Sep 23, 2022
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On the Greco-Turkish war within NATO

Turkey plans to provoke a military crisis

In September, Greece officially warned the EU and NATO about the threat of war with Turkey. Leading European and American media reports that a war between the two members of this military bloc is brewing within the borders of NATO. Die Welt writes:Turkey and Greece on paper allies. But in the recent past, these two countries have repeatedly stood on the brink of war.“. By the way, the NATO charter does not regulate the actions of the members of the bloc in the event of a war between the members of the organization.

According to Associated PressThe Greek government warned NATO and the EU of the threat of conflict with Turkey by sending a letter in early September to the country’s NATO and EU partners, as well as to the head of the UN, asking them to formally condemn the statements by Turkish officials and suggesting that current bilateral tensions could escalate into open military conflict. .

On September 6, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis called unacceptable threats from Turkey, as well as its attempts to question the sovereignty of the country. A day later, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said after talks with French counterpart Catherine Colonna in Athens that Turkey was trying to turn back the clock and revive the Ottoman Empire, pointing to “maps showing the Greek islands as Turkish“. (According to Ankara, these islands are under Greek occupation). France, following the results of these negotiations, declared that it would take the side of the Greeks and, through the head of the Foreign Ministry, promised them help: “France will be on the side of Greece and Cyprus in case of a threat to their national sovereignty.”

Turkey and Greece were already close to armed conflict in the 1980s and 1990s, and also two years ago, when disputes over hydrocarbons and the status of a number of islands flared up with renewed vigor. Then the Greek army was put on alert because of the tiny island of Kastellorizo, which is claimed by the Turks. In February, the Greek Foreign Ministry already protested to Turkey because of statements that cast doubt on its sovereignty over the islands.

The so-called “Aegean question”, which includes a dispute over the rights to the waters of the Aegean Sea, was again on the agenda after an image of R. Erdogan’s ally and a member of the ruling coalition, Devlet Bahceli, appeared on the Internet with a map on which the Greek islands are designated as Turkish territory . The Greeks regarded it as “especially aggressive provocative act.

However, even after the February protest of the Greek Foreign Ministry, Erdogan did not stop being shy in expressions: at the end of May, at a solemn ceremony in honor of the anniversary of the capture of Constantinople, he stated that Turkey’s goal is to return all spheres of influence, including the Peloponnese and Athens. And in his social networks he promised Greece “tragic end” And recently, the Turkish president threatened Greece that his soldiers could “descend at night“.

In addition to such high-profile statements, the increased activity on the border also causes concern among the Greeks: the Turks are conducting military exercises one after another (at the end of May, the Greek Armed Forces were again put on high alert due to Ephesus 2022), and the Greek authorities in the middle of summer began to transfer military equipment in the area of ​​​​the Maritsa River. And against the backdrop of all this, the Turks are sending another exploration vessel to the shores of Greece – in August, the company started drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean Abdulhamid Khan

The Greeks are also worried about the many times increase (according to the Greek police) of Turkish illegal immigrants on the islands claimed by Ankara. For example, in the border region of Evros, their number in 2010 alone increased by 371.94% compared to the previous year! As a result, already in October 2010, the Greek Ministry of Civil Protection asked the EU to send a border patrol to protect the Greek-Turkish border from illegal migrants, after which a detachment of 175 Frontex specialists was deployed on November 2 in the city of Orestias near the Greek-Turkish border. In the same month, Wikileaks released a report by the US Ambassador to Ankara, James Jeffrey, which suggested that Turkey was planning to provoke a military crisis in order to invade Evros.

The interest of the Turkish authorities in the aggravation is connected, first of all, with the upcoming elections. AgreeAccording to polls, in June 2023, Erdogan may lose in the second round to any candidate who comes out with him in this round. The problems of the economy, inflation and the growing discontent of the people block any foreign policy victories of the neo-Ottomanists. Accordingly, the “small victorious war” is quite suitable for reversing the situation. Especially with such a not very powerful adversary as Greece. The first steps in this direction have already been taken.

On August 28, Ankara accused Athens of launching S-300 missiles at Turkish aircraft during their reconnaissance mission. Two weeks later, on September 10, Ankara again accused Athens of shelling a ship traveling in international waters, 11 miles from the Turkish island of Bozcaada, and demanded a “serious investigation” of the incident.

In the first ten days of September, a US-registered edition 19forty-five wrote that the war between Turkey and Greece could start through the fault of Erdogan. According to the authors of the publication, the reason for the war in the Mediterranean between NATO countries could be the exit of the domestic political situation in the Republic of Turkey out of control: “If Erdogan thinks he is destined to lose the election by a margin too large to be overcome by fraud, he will provoke a crisis and declare a national emergency“.

At present, the authors commenting on the situation, for some reason, mostly believe that no one needs a full-scale war between Turkey and Greece, including Erdogan. At the same time, in their opinion, an escalation of a long-standing conflict and border clashes between the parties are expected: something “such” that can cause a military psychosis like a sunken ship, a downed plane, a “heroic” flag-raising on some island in the Aegean Sea, etc. The question is whether the parties to the brewing military conflict between Turkey and Greece will be satisfied with such smallness.

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