Turkish Prime Minsiter Recep Tayyip Erdogan used the occasion to criticize oil drilling in the eastern Mediterranean by Greek interests. He pointedly noted that the ceremony took place on the 473rd anniversary of the Battle of Preveza in northwestern Greece, where a fleet from the Ottoman Turkish empire defeated a much larger Christian force.
"I recommend the international community take the necessary lessons from the Preveza victory", Erdogan said. "Turkey's national interests in the seas reach from its surrounding waters to the Suez Canal and the Indian Ocean."
The ship delivered Tuesday, the TCG Heybeliada, is a 300-foot corvette that was designed with stealth technology and is equipped with an anti-ship missile system. It was built under Turkey's so-called MILGEM program, from the Turkish words "milli gemi" (national ship). More than 65 percent of the ship's components were built by Turkish companies.
A second ship, the TCG Buyukada, is undergoing sea trials under the program, which is overseen by the Turkish navy.