Balkanalysis.com Editor’s note: readers interested in this article will also want to see a recent article by the same author, Greece and Turkey: Offensive and Defensive Balance of Air Power in 2012.
The Greek and Turkish naval forces are two of NATO’s strongest and most experienced. The chronic antagonism between the two neighboring states has meant that their naval crews and officer corps have been trained and simulated wartime situations. The Greek Navy in particular has a longer tradition in maritime affairs due to the prevalence of a merchant marine culture and the numerous Islands, archipelagos and long stretches of coastline.
While Turkey also has a considerable coastline on three sides, it has traditionally had a much more continental orientation whereas Greece has traditionally looked to the sea. For example, during the rule of the Ottoman Turks, it was noted that the majority of their navy was manned by Greeks, while Turkish officers and soldiers were more effective serving in the land forces.
The following detailed report breaks down the inventory of these rival-but-allied naval forces for the year 2012. It also reveals that equilibrium of power has been established; the two countries have, both in quantitative and qualitative terms, reached an equal projection of naval power, something that partly depends on the threat perceptions military planners have regarding different fronts.
We expect this dynamic to remain as it is, at least for the mid-term, though pending acquisitions by Turkey could affect the balance in future. On the Aegean Sea front in particular, Greece for the time being enjoys a small level of superiority, since the Turkish Navy has obligations in the Black Sea as well, and it is considered that these forces would not be able to reach the Aegean in case of war, due to the difficulty in passing through the Bosporus Straits and Hellespontos without risking heavy casualties from the Greek air force, not to mention slowdowns due to the heavy presence of international maritime shipping in the Straits.
All data presented below derives from official information gathered from the Greek and Turkish Naval inventories, available in the archives of their respective military staffs and defense ministries.
see more: http://www.balkanalysis.com/greece/2012/05/31/greece-and-turkey-offensive-and-defensive-balance-of-naval-power-in-2012/