with the “Mavi Vatan” (Blue Homeland) drill.

Blue Homeland, magnificent country: Turkey’s surface area much bigger than we know.

As a concept, “Blue Homeland” is a magnificent definition. It is a wonderful expression that redefines our perception of homeland.

We have a mindset that restricts our perception of Turkey and its map, associating it with land alone. When we say “Turkey’s surface area,” for instance, we take the geographical span of our land, 783,562 square kilometers only.

Yet, when we include our seas, territorial waters, continental shelf as well, Turkey’s surface area grows to an extraordinary scale. This leads to radical changes when we look at the map, when we look at Turkey. This massive country grows greater in our eyes.

If we go beyond the land and seas, if we take into account Turkey’s ethnic area, we see a spectacular power from Europe to Asia, the Middle East to the depths of Africa.

We’re now explorers. We’re making memory discoveries. True owners of the ‘valley’ are shaking the whole region.

We are now explorers; especially for the last 15 years. We are rediscovering our memory.

We are rediscovering the “memory” that allows us to see the region, political history, our nation’s political codes, our history-maker and region-builder role, our perception of Turkey, our perception of the Ottomans and Seljuks, and to see all these in a single picture.

We are overcoming the dictates and mental tutelage. This means great changes not only for Turkey but the entire region. It means tremors, earthquakes are on the way. It means the entire established order will crumble, water will flow into its own reserve, and the owners of the valley will be back.

Seljuks are back, Ottomans are back, trust is back to the competent

The Seljuks are back; the Ottomans are back; the showdowns from World War I are back; the Anatolia defense is back; the claims of past centuries are back; in brief, everything that belongs to us is back. We have seen that they are all ours, they belong to us. Because the trust is now returning to the competent.

Those building hundreds-of-kilometers-long fronts in northern Syria were going to target us. Our real issue was not the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), Daesh or terrorist organizations. What we were fighting, what we were trying to defend Anatolia against was not war against terror.

In 1917 in Gaza, the fight we put up in every stage of the world war in Jerusalem, Medina, the Canal, Syria and Iraq, in the Balkans and Caucasus, then later in Anatolia, was continuing in northern Syria.

They were coming to avenge our entry to Anatolia, our defeat in the Balkans.

The fear and revenge they accumulated ever since we entered Anatolia, ever since we eliminated the East Roman Empire, every since we reached the center of Europe, appeared before us in northern Syria, in the “terror corridor.”

While breaking the siege there, we realized that new walls were built, new fronts were established and the siege was expanded in the East Mediterranean, in all of the Mediterranean, in the Aegean and the Balkans.

In the East Mediterranean, they were gathering around natural gas resources; they were building missile systems on the Aegean islands. They were building military bases along the Greece-Bulgaria-Romania line, making buildups.

They tried to bury us too in the Mediterranean, which they turned into a graveyard for refugees

They were encircling Turkey and making plans to corner it in Anatolia and tear it to pieces. They were dividing the Mediterranean, completely eliminating Turkey from this sea – which was once a Turkish Lake – and making it impossible for us to breathe.

The U.S. was there; almost all of Europe was there. France was fervently taking place in every single anti-protest. Israel was there. Egypt was there. Greece and Greek Cyprus were there. Arab regimes were also there to weaken Turkey, their new goal.

All the countries that stood against the Ottomans in World War I were now on the anti-Turkey front in the Mediterranean. In addition to Israel, Gulf countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) had also joined them.

Those that shared the Mediterranean among themselves were dividing Libya into two, providing extraordinary military support to a terror baron named Haftar, and finding puppets for themselves in every part of the Mediterranean. The civil war in Libya that is ongoing today is the indicator, the summary of the division in the Mediterranean.

A ‘revolution in defense industries’ from national airplane carrier to new armadas. We are in every part of Mediterranean.

We expanded our defenses with our drilling ships, battle ships, missile systems towards the West as well. We were also seeking natural gas. We were building our defense shield in the Mediterranean. We were implementing game-changer drills under the name “Blue Nation,” and getting into preparations.

We were strengthening the Turkish fleet to the utmost, building new battle ships along with submarines and airplane carriers using national capabilities. We were making extraordinary investments in the war industry in the fields of sonar systems, electronic software, among others, and building a defense industries revolution. Our unmanned air vehicles, aircraft, battle ships were now everywhere in the Mediterranean.

Turkey-Libya deal changed Mediterranean map: Lesson taught to those imposing Sevres.

Turkey, which destroyed in nine days the order it took them eight years to establish in northern Syria, joined with the regional countries of the Western alliance, and reset the sharing of the Mediterranean – which they have been continuing for nine years – with a single deal with Libya.

The U.S., Israel, France, Egypt, and Greece’s, the Western world’s, its regional partners’, the Western war industry’s plans had crumbled with a single move. A spectacular response was given to those who had been imposing Sevres on us again. We had shown to those threatening us that they would be under threat.

The deal between Turkey and Libya not only ruined all plans over the Mediterranean but it also showed the world that Turkey has a Mediterranean map.

If they have map plans, we have our own. We did it in Syria, in the Mediterranean. We are going to continue to do it.

We were going to show our own map to those who came with their own. If they had map plans, so did we, and we would respond in the same manner. We did this in northern Syria. We are going to continue to do it. We did it in the Mediterranean. There is still a great deal more that we will be doing.

Just as their natural gas plans in the East Mediterranean went down the drain with the Libya deal, the Greece administration balance has also been ruined. Turkey and Libya directly became bordering countries. We build a shield right in the middle of the Mediterranean. One of Turkey’s biggest geopolitical breakthroughs since Lausanne was taking shape.

Yes, Barbaros is back. History in reverse.

Yes, Barbaros is back in the Mediterranean after 473 years. From now on, we are everywhere from North Africa to the East Mediterranean. We too have map drafts and claims, both on the ground and at sea. And from now on, we will choose not to defend but to challenge. The real revolution is taking place in our minds. As we transform, as we find ourselves, the region changes, the power maps of centuries get turned upside down.

Centuries-old, half-a-millennium-old, millennium-old plans are on the table. This is the language we are going to speak from now on. We are going to teach this language to them too.

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