Turkish Marine Avıation Activities in the First World War and National Struggle Period
Umut Cafer Karadoğan
Keywords: Aircraft, naval aircraft, air station, pilot, aerial observation, flight training, Balkan Wars
The account of the use of aircraft in warfare starts in 1911, with the Turco-Italian War fought in Tripolitania. The airplane, while beginning to draw attention at the start of the century, was nevertheless in no way considered as a serious means of combat by any military or civilian authority of the era.
The words of French Field Marshal Ferdinand Foch, claiming that "the airplane is a very nice piece of toy, but with no future potential for military use", were later to be challenged by the remark of another soldier who had almost lost his left eye due to an aerial bombing by the Italians in the mentioned war, and who would later change the "dire fortune" of a nation, Mustafa Kemal, stating: "the future will be in the skies".
Mustafa Kemal Pasha, having grasped the future importance of aviation, ensured that the Turkish nation concerns itself with the establishment of domestic aeronautical and space industries. The immediate step taken by the new Turkish Republic in the direction of reaching modern capacity in this matter was the foundation of the Turkish Aeronautical Association. The Turks have in the long term been successful in overcoming their deficiencies in this area; even if this was hindered at the start of the century by ever ongoing wars.