3rd Marine And Maritime Security Forum | Marmara Declaration (Draft)

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3rd Marine and Maritime Security Forum 2021 whose main theme “Turkish Marine Ecosystem: Proactive Policies, Products And Technologies” was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 7th Istanbul Security Conference on the dates of 05-06 November 2020 in DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Atasehir Hotel & Conference Centre, simultaneously as a sub-event....

3rd Marine and Maritime Security Forum 2021 whose main theme “Turkish Marine Ecosystem: Proactive Policies, Products And Technologies“ was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 7th Istanbul Security Conference on the dates of 05-06 November 2020 in DoubleTree by Hilton Istanbul Atasehir Hotel & Conference Centre, simultaneously as a sub-event.

A wide range participation was provided by state officials, bureaucrats, soldiers, academicians, private sector representatives, defense industry officials at the Forum which was held third time this year to examine the regional, continental and global developments in all areas related maritime, and to make academic suggestions that will guide the international relations, defense, security, economy, law and socio-cultural policies.

The following issues of vital importance in present and future of Turkey, Cyprus and the region were discussed at the Forum; “New Marine and Maritime Geopolitics“, “QUAD (Quadruple Security Dialogue: USA, Japan, Australia, India) in the Indo-Pacific“, “Future and Vision of Turkish Marine Ecosystems“, “Turkey's Capacity Building in the Black Sea, Mediterranean and Red Sea and Oceans“, “Structuring of Turkish Navy Forces and Power Distribution/Focusing“, “New Products and Technologies of Marine Defense Ecosystem (UMV, AUMV etc.)“, “Turkish Naval Base Scenarios“, “Turkish Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ) and Rivalry“, “New Variables in Marine Geopolitics; Arctic, Canal Istanbul etc.“, “Impacts and Contributions of Climate Change to our Rights and Interests in Marine Protected Areas and Seas“, “Turkish Maritime Trade Vision and Future; Perspectives/Analysis“, “Turkish Nautical Tourism Vision/Future; Perspectives/Analysis“, “Turkish Ships and Marine Technology Industry Perspectives“, “Maritime Security; Turkish Defense Industry“, “Turkish Shipbuilding Capabilities and Shipyard Industry“, “Turkish Ports, Marina, Ship and Yacht Tourism; Hinterland and Growth Strategies“, “Turkey Deep Sea Drilling Capabilities“.

As a result of the Forum, the following determinations & recommendations were made and it was decided to bring them to the attention of all relevant authorities and the public:

  1. Having a peninsula geography, moderate and generous seas with rare qualities, around 200 ports, 8,333 kilometers of coastline, important transportation lines, Turkey is facing today - the destabilized region for access to the Mediterranean in northern Syria and maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean. Maritime geopolitics lies in the content of the foreign policy-based problems that take place on these areas. If we add to this that the contribution of the sea-based economy in the country's economy is significantly insufficient compared to its potential, it turns out that Turkey's determined and confident march in its maritime awakening has a long way to go.
  2. Covering all maritime areas (navies, maritime fleets, ports, shipyards [shipbuilding industry and all branches of engineering applicable to ships]), fishing activities, seabed mining [including metallurgy, geology, oceanography, hydrography and seismology], marine tourism, marine law, maritime education institutions and activities, marine environmentalism, supporting sectors [search-rescue, agency, pilotage services, ease of navigation-communication, ship traffic services, maritime meteorology, etc.], maritime history, maritime literature, cultural and sports-themed activities [water sports, museology, etc.] and national/international, military raising public awareness in the field of “maritime and maritime power“ in Turkey and in the countries to be cooperated, on the healthy management of the changing “maritime and maritime“ parameters, with an integrative approach and a broad vision of history (including partnerships with civil maritime organizations); carrying related studies to new dimensions required by global developments; It is of vital importance to establish maritime-themed interaction networks between Turkey and other countries.

  1. When approached from the defense and security dimension, the country's geopolitics; Its adequacy in building maritime power capabilities that will meet its needs and turn its potential into economic prosperity is discussed. The efforts of the Turkish Naval Forces and the Turkish Defense Industry Complex in this regard have increased significantly in recent years, but as the navy's power increases, maritime trade, shipyard and shipbuilding, port and agency services, maritime tourism, fishing, seabed mining and its sub-sectors It is also of vital importance to produce academic reports that will guide Turkey in the main fields of maritime power such as maritime sciences and naval sciences.

  1. Although some non-governmental organizations are active in terms of providing added value to decision centers from the perspectives of Turkey's geocultural maritimeization; In order to accelerate Turkey's maritime adventure, it reflects basic expectations to be able to produce scientific resources that will enable the nation and state to become maritime by arousing maritime awareness, and to evaluate all areas of maritime geopolitics and maritime power together.

  1. The power struggle triangle between the United States of America, Russia and China since the Cold War period draws attention. With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the increase in China's share in the international market has affected the US approach to China. The South China Sea, which is on the agenda with its geopolitical importance, attracts the attention of both the countries of the region and countries such as America and Russia. The establishment of the AUKUS alliance of the USA against China, which is trying to gain a place in the international arena, especially with the "Belt and Road" initiative, is of vital importance for the South China Sea in question. Struggling with China economically, gaining freedom of navigation in the South China Sea and balancing Russia in this region are among the objectives of the AUKUS alliance.

  1. Another competitive environment between China and America is Taiwan. The Beijing administration has a very strict attitude towards Taiwan. By the Beijing administration it has been clearly stated that an independence movement in this region will be counted as a cause of war, and at the same time it will be a response to a possible provocation and foreign intervention.

  1. By modernizing its military power, China aims to provide the USA with the advantage of technological superiority in sea and air power. In this respect, it increased its military expenditures by 76% between 2011 and 2020. According to the views of the US Department of Defense, there is a possibility of a hot conflict in Taiwan in 2027, especially as China continues to develop its nuclear weapons inventory at the same pace.

  1. The Chinese Navy is of great importance in terms of competition and regional security in the Region. Not only is China the world's largest shipbuilding country, it also has a high production rate. Considering that it commissions approximately three submarines every year, it can be said that it will have more than seventy submarines in two years. Russia and China's launching of the "Marine Interaction-2021" joint exercise in the Sea of Japan means that both countries want to create a deterrent psychological effect in the Region.

  1. China also argues that North Korea's possession of nuclear weapons threatens both its own and the Asian region's security. With the emergence of arms competition in the Region with North Korea's weapons accumulation, China proposed "six-sided talks". Thus, it tried to prove that it is a responsible actor in both global and regional problems.

  1. There are four main issues of importance regarding the South China Sea: The first is; The nuclear armament of China and North Korea in the East China Sea threatens the security of the Asian region. China's arming of artificial islands along the South China Sea, even though it is against international maritime law, can be given as the second main issue. Third issue; It is revealed that the borders of the conflict in the Region can be expanded with the transformation of the border conflict between India and China in the Himalayas, which resulted in the death of 20 Indian soldiers, into a hybrid war model. The last issue is that Russia and China, who took advantage of the power vacuum created in the region with the withdrawal of the USA and NATO from Afghanistan, strengthened the ethnic and religious radical terrorist pressure and brought these two states closer to each other.

  1. It is observed that Russia's need for a stable market to balance Western sanctions and China's economic and military power increase its energy demand, as well as its desire to diversify its energy resources in response to the long-term trade tension with the USA. Considering these desires, the energy equation is in the foreground.

  1. East Mediterranean; With the report published by the US Geological Research Center in 2010, it has announced that there is a total of 30 billion barrels of hydrocarbon reserves equivalent to oil for that reason it has been a region where the struggle has increased for the countries that have a coast to the Mediterranean, as well as the global powers and energy companies in search of energy.

  1. With the concept of "Blue Homeland", Turkey's strategy based on military power in maritime areas gained importance after 2015, and the Blue Homeland Exercise was held simultaneously in the Black Sea, Mediterranean and Aegean regions for the first time in Turkey in 2019. Turkey continues its activities in the Eastern Mediterranean actively with the ships Yavuz, Barbaros and Fatih. Among the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) agreements signed in the Eastern Mediterranean, the EEZ agreement between Greece and Egypt, which do not have maritime borders, is important in that it violates the Memorandum of Understanding between Turkey and Libya on the Limitation of Maritime Jurisdiction.

  1. It should be known that the power wars in the Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics will bring more harm than good to the countries bordering the Mediterranean. Imperialists should realize that; The Republic of Turkey is ancient with its deep-rooted past, there is nothing it cannot overcome. In addition, the old world they envision does not exist, and there is no old Turkey, and they will continue to experience their disappointment. With concise sentence; In the Eastern Mediterranean geopolitics, the "Blue Homeland" is Turkey's national border.

  1. The EASTMED Pipeline Project is a natural gas pipeline starting from Israel to Italy. This line passes through the Greek Cypriot Administration, Crete Island and Greece. Turkey did not accept the route of this pipeline and with the EEZ agreement with Libya, it dominated the planned borders of the EASTMED Pipeline.

  1. While countries such as Japan, Russia, China and the USA are involved in the power struggle in the North Pacific region, European countries are closely following the developments in the Region. Since the beginning of the 2000s, with the initiative of China, Russia and Canada, the Arctic region's gaining importance as a new transportation route in the global trade geopolitics has made this region a new field of struggle. In the light of this information, it can be stated that the geopolitical center of gravity of the world has started to shift from the Middle East to the north of the Pacific.

  1. With the melting of glaciers due to climate change in the Arctic region, new energy sources and new alternative ways of maritime transportation emerge. The power struggle between the USA, Russia and China is also encountered in the Arctic region, but the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which can resolve or prevent the emerging conflicts is insufficient to resolve the conflicts that may arise in this region.

  1. In recent years, it is seen that countries such as Israel and the Greek Cypriot Administration, especially the Gulf countries, have established some relations with India that extend far beyond the subcontinent in terms of geopolitical, military, economic and demographic. More than 8.5 million Indian population living in the Gulf has an important role in the developing and deepening relations between the Gulf Arab countries and India. Undoubtedly, this population serves as a vital bridge in the economy of India and the Gulf countries. It is possible that this issue, which is increasingly sensitive in terms of its geopolitical dimensions and economic ties, may turn into one of the humanitarian problems of the Region that await an urgent solution in the coming years.


  1. On the way to establish a security umbrella in the form of "Gulf- Indian Ocean Security Integration" of regional geopolitical risks within the scope of the sensitivity caused by the developing and deepening relations between India and the Gulf countries, It is understood that it paved the way for the signing of security and defense cooperation protocols between India and the Gulf countries.

  1. Problems that may arise in maritime rights and freedoms can be resolved with a strong and balanced naval force. The main purpose of the naval operation is to hold the target area. For this reason, it is necessary to have a permanent presence in the relevant region, and in order to provide this presence, the naval forces must have a strong and deterrent effect. The navy has a very important effect on the deterrent diplomacy or show of power to be followed, especially in times of crisis.

  1. The Aegean Islands in the Aegean Sea have very different face sizes and their numbers are very high. However, they can be divided into groups. This feature of the Aegean Sea is few and far between in the international arena. It brings the problem. These problems are; maritime jurisdictions issue, Eastern Aegean.The question of the disarmed status of its islands depends on the legal status of some geographical formations. Problems, Greece's violations of responsibility and rights in the Aegean and search and rescue problems in their activities.

  1. The Aegean Islands in the Aegean Sea are very different in size and in large numbers, but they can still be divided into groups. This feature of the Aegean Sea brings with it several problems in the international arena. These problems are; the problem of maritime jurisdiction areas, the demilitarized status of the Eastern Aegean Islands, the legal status of some geographical formations, the violations of responsibility and rights of Greece in the Aegean, and the problems in search and rescue activities.

  1. Unlawful border regulation activities on both the Thrace border of Greece,and the repatriation carried out against irregular migrants in the Aegean Sea with FRONTEX and NATO.Although the pushing actions had wide repercussions in the world press, the reports prepared, the Greek troops directly as a result of the acoustic analysis made by forensic experts.Despite the lifeless bodies of irregular migrants found to have been shot by the EU.It has been determined that it is not the subject of a legal proceeding.

  1. Due to Covid-19, both pressures and protective measures against human rights and border measures are further increased and irregular migrants are mistreated and excessive. It is an obvious case that the use of force is ignored. Aegean Sea for immigrants.it has been transformed into a place where the law does not apply, where it is de facto political. Human rights have been disabled due to accounts.

  1. Due to the importance of regional integrations in terms of the Black Sea and its geopolitics, the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization (BSEC) should be evaluated in this context. Promoting economic integration among the BSEC member states; It will bring not only prospects of prosperity but also lasting peace, security and stability. In this context, strengthening of BSEC means strengthening of Turkey; therefore, it should expand/enlarge its hinterland by making North Macedonia, Montenegro and Kosovo members in 2022. The role that the BSEC can play in the geopolitics of the Black Sea is multidimensional. Therefore, it is stated that it is an important organization for cooperation and has the potential to activate dynamics that will render intra-regional conflicts more unresolved.

  1. EU; It is very worrying that he remains silent about systematic human rights violations at the expense of protecting his borders and his “European“ identity. The applications made to the ECtHR to date are that the international protection application is evaluated by subjecting it to an accelerated procedure and there is no individual evaluation. However, the applications made to the ECtHR by irregular migrants, especially those trying to cross into the EU via Turkey, are the applications made by the applicants who cannot reach a legal procedure available in national law, without any evaluation as a result of pushbacks. Irregular migrants are no longer granted the right to seek asylum, not even the right to seek asylum in the EU.

  1. In the long run, the structural dissolution of states under geopolitical tensions will also be inevitable. It is also possible that the USA, China, India and again Russia will be split into smaller pieces. While these giant structures are being divided, it is not possible for the others to preserve their existence. International organizations or multinational NGOs will be much stronger than state organizations, the concept of state sovereignty will be weakened.

  1. All institutions and organizations related to maritime trade are not transparent. Therefore, forecasting of maritime markets is crucial for managing strategic decision-making. Countries that can process artificial intelligence in big data will also be able to manage geostrategy.

  1. Since the International Law of the Sea, which has developed from the jurisprudence of the colonial period to the present, has been designed in favor of global powers thanks to both maritime trade and the events in the history of naval warfare, the rights of third parties cannot be fully met within the scope of the principle of equity and proportion.

  1. The agreement of two sovereign states on maritime jurisdiction areas may harm the interests of third parties/persons sharing the same sea. The Montreux Agreement is an exemplary model for twenty-six nodes worldwide. Thus, on the one hand, trade ships can pass through the straits freely and safely, on the other hand, activities of foreign warships that may disrupt the military balance of the Region can be restricted.

  1. Restrictions should be placed on the operation of foreign warships in the exclusive economic zone of another country, unless there is a UN resolution. Law should work for the benefit of humanity. Coastal states border/coast security organizations cooperation mechanisms will be able to ensure the safe conduct of maritime trade. It is thought that the arms race will continue as long as warships move freely all over the world. The defense industry has always been the savior in protecting the completely flawed capitalist economic structure from recession. For this reason, artificial crisis zones are created in the world.

  1. More than 80% of trade and transportation activities between all countries of the world are carried out by sea. Trade and transport by ship has been exposed to maritime hazards since the beginning of maritime trade. However, with today's technological developments, cyber dangers have been added to the dangers that ships are exposed to. Whether it is conventional shipping, autonomous or unmanned ships expected in the near future, it faces cyber security threats. E.g; The incident of smuggling the cargo and erasing its trace with a cyber attack in Antwerp Port, and the attacks of NotPetya (Ukraine) and COSCO (China) caused significant damage. With the developed technologies, autonomous and unmanned ships, which are only used for military, certain practical purposes and experimental studies, are expected to become usable in transportation activities in an estimated 20 years.

  1. Geopolitics has been one of the most important reference and reference sources in making sense of international politics for many years. In this context, the importance of maritime geopolitics in the competition of political and economic spheres of influence has begun to come to the fore. In this context, maritime transportation lines, ports, energy supply and transfer lines have become more and more critical. Iran is one of the leading exemplary countries that concretely demonstrates the importance of these elements and maritime geopolitics. Especially its activity in the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Sea; The influence it has in the context of maritime trade, transfer of energy resources and security brings Iran to the fore in this sense. On the other hand, in these areas, which constitute an important part of Iran's maritime geopolitics, a number of cooperation and balancing strategies are evident among actors such as Russia, China, the USA and the regional countries Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar. In this respect, it is seen that the importance of Iran's maritime geopolitics has increased in recent years, in a wide range from military exercises and security cooperation to economic cooperation and commercial projects.

  1. The Arctic Region has been going through an unprecedented period of physical, social, economic and geopolitical change in recent years. As one of the consequences of global warming, the glacial masses in the Region are rapidly melting, causing some problems along with some opportunities; This leads both to the use of the Region as an alternative route in intercontinental logistics and to facilitate access to large underground resources. These emerging opportunities naturally increase the interest of regional and non-regional actors in the Arctic; This puts the "exceptional" 30-year-old state of peace and stability in the Arctic Region, which has been called the "peace zone" since the end of the Cold War.


  1. Political, economic and military struggles in this area, on which world politics has turned its eyes; Controlling the Region with bases, capturing unclaimed islands and reefs, territorial waters formed in this context, declaring the continental shelf, claiming exclusive economic zone rights and ultimately owning the energy resources in the Region, emerging new sea manifested by the race to restrict their course.

  1. The Paris Climate Agreement signed in 2015, unlike the Kyoto Protocol, deals with the planet as a whole and includes maritime activities. Now the agenda is CO² (carbon dioxide) emissions. The purpose of the Agreement; The goal is to limit global average temperature rise to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels, well below 2 degrees Celsius. What is understood from the scope and rules of the Agreement is the fact that "distorted industrialization harms the ecological system".

  1. World public opinion is accustomed to the spiral of crimes against humanity. Many countries are on the brink of war even though maritime jurisdictions should be shared with the principles of equity and proportion. Instead of the struggle for sharing, consortia should be directed. Atatürk's secular, democratic, legal and social republic model and his proactive "Peace at Home, Peace in the World" doctrine are an exemplary model that will ensure lasting peace. Atatürk's state model is the only peaceful model that can prevent the weakening of unitary state organizations with individualization.


05 November 2020, Istanbul

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