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Turkey makes splash in Mediterranean with naval acquisition

Turkey’s purchase of a landing platform dock vessel is raising questions about its naval strategy.

When Turkey’s military planners and defense procurement authorities decided to buy a colossal amphibious assault vessel in early 2010, the two seas of traditional disputes around Turkey, the Aegean and Mediterranean, appeared calmer: Worsening but still good relations with Syria, worsening but manageable relations with Israel, better than "just good" relations with Egypt, normalization with traditional rival Greece and the usual no-relations status with Cyprus. But, when the Turks moved to select a shipyard for the vessel last month, the Mediterranean looked much less calm.

The decision to go ahead with the plan to acquire a landing platform dock (LPD) that will come with a huge price tag of anywhere between $800 million and $1 billion comes at a time when Turkey is at various temperatures of cold war with Cyprus, Lebanon, Israel, Syria (and the Russian military presence in Syria) and Egypt.

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