Skip to main content

US naval diplomacy reaches Turkey in latest sign of rapprochement

The US Navy's largest aircraft carrier arrived in Antalya several days before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to meet Russia's Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
The USS Gerald R. Ford, the world’s largest aircraft carrier, visited Antalya last week.

The United States dispatched its flagship aircraft carrier strike group to southern Turkey last week in the latest sign of rapprochement between the two NATO allies. 

US Ambassador to Turkey Jeff Flake hosted Selcuk Bayraktar, CEO of Turkey’s homegrown drone manufacturer Baykar and son-in-law of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, onboard the USS Gerald R. Ford during a combined demonstration with the Turkish navy flagship TCG Anadolu last week.

The Ford also linked up with a bevy of Turkish warships, F-16s, KC-135 refueling tankers and P-72s last week before the US carrier anchored off Antalya, where it “will again host local officials and military leaders for a dinner to celebrate the strong, extensive alliance between the US and Turkiye,” the US Navy said Friday.

A member of the Ford’s Carrier Strike Group, the guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy, headed for port at the Aksaz Naval Base in Marmaris on Saturday after nearly a month of training alongside the Turkish navy. The exercises included air defense and anti-submarine warfare drills, the US Navy said.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.