Turkish Drone Strategy in the Black Sea Region and Beyond

(Source: Military Times)

Introduction: Turkey as a ‘Dronized’ Military Power on Russia’s Doorstep

Geopolitically, Turkey is a game-changer. Without Turkey being a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the transatlantic Alliance would have had a truly different “mapping” of its surrounding environment. Such a “different mapping” would, quite negatively, pertain to a broad array of agendas, ranging from anti-ISIS operations to the Black Sea correlation of forces and the ability to pursue crisis management operations beyond NATO’s frontiers.

Within only a few years, between 2015 and 2019, Ankara has been transformed from being the main reason behind Russia’s anti-access/area denial weapon systems deployments to Syria—including the S-400 strategic surface-to-air missile (SAM) systems—into, strikingly, the one and only NATO nation that procured a Russian strategic weapon in the aftermath of Moscow’s 2014 aggression in Crimea. Since then, Turkey has become the primary armed drone seller to the Ukrainian military with a recent combat record in Donbas. This drastic swing is making things much more difficult for analysts and policymakers. The Ukrainian drone strikes in Donbas and Turkish unmanned systems mushrooming in Eastern Europe and the South Caucasus have further complicated Turkish-Russian relations.

The Turkish Armed Forces remain one of the most “dronized” militaries within NATO. In Francis Fukuyama’s words, with the lessons learned from the Syrian, Libyan and Karabakh theaters, “it seems Turkey’s use of drones is going to change the nature of land power in ways that will undermine existing force structures, in the way that the Dreadnought obsoleted earlier classes of battleships, or the aircraft carrier made battleships themselves obsolete at the beginning of World War II.[1] More importantly, resembling the Israeli-Arab wars during the Cold War, the Syrian, Libyan and Karabakh fronts have visibly showcased the superiority of Turkish robotic warfare solutions over Soviet- and Russian-manufactured conventional arms.

The Turkish administration does not only sells drones in an off-the-shelf fashion. Instead, Turkey sparks drone warfare ecosystems abroad, cementing its alliances through robotic warfare transactions. Some critical episodes, in this respect, have taken place in Russia’s area of strategic interests.

This report will first address the leading drivers and visible patterns in Turkish-Russian relations, with a specific focus on the Black Sea. Subsequently, it will analyze the geopolitics of “the Turkish way of drone warfare.” Then, the report explains how Turkey’s defense transactions in the robotic warfare sector affect Ankara’s ties with Moscow. Finally, the work will conclude with its findings.


Turkish-Russian Geopolitical Rivalry and ‘Compartmentalization’

Although Turkish-Russian ties can seem complicated and conflicting at first glance, a meaningful pattern has emerged between the two nations. Bilateral relations are shaped by a careful compartmentalization of strategic interests and divergences. This “deliberate dichotomy” clearly manifests itself in various issues, such as on the Libyan, Syrian, Karabakh and Crimean frontiers on the one hand, and the S-400 procurement on the other. While the incumbent Turkish government repeatedly condemned Russia’s actions in Libya and its illegal annexation of Crimea,[2] the very same administration did not refrain from procuring the S-400, a high-end Russian strategic SAM system that triggered CAATSA (Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act) sanctions.

The compartmentalization trend between Ankara and the Kremlin, being transactional in nature, favors selective and limited cooperation, alongside “contained confrontation” in which strategic interests remain at odds. The controllable confrontation pattern, from time to time, has been breached by worrisome exceptions, such as the downing of a Russian Su-24 fighter-bomber by Turkish combat air patrols in 2015, or the killing of 36 Turkish soldiers in the Idlib countryside in 2020. Nevertheless, Turkey and Russia have demonstrated a great capability for rapprochement in their ties. Following the failed coup attempt in Turkey in 2016, for example, Moscow hosted the very first foreign visit of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.[3]

Primarily, bilateral relations are driven by a high level of economic activity, especially in the energy sector. Russia’s most valuable exports are energy related, and Turkey is a major client of Russian natural gas.[4] Although the Turkish dependency on Russia decreased after the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) project, Russian natural gas still accounts for an important share of Turkey’s gas imports.[5] Russia’s position as the prime supplier puts the Kremlin in a position where it can use its energy exports as a tool of leverage against Turkey. However, many experts agree that Turkish-Russian relations are mutually beneficial for broader strategic interests, which would, in fact, not favor Russia playing the energy card recklessly in day-to-day politics.[6]


The Black Sea as a Laboratory for Turkish-Russian ‘Compartmentalized’ Cooperation

Although Ankara and Moscow cooperate, first and foremost, in the energy sector alongside security and, finally, defense issues, their long-lasting rivalry in the Black Sea and the South Caucasus still stands.[7] Today, any changes in the power dynamics in the Black Sea would inevitably pertain to the wider Turkish-Russian geopolitical calculus.[8]

The competition for hegemony in the Black Sea is not new. The Turco-Russian rivalry in the region dates back to imperial times. The Ottoman-Russian wars in the 18th and 19th centuries, particularly the Crimean War (1853–1856), loom large as prominent examples of this long-lasting competition.

The Black Sea has been under Russian influence since the 18th century with differing levels of efficiency.[9] Today, although Turkey challenges this hegemony by participating in wide-scale military drills with its NATO allies,[10] the Kalibr’zation of the Russian Navy—namely, the introduction of the Kalibr cruise missile and its long-range conventional strike capability—has turned the tables. In tandem, Russian Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov claimed that the Russian fleet is now superior to Turkey in the Black Sea and that Russia can “easily strike the Bosphorus straits.”[11] He added that this was made possible thanks to the new modernization packages, specifically submarines equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles and the Bastion coastal defense missiles that have boosted Russian military capabilities.

Regarding its policy in the Black Sea, Russia’s stance and strategy in the region has remained relatively stable in the post-Soviet era. The Kremlin, for sure, has high stakes in the basin. It is estimated that, at present, Russia fields approximately 25,000 personnel, 21 pieces of large warships, seven pieces of submarines, 200 support ships and almost 30,000 personnel in the Black Sea[12].

More importantly, since the Russian intervention in Syria in 2015, the Black Sea—along with the Russian base in Crimea—has offered a great outreach into the Mediterranean, turning the basin into a gateway of Russian presence on NATO’s southern flank.[13]

Following the illegal annexation of Crimea, the Russian Black Sea Fleet has been active in projecting power into the Mediterranean. Taking advantage of free passage through the Turkish straits—in fact, violating the Montreux regime with submarine combat activity back and forth from the Black Sea—Moscow has established a strategic naval route between the Black Sea Fleet and the enhanced naval base in Tartus in western Syria. The strategic route then extended to Libya in North Africa.

Turkey’s policy in the Black Sea is based on a modus vivendi and prioritizes a regional cooperation scheme with the other Black Sea countries, rather than solely depending on its Western allies.[14] In fact, this “regional ownership” strategy, has sometimes brought Turkey closer to Moscow’s stance when it comes to objecting the outsider—or Western—influence in its north, which could spark additional tensions with Russia.[15] Thus, so far, Turkey has been a “careful counter-balancer” in the face of the Russian expedition while distancing itself from a hard-liner approach as a NATO ally. Although maritime security is a high priority, Ankara wants to maintain its sober stance and avoid any escalatory pathways in the Black Sea. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, for example, has repeatedly called for calm in the sea basin, urging Ukraine and Russia to solve their problems through diplomacy.[16] In the meantime, however, Turkey did not refrain from selling drones to Kyiv, and is even building a joint drone bomber production facility in the middle of the Ukraine war with Russa. Overall, the Turkish policy in the Black Sea can be summarized through three frames: being pragmatic, being transactional and keeping loyal to the status quo.

Turkey’s aforementioned viewpoint produced results too. Over the past two decades, Turkey and Russia found multiple ways to establish a dialogue to discuss their agendas in the Black Sea. The 1992 Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) organization was one prominent example of such multilateral mechanisms.[17] At the time, the BSEC improved regional dialogue, especially in areas such as economic relations, energy and trade. Turkey also led the Operation Black Sea Harmony in 2004, which was a joint drill with other riparian countries in the region, including Russia, Ukraine and Romania.[18] While keeping its relations with Russia in check, Turkey also actively takes part in NATO military drills in the Black Sea. As a member of the transatlantic Alliance, Turkey participated in multiple joint maritime drills with other allies, including Greece, Romania and the US. Led by Bulgaria in July 2021, the five-day maritime drill, Operation Breeze, with 13 NATO Allies looms large in this respect[19]. Until recently, Turkey’s balanced approach has appealed to Russia. However, since the Ukrainian Donbas drone strikes mark a critical threshold, Turkey’s blossoming defense partnerships, especially with the robotic warfare touch, can upset the carefully managed calculus with Russia.


Geopolitics of Turkish Drone Warfare Assets: Implications for Turkish-Russian ‘Compartmentalized Competition’

Current Turkish foreign and security policy is shaped by three main drivers: attaining long-term strategic autonomy in key geopolitical affairs and self-sufficiency in defense technologies, building new partnerships to minimize Turkey’s over-dependence on its traditional Western allies and avoiding direct confrontation with Russia. The latter bears significant implications for Turkish military policy,[20] while the first and second drivers can, interestingly, make it harder for Turkey to avoid a collision course with Russia.

Turkey enjoys a fast-growing defense sector. As of the early 2020s, the nation’s defense technological and industrial base (DTIB) is well capable of introducing advanced conventional weaponry, such as land warfare platforms, corvettes, smart munitions, as well as electronic warfare and command-and-control assets.

While some critical areas within the Turkish defense industry are dependent on external suppliers, Turkish defense capabilities have seen a significant improvement in self-sufficiency over the past two decades, witnessing a decrease from some 80 percent of foreign-reliance to around 20 percent.[21] Although this surely marked a critical improvement, whether the crucial components are locally produced or foreign supplied makes a huge difference regarding operational sovereignty, namely the ability to sustain military operations without outsider contribution.

The uptrend in Turkish military-industrial capabilities with unmanned aerial systems (UAS), in particular the MALE (medium range/long endurance) and tactical classes, has started bringing strategic results with high geopolitical importance, such as in the Second Karabakh War. The critical issue is that these strategic results with geopolitical importance have started to undermine Russia’s freedom of movement in its undisputed backyard. To better grasp the ongoing trend, one should first develop a solid understanding of Turkey’s drone warfare agenda.

In fact, drone warfare has now turned into the crown jewel for Turkey’s military strategic posture. Recently, the Turkish Armed Forces have started receiving the new Akinci UAS. manufactured by Baykar, the makers of the “Pantsir-hunter” Bayraktar TB-2. The Akinci UAS comes with heavy firepower with 1.5 tons of combat payload and flexible concepts of operations (CONOPS). More importantly, along with other key achievements, such as TUSAS’ Aksungur drone[22] with anti-submarine warfare capabilities, STM’s Kargu[23] and Alpagu with advanced artificial intelligence algorithms, Meteksan and Ares Shipyard-made ULAQ[24] unmanned naval surface combat system, along with newly introduced[25] unmanned ground vehicles, Turkey’s defense industry has developed an exponentially growing know-how on robotic warfare solutions.

It is not only the platforms and systems but also the munitions that brought the success. Turkish rocket and missile manufacturer Roketsan equipped the Turkish drones with MAM-L and MAM-C smart munitions, which boosted target precision by minimizing the margin of error.[26] The MAM-L, in particular, offered versatile solutions against a broad target set through a variety of warhead configurations. MAM-L’s tandem charge is designed to destroy land warfare platforms equipped with reactive armor, while the thermobaric variant is particularly effective against targets deployed in closed settings and bunkers. In addition, the high-explosive blast warhead allows for striking troop concentrations and light-armored platforms accurately and effectively.[27]

Turkey’s drone warfare success has, subsequently, translated into defense sales and, more importantly, geopolitical outreach asset. The latter is of significance as an important part of Turkey’s drone sales take place in the Russian hinterland.

Turkish drones are becoming the best available solutions in international weapons markets given their price and combat effectiveness. Following the Azerbaijani achievements in the Second Karabakh War, Turkish UAS manufacturers enjoyed a spike in export clientele. In fact, the Turkish model of drone warfare is becoming quite popular on Russia’s doorstep, which further complicates the issue for Moscow.[28]

Ukraine is the most notable example in this respect. In 2019, Kyiv officially signed an agreement to procure Turkish drones.[29] Subsequently, the Ukrainian government made additional requests to purchase more Bayraktar TB-2 UAVs for its navy.[30] Russia reacted to the procurement, voicing concerns about Turkish robotic warfare solutions spreading in its geopolitical surroundings.[31] Following the Ukrainian military’s kinetic drone strikes in Donbas, these concerns have turned into a real threat calculus.

Poland is yet another significant market. In light of the lessons learned from the Karabakh War, the Polish strategic community has already highlighted the Turkey-provided UAVs as key enablers of the Azerbaijani success.[32] At the time of writing, Poland became the first NATO ally to procure the Turkish Bayraktar TB-2s, adding a real transatlantic edge to Turkey’s drone sales on the Alliance’s eastern flank.[33]

The bad news for Russia is that the Baltic allies can now follow suit. Notably, Latvia seems to be the next ally opting for Turkey’s unmanned systems, opening the gates of the Baltic region to Turkish arms manufacturers.[34] Soon enough, the Kremlin may well witness its Western and Southern military districts surrounded by Turkish drone warfare assets.

Thanks to its drone capabilities, Turkey is now able to neutralize threats at their source, which has made it a pro-active and in some cases even preemptive regional actor rather than a defensive-minded one. The drone industry is also offering new routes to establish strategic partnerships, which can further increase Turkey’s leverage and bargaining power. On a particularly worrying note for Moscow, Turkish drone warfare solutions have attracted international attention due to their efficiency against Soviet and Russian weaponry. Turkish drones also proved themselves to be the true force multipliers in combat in the world’s most hostile battlegrounds, including Syria, Libya and Karabakh. In fact, Operation Spring Shield in Idlib, in early 2020, marked the Bayraktar TB-2’s biggest moment of glory, hinting at what can follow. Throughout the campaign, Turkey’s Bayraktar TB-2 and ANKA-S UAS have inflicted heavy casualties on the Syrian Arab Army, which lacks sufficient sensor-network capabilities. Such was the fate of the Armenian formations in Karabakh soon after.

The Second Karabakh War was a milestone in Turkish-Azerbaijani military rapprochement. In essence, the war was fought between two strategic paradigms: the Armenian belligerent’s Soviet-style, 20th-century warfare against Azerbaijan’s modern, high-tech military strategy. The latter triumphed, proving the importance of technological supremacy and flexible CONOPS in modern warfare. In the Karabakh War, Baku successfully used high-end defense technology, particularly Turkish and Israeli drones, at a high-operational tempo. Azerbaijan followed a networked approach to optimize its drone capabilities, by integrating them with friendly sensors and land units. The swift targeting of the enemy’s air defense systems quickly changed the balance of power right at the outset of the war, while the networked approach allowed for enhanced coordination and communication between UAVs and land-based-fire-support units. In a way, Azerbaijan closely mirrored Turkey’s strategy against the Syrian Arab Army in Operation Spring Shield, as Turkish drones fast-attacked the Syrian mobile (SAM) systems (including Russian Pantsirs) right at the beginning of the conflict.[35] In full resemblance, the Azerbaijani military used drones—mainly the Bayraktar TB-2 and the Israeli Harpo/Harmy kamikaze drones/loitering munitions—to destroy air defense during the Second Karabakh War. Within a week, the Azerbaijani Armed Forces had destroyed a total of 60 SAM systems, which mimicked the Turkish hunt for the Syrian Pantsirs during Operation Spring Shield[36].

Along with the Karabakh War, Turkish drones’ entry into the Ukrainian defense market also raised eyebrows in Russia—as Turkish robotic warfare solutions help strengthen Kyiv’s hand vis-à-vis during the February 2022 invasion.[37]

Probably for the first time in recent history, a nation’s defense body asked for a specific weapon via Twitter during an ongoing war.[38] This happened between Ukraine and Turkey, showcasing a special relationship in the Black Sea. In this regard, the potential synergy that Turkish-Ukrainian strategic ties could bring is another area of concern for the Russians. Turkey and Ukraine have previously worked together on various defense-related issues. They currently cooperate in critical segments of the defense industry, such as on jet engines, and have penned remarkable partnership agreements such as the Joint Ukrainian-Turkish Commission on Defense Industrial Cooperation.

In the past few years, the two countries have also started some joint initiatives in drone production. In return for a generous technology transfer and affordable military solutions, Ukraine makes crucial contributions to the Turkish defense industry. Notably, Turkey’s latest high-end combat drone Akinci (Raider)’s Type C will be equipped with Ivachenko-Progress Ukrainian AI-450T turboprop engines. Both countries have taken steps to co-produce the Turkish armed drone Akinci, a project that they allegedly consider among their top priorities[39].

The Turco-Ukrainian strategic partnership also manifests itself in the Black Sea. Recently, Baykar and the state’s military-technical conglomerate’s member Ukroboronprom signed a joint venture deal—namely, the Black Sea Shield program.[40] The move was significant, as it opened up new avenues for cooperation, such as the co-production of aerospace engines and joint production of missile technologies.[41] In fact, the program already has had positive implications, as some Turkish defense companies are currently exploring outsourcing parts of their production or establishing joint production lines with Ukraine. Some leading Turkish defense conglomerates, such as Aselsan, are expanding their portfolios to cover the Ukrainian market. The company signed lucrative deals with local firms to produce active protection systems and state-of-the-art military communication items in local production facilities set in Kyiv.[42]

Turkey’s key projects benefit from this improving relationship. Ukrainian sources claim that the countries are in negotiations for a co-produced unmanned fighter jet (MIUS) that would provide an indigenous solution that can complement Turkey’s unmanned aerial capabilities. Baykar will chief the unmanned aircraft’s production, which will use Ukrainian-manufactured engines[43].

In the ongoing war, Turkish TB-2s have already scored significant gains against Russian ground and naval units. Especially in urban settings, the Ukrainian military masterfully used its drones to strike the Kremlin’s critical kinetic targets, such as the overstretched supply and logistics routes. In the maritime warfare segment, Kyiv benefited from the Turkish drones to successfully identify and strike some of Russia’s most significant naval assets, including the Moskva missile cruiser, the flagship of the Russian Black Sea Fleet. Using its drones as critical ISTAR assets and using UAVs to assist strikes and ground unit movements, Ukraine’s adoption of the “Turkish way” of drone warfare has reminded the international military community about the importance of network-centric warfare.


The Limits of Compartmentalization

While it acts carefully to avoid antagonizing the incumbent siloviki rule, the Turkish administration well knows that the drone transfers are now a powerful deterrent against Russia in the Black Sea. In fact, the Bayraktar TB2’s successful use by Azerbaijan in the Second Karabakh War was an eye-opener for Russian defense planners. This is especially relevant for the “area of privileged interests”—or near abroad—an area that Russian analysts define as the post-Soviet landmass that constitutes Russia’s immediate “sphere of influence.”[44] Notably, Turkey’s ability to change the military balance of power in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict through drone warfare transfers marks a stress test for the future of Russia’s hegemony in its once undisputed backyard.[45] In a way, Turkey’s drone capabilities provided the Erdogan government with drastically increased leverage and bargaining power against the Kremlin, especially on NATO’s eastern flank and in the Caucasus[46].

The Turco-Ukrainian deal on the Bayraktar TB-2 marks a textbook example of the aforementioned leverage boost trend. Apart from the Ukrainian army, which has already used Turkey-manufactured drones in Donbas, the Ukrainian Navy’s plans reflect the pronounced geopolitical dimension of Turkey’s drone sales. Ukrainian Navy Chief of Staff Admiral Oleksiy Neizhpapa announced that the drones will also be used in the Black Sea and in the Sea of Azov.[47] While the use of Turkish UASs against Russian satellites and client entities, such as the Syrian Arab Army or the Armenian occupation regime in Karabakh, is one thing, boosting Ukraine’s drone warfare has begun a whole new chapter for relations between the two countries.

By forging new strategic partnerships with its drone export clientele, Turkey places itself as a rising regional power in southeastern Europe. In fact, some experts argue that Turkish foreign policy has been successful in building a new geo-strategic axis by forming alliances with Western-leaning post-Soviet and former Warsaw Pact nations, with significant outreach to the GUAM group (Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova).[48] This axis is important in energy- and security-related agendas vis-à-vis the Russian Federation. Turkey recently agreed to increase its reliance on gas supply from Azerbaijan, which irritated Russia, as the TANAP pipeline enables Azerbaijan to become a major gas exporter to the European energy market, which threatens Russia’s hegemony.[49]

The second dimension rests on Turkish regional policy, which is characterized by forming strong, strategic alliances in a contested region that Russia wants to see under its undisputed authority. In doing so, Turkey not only emphasizes its presence and status in the South Caucasus, but it also builds important partnerships of special geostrategic value that serve its interests in the Black Sea. For example, Turkey is one of the actors rebuilding the Ukrainian Navy with MILGEM-class corvettes and drone warfare weaponry.[50] Rebuilding the Ukrainian Navy, for starters, goes well beyond a defense transaction deal. It is rather a counter-balancing move against Russian dominance in the Black Sea.



Despite its ongoing divergence with the West, when it comes to the post-Soviet space, Turkey is NATO. In a hypothetical scenario in which Turkey closely aligns with Russia, the Turkish-Ukrainian partnership would inevitably come to an end. In tandem, Georgia would feel increased pressure with no geographic opening to the West. Besides, Azerbaijan’s natural geopolitical ally will no longer have a transatlantic security bridge. But above all, the Black Sea dynamics would be forever changed, should Turkey opt out of the transatlantic Alliance. As US General Ben Hodges, former Commanding General of US Army Europe, puts in perspective, “Russia’s concerns [in the Black Sea] are aggressive, but also defensive. It fears growing Western and, in particular, Turkish influence in the Black Sea region, which could turn the Black Sea into a ‘NATO lake.’”[51]

To date, Turkey has had to cautiously balance its cooperation and competition patterns with Russia. This sober and carefully calculated foreign policy understanding has long manifested itself in various Turkish administrations’ stances on the Montreux Convention. With its drone warfare edge seeing historic success and its export clientele growing in Russia’s strategic hinterland, interestingly, Turkey’s marge de manoeuvre in pursuing its traditional Russia policy may have reached a critical threshold.

While Azerbaijani and the Turkish military targeted Russian clients before, the Ukrainian drone strikes in Donbas are a completely different matter when it comes to Turkish-Russian relations in the coming years. From now on, it remains to be seen how the Turkish administration will fine tune its compartmentalized cooperation and competition patterns with Russia. Regardless, Turkey remains a “dronized” military power on Russia’s doorstep, something Moscow will not be able to ignore.



[1] Francis Fukuyama, “Droning On in the Middle East”, American Purpose, April 5, 2021, https://www.americanpurpose.com/blog/fukuyama/droning-on/.

[2] Ministry of Foreign Affairs Turkey, Twitter, accessed October 31, 2021, https://twitter.com/TC_Disisleri/status/1440024403115446272

[3] Voice of America, https://www.amerikaninsesi.com/a/erdogan-putin-gorusmesi-oncesinde-rusya-geri-adim-mi-atti/4104625.html, accessed on November 13, 2021.

[4] Robert Hamilton and Anna Mikulska, “Cooperation, Competition and Compartmentalization: Russian-Turkish Relations and Their Implications For the West”, Foreign Policy Research Institute, Black Sea Initiative, April 2021, https://www.fpri.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/russian-turkish-relations-bssp.pdf

[5] Gunay Hajiyeva, “Turkey receives largest share of gas supplies from Caspian region”, Caspian News, October 30, 2020, https://caspiannews.com/news-detail/turkey-receives-largest-share-of-gas-supplies-from-caspian-region-2020-10-30-2/#:~:text=Turkey%20Receives%20Largest%20Share%20of%20Gas%20Supplies%20From%20Caspian%20Region,-By%20Gunay%20Hajiyeva&text=Natural%20gas%20supplied%20from%20the,top%20importers%20to%20the%20country.

[6] Martin Russell, “Russia – Turkey relations: A fine line between competition and cooperation”, EPRS – European Parliamentary Research Service”, February, 2021, https://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/BRIE/2021/679090/EPRS_BRI(2021)679090_EN.pdf

[7] “Russia and Turkey in the Black Sea and South Causasus”, International Crisis Group, June 28, 2018, https://d2071andvip0wj.cloudfront.net/250-russia-and-turkey.pdf

[8] Giray Derman Saynur. “Analysis – Growing strategic competition in Black Sea and threat of war”, Anadolu Agency, July 10, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/analysis-growing-strategic-competition-in-black-sea-and-threat-of-war/2300473

[9] New Strategy Center & Centro Studi Internazionali. “Militarization of the Black Sea and Eastern Mediterrenean theatres: A new challenge to NATO”, 2019. https://www.cesi-italia.org/contents/Analisi/Militarization%20of%20the%20Black%20Sea.pdf

[10] https://www.dailysabah.com/business/energy/turkey-mulls-cooperation-with-us-firms-in-black-sea-gas-extraction

[11] Joshua Kucera. “Russia Claims ‘Mastery’ Over Turkey in Black Sea”, Eurasianet, September 25, 2016, https://eurasianet.org/russia-claims-mastery-over-turkey-black-sea

[12] Giray Derman Saynur. “Analysis – Growing strategic competition in Black Sea and threat of war”, Anadolu Agency, July 10, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/analysis-growing-strategic-competition-in-black-sea-and-threat-of-war/2300473

[13] Siri Neset, Mustafa Aydin, Evren Balta, Kaan Kutlu Ataç, Hasret Dikici Bilgin and Arne Strand. “Turkey as a regional security actor in the Black Sea, the Mediterrenean and the Levant region”, CMI Chr. Michelsen Institute, June 2021, https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/7820-turkey-as-a-regional-security-actor-in-the-black-sea-the-mediterranean-and-the-levant-region.pdf

[14] Mitat Çelikpala and Emre Erşen. “Turkey’s Black Sea Pradicament: Challenging or Accommodating Russia?”, Perceptions, Summer 2018, https://sam.gov.tr/pdf/perceptions/Volume-XXIII/Summer-2018/sf-72-92.pdf

[15] Sergiu Celac. “The Regional Ownership Conundrum: The Case of the Organization of the BSEC”, 2006.

[16] “Black Sea region must remain tension-free: Turkish FM Çavuşoğlu”,  Daily Sabah, April 23, 2021, https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/black-sea-region-must-remain-tension-free-turkish-fm-cavusoglu

[17] Oktay F. Tanrısever. “Turkey and Russia in the Black Sea Region: Dynamics of Cooperation and Conflict”, Black Sea Discussion Paper Series – 2012/1, EDAM, https://edam.org.tr/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/bsdp3.pdf

[18] For more information on the operation, see “Operation Black Sea Harmony”, https://www.dzkk.tsk.tr/en-US/Harekat/Content/operation-black-sea-harmony

[19] NATO. “NATO ships exercise in the Black Sea”,  July 19 2021, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_185879.htm, accessed on October 6, 2021.

[20] Siri Neşet, Mustafa Aydin, Evren Balta, Kaan Kutlu Ataç, Hasret Dikici Bilgin and Arne Strand. “Turkey as a regional security actor in the Black Sea, the Mediterrenean and the Levant region”, CMI Chr. Michelsen Institute, June 2021, https://www.cmi.no/publications/file/7820-turkey-as-a-regional-security-actor-in-the-black-sea-the-mediterranean-and-the-levant-region.pdf

[21] “Turkey among top four nations in production of armed drones: Erdoğan”, Hurriyet Daily News, August 17, 2021, https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/turkey-among-top-four-nations-in-production-of-armed-drones-erdogan-167153, accessed on October 5, 2021.

[22] TUSAŞ, “Aksungur”, https://www.tusas.com/urunler/iha/yuksek-faydali-yuk-kapasitesi/aksungur, accessed on November 15, 2021.

[23] STM, “KARGU”, https://www.stm.com.tr/en/kargu-autonomous-tactical-multi-rotor-attack-uav, accessed on November 15, 2021.

[24] Can Kasapoğlu, “ANALYSIS – Turkey’s robotic warfare efforts set sail to high-seas” Anadolu Agency, March 2, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/analysis/analysis-turkey-s-robotic-warfare-efforts-set-sail-to-high-seas/2161762, accessed on November 15, 2021.

[25] Ayşe Böcüoğlu Bodur, “İHA’larda edinilen tecrübe deniz ve kara araçlarına taşınıyor”, Anadolu Agency, June 26, 2021, https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/bilim-teknoloji/ihalarda-edinilen-tecrube-deniz-ve-kara-araclarina-tasiniyor/2286832, accessed on November 15, 2021.

[26] The Presidency for Defense Industries Turkey, Twitter, accessed October 7, 2021, https://twitter.com/SavunmaSanayii/status/1235547985175556096

[27] Roketsan, “MAM-L”, accessed on October 5, 2021 from https://www.roketsan.com.tr/en/product/ mam-l-smart-micro-munition/

[28] Ömer Özkızılcık, “The ‘Turkish Model’ is resonating in Eastern Europe, and Moscow is worried”, TRT World, June 2, 2021, https://www.trtworld.com/opinion/the-turkish-model-is-resonating-in-eastern-europe-and-moscow-is-worried-47191

[29] “Ukraine, Turkey have signed deal for 12 Bayraktar TB2 UAVs, Poroshenko says”, Daily Sabah, January 12, 2019,  https://www.dailysabah.com/defense/2019/01/12/ukraine-turkey-have-signed-deal-for-12-bayraktar-tb2-uavs-poroshenko-says

[30] “Ukraine considers buying 48 Bayraktar TB2 drones from Turkey”, Daily Sabah, October 6, 2020, https://www.dailysabah.com/business/defense/ukraine-considers-buying-48-bayraktar-tb2-drones-from-turkey

[31] “Russia to scrutinize military cooperation with Turkey, if it supplies drones to Ukraine”, TASS, April 21, 2021, https://tass.com/politics/1281075

[32] “The Military Dimension of the Conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh”, PISM, November 26, 2020, https://pism.pl/publications/The_Military_Dimension__of_the_Conflict_over_NagornoKarabakh

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