Who We Are

MARSEC COE is both a center for academic research as well as a (multinational) hub for practical training in the field of maritime security, along with relevant domains (Maritime Trade, Energy Security, Maritime Environment, Maritime Resources, Public Health, Maritime Transport-Logistic). MARSEC COE strives to achieve the necessary collaboration amongst stakeholders from government, industry, academia and private sector.

Why do we need a MARSEC COE?

Maritime Security has different dimensions, including but not limited to Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA), Law enforcement, maritime safety, maritime environment, maritime science & technology, maritime trade & economy, maritime law and public health. Therefore, in national terms, Maritime Security can only be achieved by a "whole of government" approach. If we succeed in applying this approach together with like-minded countries in a multi-national environment, we can attain our common Maritime Security objectives.

On the other hand, if the Maritime Security is downgraded only to a Maritime Interdiction Operation (MIO) with a defense-minded mentality, we will fall short in our goals, covering only % 10 of Maritime Security.

One of the most important lessons Turkey has learned through the recently conducted Maritime Security Operation- MSO is the significant role “Maritime Situational Awareness (MSA)” plays in countering maritime risks and threats.

Another equally important lesson is the fact that, MSA can only be achieved effectively through working together with other regional maritime security organizations and civilian agencies, employing all the other instruments of national power and thus enabling a “whole of government" approach”.

The idea of “Maritime Security Center of Excellence” stemmed from the need for coordination and deconfliction among governmental and interagency organizations as well as defense and law enforcement entities towards a more secure maritime environment.

Allied Maritime Strategy (AMS) sets out, in full consistency with the Strategic Concept, the ways that maritime power could help resolve critical challenges facing the Alliance now and in the future, and the roles-enduring and new-that NATO forces may have to carry out in the maritime environment in order to contribute to the Alliance's defence and security and to promote its values. These roles capitalise upon the ability of maritime forces to provide a spectrum of strategic options to the Alliance, and include appropriate contributions to:

  • Deterrence and collective defence,
  • Crisis management,
  • Cooperative security: Outreach through partnerships, dialogue and cooperation,
  • Maritime Security.

NATO launched the Smart Defence Initiative in 2011 that aims at providing cost-effective solutions for capability development. This was very appropriate and timely taking into account the recent worldwide financial and the shrinking defence budgets.

This Initiative, mainly aims at collective prioritisation of the nations' defence requirements, role specialisation among nations and the multinational projects developments to this end, has been welcomed and fully supported by the nations. Turkey fully supports this initiative and encourages all Allies to foster it in NATO. Maritime security is suitable area for cooperation with partners.

Piracy directly affects the crew of merchant fleets and company owners in a negative way. Today, NATO, CTF-151, EU (ATALANTA) and several countries (such as Japan, India, China, RF, South Korea, New Zealand and Australia) are actively taking part in activities conducted against piracy in the Gulf of Aden and off the coast of Somalia. However, a common platform in which solutions could be found and acted upon, is needed in implementing a maritime cross–functional inter-agency approach, healing the wounds of the maritime sector, as well as easing the workload of defense and security forces.

MARSEC COE could be ideal platform for cross-functional inter-agency approach besides Counter Piracy Training in Mediterranean before deployment of maritime forces.

In sum, MARSEC COE approach to Maritime Security is based on Multi-national cross-functional inter-agency co-operation.


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, MARSEC COE is officially opened on 12th of November in 2012. Since its establishment, MARSEC COE has been conducted courses, workshops and exercises for UN countries, NATO and Partners.

Vision & Mission

MARSEC COE's vision is to become an internatonally efficient and effective academic institution and a proactive centre in the field of maritime security.

MARSEC COE's mission is to enhance allied ability when conducting Maritime Security Operations and to support NATO Maritime Stakehodlers by providing Subject Matter Expertise on NATO MSO tasks.