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What is the meaning of Blue Homeland Concept and effects on Eastern Mediterranean Cooperation?

Podcast in Turkish language.

Interview with Turkish Strategist Cihat Yaycı of Turk Degs on 04.01.2022

Levent Agaoglu

Dear friends. Our guest, Cihat Yaycı, Turkish strategist gentleman, our retired admiral… We are having a meeting with them at the moment to discuss the concept of Blue Homeland in more depth. hello sir,

Cihat Yayci

Hello, Thank you very much.

Levent Agaoglu

Thank you sir. Now, when you evaluate it under the title of Blue Homeland Doctrine and the Eastern Mediterranean; Does this doctrine cover all seas and nations? Is it universal?

Cihat Yayci

The Blue Homeland doctrine is actually a Turkish doctrine. Why? Because we call all of our maritime jurisdiction areas that have been declared or are expected to be announced, in accordance with international law and within the framework of our rights and interests arising from international law, or that have been announced. This is the doctrine itself of benefiting from all aspects of the seas that have been declared or planned to be announced, protecting and developing our rights and interests there.

Levent Agaoglu

Has the concept of the Blue Homeland itself or similarly been expressed in other countries?

Cihat Yayci

Now this is in every country. Why? Let’s put it very simply. The maritime jurisdiction is based on the continental shelf and the exclusive economic zone boundaries. Each country’s own maritime jurisdiction and exclusive economic zone is actually its Blue Homeland. We have named the maritime jurisdiction “Blue Homeland” as a beautiful, symbolic name. This could not be the Blue Homeland, but the sea homeland. There could also be maritime jurisdictions. It could also be an economic part of the country. We could also call it a maritime economic country. However, I use this concept because the Blue Homeland holds. As a matter of fact, it is maritime jurisdiction. Maritime jurisdiction also exists in each country according to international law.

Levent Agaoglu

So every country has a blue homeland. Well, sir, have new concepts and terms been developed within the conceptual framework of the blue homeland? Is further development necessary?

Cihat Yayci

In fact, we include maritime jurisdiction areas within the concept of Blue Homeland, as I have just mentioned. In other words, there is neither a land invasion, nor a naval invasion of another, nor a territorial invasion. These are maritime areas that are completely parallel to international law and determined within the framework of rights and benefits arising from international law. Now, we tried to explain to the Turkish Nation how to take advantage of these maritime areas and what the continental shelf of the exclusive economic zone means. There are some nations that are already aware of this, there are some nations that are not aware of this, and there are some nations that do not have a coast to the sea. However, with the work we do, we go to Erzurum, we go to Elazig. We are going to Maraş, we are going to Antep. We are going to Diyarbakir. In other words, we go to Ankara and Eskişehir many times.In other words, we go to cities that do not have a coastline. Therefore, the Blue Homeland is not only a matter of seas but also of waters. In this respect, we have included waters, lakes, rivers, rivers and dams in the concept of the blue homeland. In that respect, it is important to be conscious of digesting and assimilating what is rather than a newly derived concept within the concept of the Blue Homeland.

Levent Agaoglu

New information as confirmation, sir. The two most used words in Turkey’s place names are spring and creek. Of course, this is related to the old cultures of the Turks, but they also left their mark on Anatolia. Stream and spring… Because Turks have the sacredness of water.

Cihat Yayci

So we are very intertwined with water. As you know, the name of one of Oğuz Kağan’s sons is Denizhan. What does Oğuz Kağan say when describing the country? More sea, more sky… That’s when he says that the country is not only limited to land, but also a country with sea and sky.

Levent Agaoglu

There is also Tonyukuk, sir. Talay… It is said that I made an expedition to Talay. Talay China’s sea coast, Pacific coast. The dalai in dalaylama is actually talai. That means ocean. We still have a neighbor in the ocean.

Sir, is there any literature on the Blue Homeland? Is it occurring? Has it had reflections in international academic circles? Have you been contacted?

Cihat Yayci

When the blue homeland is mentioned, three parts actually come into play. It has three main pillars. The first is legalism, the second is cartography, and the third is maritime… Now it is not correct to describe it as just the sea. It is very accurate to define this legally and mapping it is very important. I am an international relations professor. I know concepts such as geopolitics and geostrategy better than anyone. But it has to be filled in. It needs to be filled in and their scientific articles are required. It’s not like newspaper columns. Technical studies need to be done. It should be published in international peer-reviewed journals. We did these. For example, we published an article at Tel Aviv University last year.

Levent Agaoglu

So you did it internationally.

Cihat Yayci

Of course. We published a two-way article on how Israel was deceived by the Greek Cypriot Administration and how much it would gain if it made a deal with Turkey. This became a hot topic in Israel, Greece, England, Greek Cypriot Administration and America. It is still on the agenda and Israel has claimed rights from the Greek Cypriot Administration on this article. Now we have similar articles and books in Egypt and Libya. You know, I turned my article “Libya is Turkey’s Neighbor by the Sea”, which I started to write in 2009 and published in 2011, into a book. As a result of this article, Turkey signed the Turkish maritime jurisdiction delimitation agreement with Libya. We have now published my article describing their loss to Egypt. Egypt has also started to reevaluate them. Now, all of these are actually just a few of the ones I counted in the international arena, which made a sound and made contact,It caused delegations to invite or visit us. The request has come, it is asked when something happens. This is how they go.

Levent Agaoglu

Did you publish these articles in Arabic?

Cihat Yayci

Of course, of course. Both in Arabic, Turkish and English. In Libya, Egypt, Israel in their own language… We already have many articles published in English. We created a literature with all of them. Once I did this. I started in order for the Turkish Nation to have a Blue Homeland consciousness, a sea consciousness. How did I progress? I wrote articles first. Then I wrote a book called basic maritime law. Then I wrote what is an exclusive economic zone and what it is not, with questions and answers. The importance of the sea, the importance of the exclusive economic zone, the maritime jurisdiction areas, what they are not, what rights they provide, after they are well understood, these are so that our nation can raise awareness. All the revenues of these books are either donated to the Turkish Armed Forces Solidarity Foundation or the Mehmetçik Foundation, or as in my last book;It was donated to the Turkish Maritime and Global Strategies Center. Our official name is Mavi Vatan Shipping and Global Strategies Association. TÜRK-DEGS is our publicly known name. I also donated the proceeds here. As I said, basic maritime law, exclusive economic zone with questions and answers, Libya is Turkey’s neighbor by sea. After the signing of the agreement on this book, the struggle of the Eastern Mediterranean to share and Turkey… In this book, I expressed the next steps to be taken in the Eastern Mediterranean, with whom and how to make an agreement. So I went step by step. Later, after the Eastern Mediterranean; I came to the Sea of ​​Islands. Greek Demands with Questions and Answers, open parenthesis Aegean problems, I have published a book from the Turkish Historical Society. In this book, all the Greek demands,I put forward these demands, which were made to be perceived as problems by us, on a legal basis, and I wrote down every fine detail what Turkey should do. Legally. In other words, I wrote completely based on information and documents, away from hostility. Then I came to Montreux after all this. It’s the last book I’ve published. With questions and answers, what is Montreux and what is not? I also published it in order to raise public awareness based on information and documents.

Levent Agaoglu

You take a proactive stance in the context of law, cartography and maritime techniques on the issues you mentioned, which is a situation we have not witnessed before. We were on the defensive in that sense. With this proactive attitude of yours, you are creating a literature, I can guess that these publications will reach much higher numbers in 2022 and 2023.

Now, sir, is there a consensus in the world on the concept of Blue Homeland? What must be done to make it happen? Is it being done?

Cihat Yayci

In fact, a consensus was formed in the concepts. However, it was not formed in the sharing of the seas. For this, the struggle for the sharing of the seas continues. If the struggle of the consensus formed in the concept continues in the field, then the thing to do is this: you will know your legal rights very well. You will know the agreements, you will know the contracts. You will know the rights arising from them. You will know how to make a deal. First of all, you will know this. Given a latitude and a longitude, you will have information that can show where that point is on the world globe. You will not talk about these issues with people who do not have that knowledge. Nor will you allow them this opportunity to speak. Because they can’t do this job,It has become very absurd for people who could not put a point on the map with latitude and longitude to speculate about this Turkey’s maritime rights and interests. Now we have seen that Turkey has suffered a great loss. Why? It is as if Turkey, lying in the northern hemisphere within the world globe, was lying flat. They have no information. We need to increase this information. People who do not know latitude and longitude tried to draw borders, both with a ruler. There can’t be such a thing. You cannot take a pencil, ruler, eraser and draw a line.They have no information. We need to increase this information. People who do not know latitude and longitude tried to draw borders, both with a ruler. There can’t be such a thing. You cannot take a pencil, ruler, eraser and draw a line.They have no information. We need to increase this information. People who do not know latitude and longitude tried to draw borders, both with a ruler. There can’t be such a thing. You cannot take a pencil, ruler, eraser and draw a line.

Levent Agaoglu

Could we get out of this line, sir?

Cihat Yayci

Now we came out with the Libya agreement. We’re partially out, but there’s more. Those heads are probably still there. We find it difficult to draw other agreements, other boundaries.

Levent Agaoglu

I had created a question for myself as to what kind of work should be done to think and develop strategic concepts. We have the technical information/concepts in the field you mentioned, but we do not have the technical knowledge in the field. We’re not going down the field. When we say no, the experts on this issue do not have a say.

Cihat Yayci

For one thing, naval strategy is something else. Now I have applied for a graduate education so that we can open it. Thankfully, YÖK accepted it. Maritime Policy and Strategy. In other words, producing a maritime policy and a maritime strategy is something completely different. This is not just words. One, you will know very well the law of the sea. Two, if you will know international relations very well. You will know cartography very well. You will know very well the techniques of demarcation of maritime jurisdiction areas. And you will know the sea. These are indispensable.

Levent Agaoglu

Now, for example, you can watch England’s doctoral thesis over the internet, from a database. Who knows how many doctoral dissertations were made in England when you entered there. Because it’s an empire across the seas. That is the empire where the sun never sets. Maybe Greece has gone too far in these matters. I can guess.

Cihat Yayci

Well, of course. Now, Greece has gone too far in these matters, the Greek Cypriot Administration has gone too far. It is already the merchant ship of Greece, which has more than eight times more ships than Turkey. There are GASC with more than four times more merchant ships. And they are extremely adept at maritime law. They can exploit these issues in their own way. Well, they have deceived every state they made a deal with because they abused it.

Levent Agaoglu

hey. The power of knowledge!

Cihat Yayci

Of course. That is beyond knowledge. When the other party is ignorant, it is easy to abuse.

Levent Agaoglu

The sentence you are voicing right now is very important. The point of deceiving your interlocutors with that pedantry.

Cihat Yayci

In fact, if we consider the point of deception with pedantry, on the contrary, the other party also benefits from the ignorance of the interlocutors. Can Britain and Greece make the same kind of deal today? Or can GASC do it with England? No, he can’t. But it does in this region. Anyone in this area can get it. Very important. For example, I saw a cartoon today. I threw it at the kids. A dam is made of books. If you want to build a knowledge lake, you have to read a lot.

Levent Agaoglu

Absolutely. Because you are constantly training your mind.

Cihat Yayci

What is our first? Where do we have the right? How do we have the right? If you don’t know him…

Levent Agaoglu

If you are on the field, you can be at the table. Now, sir, can we expect an increase from our neighbors from the sea due to our Blue Homeland map? Like Libya.

Cihat Yayci

Of course. Libya, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, Syria are all our neighbors by sea. And we must realize that there is no difference between being neighbors by sea and being neighbors by land. This is very important.

Levent Agaoglu

At that time, the concept of Blue Homeland was already an international convention. The continental shelf and jurisdictions you are talking about. We conceptualized it ourselves. I asked if other countries had declared or attempted a Blue Homeland.

Cihat Yayci

Of course. It is very clear that everyone is declaring their exclusive economic zone. They are actually their own Blue Homeland. In other words, the EEZ declares, they make agreements, the continental shelves. These are all the countries’ Blue Homes.

Levent Agaoglu

The strategic contribution you have made is to re-concept and create awareness here. Because you say the visible Blue Homeland. When you say EEZ, when you say continental shelf, it may not create that photo.

Cihat Yayci

Actually, the most important thing here is the map. It is being able to put the Blue Homeland map. To be able to put the sea chart. The map is what matters. Otherwise it’s not bullshit. What is everyone saying? We must protect our Blue Homeland. Where is he? Here is that map. Now it means 462 thousand km2, including the highest level of the state. Where does this come from? From that map. Without the map, those concepts would have no meaning.

Levent Agaoglu

It turned into a state policy… Sir, was action taken just in time regarding the concept of Blue Homeland? Or is it too late?

Cihat Yayci

It’s too late. It’s too late. Let me give you one example. We made the agreement with Libya on 27 November 2019. It was almost 2020. For this, I struggled very hard for 11 years. To tell this. Libya and Turkey have mutual shores, so that an agreement should be made. Someone wrote this before me. What someone wrote after me. I tried for 11 years. The highest level of the state has taken steps in this regard. He agreed, he said it right, and this removed all bureaucratic obstacles. Politics beat bureaucracy. Likewise, we have reciprocal shores with Israel and Palestine. In 2003, the Greek Cypriot Administration announced the picture in 2004 and it was extended in 2003. I always say this. Therefore, what did we do in the face of the Greek Cypriot Administration, which officially declared its MEB in 2003? We did nothing. How? We just objected.Here, sir, is our continental shelf. Cross the continental shelf. There is now the concept of the exclusive economic zone. Since there is no obligation to declare the continental shelf, everyone, bureaucrats and diplomats, is trying to pass it on with the continental shelf so that they don’t get into trouble. In fact, it is an exclusive economic zone. And in 2003, the Ministry of National Education declared the Greek Cypriot Administration. Why didn’t we declare an MEB in return when we announced it in 2003?

Levent Agaoglu

political uncertainty. Not possessing.

Cihat Yayci

I think it’s really pacifying and objecting to the issue. Not to appeal. First of all, the most important thing in legal and international relations is that even if you do not respond in kind, you will respond with the same. You would do the same. You were going to declare an exclusive economic zone. You would say this is mine. It was late. Still not announced! Well, the Greek Cypriot Administration signed an agreement with Israel in 2010, exactly 7 years later. At that time, our relations with Israel were very good and they signed an agreement with Israel. They even stole Israel’s sea areas. However, Israel and Turkey have very clear reciprocal shores. Just like Libya. And it fully complies with the law of the sea. It fully complies with the principles of maritime law. If Turkey had signed an agreement, Israel would have won, compared to the current situation. Turkey would also win. The loser would be the Greek Cypriot Administration.

Levent Agaoglu

Are they aware now?

Cihat Yayci

Here they are aware of the articles we wrote. I actually wrote that article in 2012. I updated it again in 2020. Now, if we had signed an agreement with Israel between 2003 and 2010 without signing an agreement with the Greek Cypriot Administration, would Turkey have an Eastern Mediterranean problem today? It wouldn’t. These are all lateness and issues that need to be accounted for.

Levent Agaoglu

In my original opinion, sir, we have two important truths. Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean. One is a terrestrial area Eastern Europe and the other is a maritime area. Of course, when the developments you mentioned are combined with political leadership, wisdom and knowledge, we can make these attacks. It can be proactive. In other words, positive reactions are starting to be received from the addressee countries. When I say interlocutors, I am talking about the Eastern Mediterranean line, which is in the Libyan and Syrian band. As far as I deduced from what you said about this concept. There is a win-win synthesis in favor of each country individually.

Cihat Yayci

For one thing, according to our Blue Homeland Doctrine, anyone who makes a deal with us wins. The only losers would be the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece. Everyone gains more sea area than now. How does a loser lose? He loses from what he has usurped.

Levent Agaoglu

from Libya to the East; Do you foresee our EEZ agreements with Egypt, Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria?

Cihat Yayci

Of course. Absolutely. I foresee. It has to be done. But waiting to do is not the right thing to do. Let’s declare first, like the Greek Cypriot Administration, we make agreements later when the conjuncture is appropriate. Our announcement does not bother anyone. Because we do not enter their current marine areas.

Levent Agaoglu

We are the ones to announce. unilaterally.

Cihat Yayci

Of course, of course. How did the Greek Cypriot Administration declare it? How did Libya declare it? We will make our announcement first. That this is my maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Levent Agaoglu

I hope these will happen soon.

Cihat Yayci

Hopefully. Hopefully. Our tongue has run out of feathers, but…

Levent Agaoglu

What is the size of the added value that will be created for the participating countries in case of the formation of the exclusive economic zone areas in the Eastern Mediterranean under the leadership of Turkey? Could such an initiative in the relationship of common interests be the crucible of civilizations and the lever of an Eastern Mediterranean union in the Eastern Mediterranean?

Cihat Yayci

Libya agreed with Turkey and gained 39,000 square kilometers of sea area. With reference to the agreement with Greece. It means the size of four Cyprus islands. If Egypt makes an agreement with Turkey or thanks to the EEZ declared by Turkey, Egypt will gain 22 thousand km2 of sea area. Based on the agreements with the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece. Palestine will gain 10 thousand km2 of sea area. Today it is an area of ​​more than twice the land area of ​​Palestine. It is very important. Palestine’s Blue Homeland will be much larger than its black homeland. It’s a very important thing. Israel will gain 4600 km2 of sea area. It is very important and the current parcel number 12 will belong to Aphrodite and a few parcels will belong to Israel, which is declared by the Greek Cypriot Administration, together with Turkey. Syria will gain 900 km2 of sea area. Lebanon will gain 3000 km2 of sea area.These are the sea areas that the Greek Cypriot Administration and Greece have usurped or attempted to usurp by fraud. It is necessary to tell them. When you tell them, people will understand.

Levent Agaoglu

With your proactive approaches and conceptualization, Turkey is in the process of reclaiming its lost rights at sea one by one. This is a welcome development, sir. Thank you very much for allowing such an interview.

Cihat Yayci

Hopefully. Thanks.

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