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Türkiye’s largest warship sets sail after public unveiling

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Türkiye’s recently commissioned, long-anticipated largest warship sailed through the Bosporus on Sunday as it headed for the Black Sea.

The TCG Anadolu rendered a 21-gun salute in honor of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as the citizens along the coast of Istanbul closely followed its passage.

Türkiye’s first amphibious assault ship departed the port of Sarayburnu, where the vessel was opened to the public, and sailed past Dolmabahçe Palace.

On the palace’s shore, Erdoğan and first lady Emine Erdoğan were accompanied by children from Türkiye’s southern quake-hit provinces to see off the TCG Anadolu.

Addressing the ship’s crew, Erdoğan said they are eager to build an even larger vessel in the coming period.

“The TCG Anadolu has been the biggest dream in my heart,” he stressed. “But now I want us to realize the upper step of the TCG Anadolu as soon as possible.”

“As a new step to realize this, I have discussed these issues with the Spaniards and the British. As a result of these negotiations, we received very positive answers from both sides,” the president noted.

Defense Minister Hulusi Akar and top Turkish military commanders were aboard the ship, escorted by Turkish Air Force helicopters as it passed through the strait.

The ship bolsters Türkiye’s naval capabilities and makes the country one of the few nations globally with a domestically built aircraft carrier.

More than Türkiye’s first aircraft carrier, the ship will also be the world’s first vessel with an air wing mainly comprised of unmanned aircraft.

The TCG Anadolu is a landing helicopter dock (LHD) type amphibious assault ship based on Spain’s flagship, the Juan Carlos I.

It is 231 meters (758 feet) long and 32 meters wide and boasts a displacement of 27,436 tons. It has a top speed of around 21 knots, a range of 9,000 nautical miles, and can operate at sea for 50 days.

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