4th Marine and Maritime Security Forum 2022 | UMV Declaration (Draft)


4th Marine and Maritime Security Forum 2022 whose main theme “Asian Century, Maritime State Ecosystem, and Blue Planet“ was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 8th Istanbul Security Conference on the date of 03 November 2022 in Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Istanbul Merter, simultaneously as a sub-event. ...


4th Marine and Maritime Security Forum 2022 whose main theme “Asian Century, Maritime State Ecosystem, and Blue Planet“ was held by TASAM National Defence and Security Institute, together with the 8th Istanbul Security Conference on the date of 03 November 2022 in Ramada Hotel & Suites by Wyndham Istanbul Merter, 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 4th 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 Türkiye, Cyprus and the region were discussed at the Forum; “Mariner State Doctrine“, “The Turkish World in the Asian Century and Building the Future on the Blue Planet“, “New Marine and Maritime Geopolitics“, “Future and Vision of Turkish Marine Ecosystems“, “Türkiye'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“, “Türkiye Deep Sea Drilling Capabilities“.

As a result of the Forum, the following determinations and recommendations were made, and it was decided to bring them to the attention of all relevant authorities and the public in order to contribute to the construction of today and the future:

  1. The content, vision, proactivity and depth of the declarations of the first three Forums published under various names have been confirmed. It has been noted with regret that the sector companies (except for exceptional institutions) could not represent the necessary sensitivity in providing support/cooperation to the Forum and its peer studies, which are carried out with a historical responsibility and vision for the scale and capacity building of the Turkish Maritime Ecosystem.

  1. The lack of a single definition of "maritime security", due to different perspectives, causes maritime security threats to be referred to differently, such as terrorist activities, organized crime, climate change, sea pollution, sea level rise and marine ecosystem degradation. After the discovery of the resources on land, the search for the seas has added the risk of hot conflict in maritime disputes to the mentioned threat elements. Finding solutions to these problems should be the priority of the international community.

  1. Climate change has been identified as the most important factor threatening maritime security as a result of research. Maritime border disputes between states have been identified as the second most important maritime security threat. Especially, technological developments that enable the exploration and extraction of hydrocarbon resources in the seabed are one of the factors that direct the attention of states to the seas. As a result of these developments, maritime border disputes between states cause both regional and global tensions and conflicts, on the one hand, they also change the direction of national military, political and economic power. Nearly 190 of the more than 400 maritime jurisdiction disputes in the world have been determined by agreements. There are more than 200 disputes that are expected to be delimited by peaceful means. Marine pollution and the threat of environmental problems take the third place. In general, the sustainability of the benefits and opportunities provided by the seas to the societies can be achieved by protecting the marine environment.

  1. Post-colonial security understanding; liberating security from Eurocentrism, it moves the third world from object position to subject position. Climate change poses a threat to many small island states that were formerly colonies in terms of national, humanitarian, international and ecological security. These states, which are directly affected by climate change, emphasize that developed countries that cause climate change should have a greater share in the fight against climate change. However, the fact that the voice of the third world is not sufficiently listened to in the fight against climate change is one of the main reasons preventing a common solution.

  1. Economy and security are two important components that affect each other. Their mutual interaction and their contribution to the welfare level of countries are related to the continuation of national stability. The fact that 90% of all tradable goods in the world are transported by sea confirms the seas as the lifeblood of global trade. Safety and control of maritime routes also means control and security of trade lines. Cooperation on security on the seas, which provides a rich source of international trade and prosperity to countries, is very important.

  1. In order to ensure maritime safety, first of all, situational awareness should be provided at sea. Situational awareness at sea is the process of collecting, combining and analyzing data about all events and situations occurring in the marine environment and then disseminating the obtained information and analysis results to decision makers. The perspectives on maritime security in the strategy documents published by states and international organizations are more regional in nature. The absence of widely agreed upon maritime security threats both complicates global cooperation on maritime security and weakens the fight against these threats.

  1. Since maritime security requires global cooperation and partnership, the inclusion of government and international organization officials in the implementation stages of studies on security will provide a broader perspective. Again, increasing the number of activities such as national and international conferences, workshops and forums in maritime security will provide a basis for cooperation and partnership in the fight against threats and the importance of maritime security. The fact that maritime security, which has been at the center of the political, economic and military agenda of the last 20 years in international relations, is included more extensively in the international relations discipline education curriculum is important in terms of reflecting the 21st century security developments for the development of the Discipline.

  1. Due to the increase in border controls and the development of socioeconomic conditions, Türkiye has become a target country by leaving its transit country position. However, it is seen that human movements tend to take place by sea, and in this respect, it poses a threat to Türkiye's maritime security. The international framework, especially the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, remains inadequate and new and more inclusive regulations are needed.

  1. The increase in trade volume in Asia causes increased competition and confrontation of global powers. The Eastern Mediterranean, which is a particularly intense trade area, has become one of the focal points of the countries in this context.

  1. Türkiye should not be allowed to be isolated in the Eastern Mediterranean; every attempt of Israel to transfer energy resources to EU countries in cooperation with Egypt, Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece by ignoring Türkiye should be followed and strategic cooperation should be established with rational policies. Operating in these disputed areas without an agreement on the maritime jurisdiction areas among the littoral countries of the Eastern Mediterranean may be considered as a cause of war.

  1. Türkiye, the "Mavi Vatan" concept focuses on the maritime interests of the Turkish Nation. 25% of the total maritime trade is carried out through the Mediterranean. Due to economic interests, Mediterranean riparian countries prefer to gain political flexibility while providing leverage by entering into limited alliances. It is possible to show this situation as an example of the balance between Greece, the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus and Türkiye. Gaining a global dimension to this flexibility seen on the Mediterranean and in certain parts of the world is important in terms of ensuring maritime security.

  1. The status of the four most politically problematic countries in the Mediterranean region, namely the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, should be guaranteed at the UN and negotiations should be carried out at the representation of the guarantor countries by establishing gray areas in order to prevent them from losing their rights in the future.

  1. In case the Israel Missile Defense Organization, which has a multi-layered air defense system at low, medium and high altitudes, sells the Iron Dome technology, which is a low altitude air defense system, to the Greek Administration of Southern Cyprus; it is highly probable that the Turkish-Israeli diplomatic relations will not run smoothly. In this case, since a new crisis area will be created in addition to the existing Russian S-400 air defense system crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean, the realization of a new countermeasure against every military measure taken will increase armament and risk the preservation of peace.

  1. Instead of providing security with "Iron Domes", securing the regions with valuable energy resources with a peace belt may be more cost-effective and the environment of peace will be more sustainable as the peoples of the region get richer.

  1. Rational policies should be developed by reading the background of the red lines drawn all over the world, and national interests should be realized to the maximum extent in accordance with the principle of "equity and proportionality".

  1. The seas contain very important energy resources. Today, 50% of the natural gas and 30% of the oil are extracted from the seas in the energy resources used by the international community. According to forecasts, this rate will increase to 60% in natural gas and 50% in oil by 2030.

  1. Energy diplomacy, unlike the concept of diplomacy described in the classical sense, has complex processes carried out to achieve long-term strategic goals and requires multi-actor shuttle diplomacy. Two important mechanisms have emerged that will create an international ground for the oil/energy fields and accelerate shuttle diplomacy, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and the International Energy Agency (IEA), which was established by consumer countries.

  1. Türkiye can meet 74% of its energy demand with foreign dependency. For this reason, it would not be rational to focus only on energy security and to try to achieve its strategic goals with its military capacity.

  1. The new REPowerEU strategy, which will increase Europe's hydrogen production and import target from 5.6 million tons to 20 million tons by the middle of the century, should also be carefully examined by Türkiye. It is necessary to develop policies that will not miss the technological leap, especially through a consortium to be formed with riparian countries and global energy companies in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea.

  1. First of all, as in the Black Sea, Türkiye should determine the limitation of maritime jurisdiction areas with all riparian through diplomatic means, establish correct alliances, follow multi-faceted shuttle diplomacy, operate the international maritime law rules adopted by the countries of the world instead of aggressive attitudes, and in this way, should adopt its rightful claims to the world public opinion and in addition to strong commercial relations, it should not miss the use of green technologies and alternative energy sources that will create a technological leap, and technological transformations such as artificial intelligence, big data management and virtual reality. The Iskenderun region should be transformed into an energy exchange that refines and stores energy resources like Rotterdam.

  1. The problem between China and Taiwan is important in Asia and globally. While the People's Republic of China (PRC) sees Taiwan as a "state separate from the mainland"; The Republic of China (ROC), which actually governs Taiwan, when it was founded in 1949, considers PRC "separate" from itself and sees itself as a separate state. In 1971, UN General Assembly Resolution 2758 recognized the representatives of the PRC as "China's only legitimate representatives at the UN". Even though the ROC had to give up these claims both de facto and discursively, it officially continues this stance.

  1. This long-standing tension in the Taiwan Strait increases the potential for conflict in the Region. What makes Taiwan so important is its economic power and geopolitical position. Taiwan, located on an island of 38,188 km² in the Taiwan Strait, connecting the South China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, is today known as the "informatics giant country", which has become one of the top 20 economies in the world with its political structure and a population of nearly 25 million.

  1. In addition to the relevant UN General Assembly Resolution, according to the "Taiwan Relations Act" document approved by the US Congress in 1979, although the USA decided not to recognize Taiwan as a separate state, it prepared the legal ground for establishing informal relations with Taiwan. In addition to all these, the main determinant of the US policy towards Taiwan has been to prevent the annexation of the island by the PRC and to maintain the current situation.

  1. The PRC is an active player and a rising power in the Asia-Pacific geography. The close relations established within the framework of cooperation with the countries of the region are also closely followed in line with the policies pursued by the USA in this geography. While the USA has been reducing its military presence in countries such as the Middle East region and Afghanistan in its defense and foreign policy for years, it has started to shift its new interest towards the Asia-Pacific region.

  1. The US, which has increased its military presence in the region, is trying to make its power more dominant with the agreements and pacts it has made with its historical allies in this region against the PRC. Examples of these are QUAD “Quadrilateral Security Dialogue“ and AUKUS “AU, UK, US (Australia, UK, USA). QUAD is a security dialogue mechanism for the Asia-Pacific region between Japan, the USA, Australia and India, established in 2007 at the initiative of the then Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo and it was established to balance the increasing dominant influence of the PRC, a rising power in the region, in the South China Sea. It is stated that the cooperation between the three countries on issues such as information technology security, quantum technology, genetic technologies and artificial intelligence will be enhanced in the coming period. China's potential to ensure both its territorial integrity and regional leadership will be possible if Taiwan resolves the unification issue in its favor.

  1. Taiwan, or in other words, the Taiwan Strait, which is an island of balance between competing powers in South Asia, is important as one of the few international geographies in the world that can lead to war between two great powers, both of which have nuclear weapons. Taiwan's policy towards the south and its development prospects, as well as Taiwan within the scope of the South-Facing Policy (GYP), launched by President Tsai Ing-wen in September 2016; It conducts different negotiations with South, Southeast Asian and South Pacific Asian countries. It encompasses four main strategies: economic and commercial cooperation, exchange between people, resource sharing and definition of institutional links.

  1. Concerning the problem in the Region, it is important to work with ASEAN and relevant parties to strictly, fully and effectively implement the Declaration on the Conduct of the Parties in the South China Sea (DOC). An effective and robust Code of Conduct in the East Sea needs to be negotiated between the parties. Solving security problems in the East Sea requires a general and comprehensive approach based on international law in the spirit of dialogue. In disputes, countries are required to fully comply with their legal obligations under the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and to respect the sovereignty, interests and legitimate economic activities of coastal states.

  1. On this basis, it is recommended that countries strengthen the sharing of knowledge and experience, coordinate actions and respond promptly to common global challenges. Vietnam creates a forum and contributes to coordination by actively participating in initiatives and important cooperation mechanisms on maritime and maritime security in the East Sea within the framework of ASEAN and between ASEAN and partner countries.

  1. The Arctic region is undergoing major changes in parallel with global warming. With the melting of sea ice, the area they cover and their thickness decrease, making them suitable for navigation for ships. Changes in the Region have also caused changes in the strategies of different states towards the Region. Especially in recent years, the number of studies on the three main sea routes in the Arctic Ocean, the Northwest Passage (NWP), Northeast Passage (NEP) and Trans-Polar Passage (TPP), and their connections is increasing day by day.

  1. Although sometimes contradictory results have been reached in the studies examining the maritime trade routes in the Arctic region in terms of efficiency and efficiency in the context of transit, destination traffic, import/export transportation and intra-Arctic cabotage, there are many opportunities that the Region offers to the Turkish maritime sector.

  1. In the Arctic region, Çelik Tekne Shipyard became the first Turkish shipyard to win the tender for shipbuilding in accordance with polar conditions. The number of shipyards (Atlas and Akdeniz Shipyards, which produce ice class vehicles in accordance with the requirements of the Polar Code, Beşiktaş Shipyard, which built ice class fuel vessels, Sanmar Shipyard, which won the icebreaker tugboat tender, and Sefine and Kuzey Star Shipyards, which took part in the icebreaker tenders, etc.) that entered the tenders in the Arctic region there is an increase. Uzmar Shipyard, which built an ice-class vehicle in Denmark, drew attention to global warming and climate change with a social responsibility project called UzmarACT (Action Climate Team - Uzmar Climate Action Team) it carried out in Greenland in 2020. Within the body of 2022 Arctic LNG-2, “dry dock flood“ and GBS1 leak tests are carried out by Turkish engineers.

  1. In the Arctic region, which is warming three times faster than other parts of the world, as well as hydrocarbon resources and rare mines, a competition based on geo-economic opportunities related to maritime trade routes has come to the fore due to the relatively long-term shrinking of sea ice. These changes shape the Arctic policies of both regional states and states that are not located in the region.

  1. As global developments have an impact on the Arctic, developments in the Arctic also have global effects. Russia responded to more than ten thousand sanctions imposed on it with sanctions based on natural gas and oil obtained from the Region. And in this way, it has been seen that the ruble, which has lost value in recent months, has started to appreciate again. This situation shows how strategically important the Region is not only for Russia but also for many states in terms of economy.

  1. While the 21st century stands out as the "maritime century", nations that can read the sea both in civilian and military terms will have great advantages in this process. In this respect, it is very important that Turkish shipyards, which have actively won tenders in the Arctic region since 2014, are encouraged by developing a comprehensive maritime strategy, as well as continuing to display the flag with domestic and national technology in Antarctica and taking an active part in international cooperation in the Arctic.

  1. The security threats faced by Türkiye in the last 50 years and the desire to prevent foreign dependency are the two most important factors in the development of the defense industry. Global and regional risks such as the Russia-Ukraine War, the continental shelf dispute with Greece and the struggle for natural resource sharing in the Eastern Mediterranean have significantly increased Türkiye's need for a strong military in the seas compared to previous periods.

  1. It is understood that the EastMed project came to the fore with the search for balancing regional powers like Türkiye, not within the framework of competition with Russia, but was shelved because the risk of losing Türkiye could not be taken to balance China and Russia. Difficult political situations such as conflicts between countries due to the exclusive economic zone areas in the Eastern Mediterranean, and problems in Libya caused the EastMed project to lose its appeal. The cost of the project is very heavy due to the fact that most of it is under the sea, the issue of whether there is enough gas in the region or not, the desired result cannot be obtained from the negotiations with commercial companies for investment, the increasing number of green energy projects in Europe, The US, seeking to balance Russia and China, does not want to alienate Türkiye and the ambivalent attitude of EU countries such as Italy to support the project were effective in shelving the EastMed project. It is considered that the EastMed pipeline is unlikely to be considered as an alternative project due to geopolitical and economic reasons.

  1. Technological developments also affect maritime activities. Test phases for the development and use of autonomous ships are accelerating. The use of autonomous vehicles is on the agenda, not only in military or experimental, but also in civilian transportation. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) continues to work effectively on this issue. IMO works to identify and improve the deficiencies of international legislation.

  1. It is known that more than a thousand autonomous ships worldwide are operated by more than 53 organizations. In May 2022, the world's first autonomous commercial ship in Tokyo Bay, Japan, successfully completed its 500 nautical mile route, avoiding possible accidents with artificial intelligence. In Norway, the first electric and zero-emission eco-friendly autonomous cargo ship made its maiden voyage in November 2021. Countries such as Finland, China, Belgium, Spain and the USA also continue their autonomous ship studies. Although the use of autonomous ships has advantages in terms of safety, material and monetary savings, environmental protection and many other issues, there are undoubtedly risks.

  1. Defense industry R&D studies mainly focus on downsizing and dehumanizing existing weapons. The Unmanned Naval Vehicle (IDA) concept, which stands out in this field, creates an important potential thanks to its almost unlimited field of use, both in civilian and military terms.

  1. It has been strongly suggested to redefine the current political, economic and sectoral codes of the Seafarer State ecosystem, followed by the creation of a ministry/directorate to manage this ecosystem.
03 November 2022, Istanbul
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Continents ( 5 Fields )
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TASAM Türkiye 0 229

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