Mavi Vatan, the "Blue Homeland" The Origins, Influences and Limits of an Ambitious Doctrine for Turkey
Turkey’s activism in the Eastern Mediterranean now appears to be guided by an ambitious legal and geopolitical doctrine, based on the claim of a vast maritime domain – the “Blue Homeland” or Mavi Vatan in Turkish. Developed by admirals of Turkey’s Navy, who are aware of the strategic importance of the sea, this approach is influential among Turkey's military, political, economic, and intellectual elites. Although it presents certain contradictions with the traditional vision of the Islamo-conservatives, Mavi Vatan has been adopted by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, offering him the opportunity to consolidate his alliance with nationalist movements and to provide a legal framework for his action in Libya. However, the success of this doctrine also depends on Turkey's ability to modernize its naval forces, an effort that will require the maintenance of strong international partnerships.