MARSEC COE History

Maritime Security requires multinational-interagency cooperation and can only be achieved through working together with national, regional and global maritime security organizations as well as civilian agencies.

There are numerous national, regional and global maritime security related initiatives around the globe. Among these global maritime security stakeholders are UN, NATO, IMO and EU.

Turkey has a big potential in terms of transportation since she is at the crossroads of Europe, Central Asia and Middle East. The geo-strategic position of the country has been rendered with comprehensive and strategic studies and Turkey has acquired an identity as an Energy Corridor.

The idea of establishing a MARSEC COE stemmed from the coordination requirement among government, private sector, industry and academies in order to get a more secure maritime environment in our region. In accordance with NATO’s smart defence approach, Turkey decided to coordinate and unite the efforts in a centre of excellence acting as a hub for maritime related issues.

With this aim, on 12 November 2012, the Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence (MARSEC COE) was officially inaugurated in Aksaz Naval Base – Marmaris/TURKEY, under the command of Turkish Naval Forces Southern Task Group Command. This institution was established as an outcome from the Smart Defense initiative [1] and aimed at Supporting Allies’ security interests by working on Maritime Security in the surrounding seas.

Due to its proximity to international airports, universities and maritime industry, The Multinational Maritime Security Centre of Excellence was relocated to Beylerbeyi/ISTANBUL in January 2017.

And then in March 2018, the center moved to its present location at the Multinational Joint Warfare Centre building in the National Defence University Campus, Yenilevent / ISTANBUL.

Through the way of becoming a NATO Accredited Center of Excellence (COE); MARSEC COE, as a framework nation, after several coordination visits and meetings and also inputs of NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Combined Joint Operations from the Sea Centre of Excellence (CJOS COE) and Centre of Excellence for Operations in Confined and Shallow Waters (COE CSW); conducted the First Establishment Conference on 4-7 February 2019 and the Second Establishment Conference on 6-9 May 2019, and have finalized MARSEC COE concept together with Operational and Functional Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)s with consensus of all participants. Greece and Romania declared their intentions as sponsoring nations for NATO MARSEC COE and MoU signing ceremony was held with the participation of Turkey as the framework nation, Romania and Greece as the sponsoring nations and ACT on 18 October 2019.

MARSEC COE 1st Steering Committee (SC) Meeting was conducted on 5-6 February 2020 with the participation of representatives from Turkey, Greece, Romania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Portugal, Qatar, Spain and NATO ACT at MARSEC COE in İstanbul. Later on, MARSEC COE Accreditation Assessment Visit was conducted on 04-05 March 2020 by the NATO ACT CPD representatives at MARSEC COE in İstanbul. As of 8 June 2020, Multi-National Maritime Security Centre of Excellence achieved the status of “International Military Organization” as the 26th centre of excellence accredited to NATO.

[1] Smart Defence is a cooperative way of generating modern defence capabilities that the Alliance needs, in a more cost-efficient effective and coherent manner.