Greece and Turkey canceled their own military maneuvers in the Aegean Sea
ATHESM ANKARA, (BM) – Both Greece and Turkey canceled sea maneuvers planned for the end of October, learned BulgarianMilitary.com according some Turkish sources and citing Defence24. Both were to take place in the Aegean Sea, where there are disputes over sea areas around the Greek islands.
The Turkish maneuvers were to start on October 28, i.e. Wednesday, and the Greek ones were to start just one day later. Taking into account the incidents so far, including the ramming of the Turkish frigate “Kemal Reis” by the Greek frigate “Lemnos” in August this year, such a meeting in the Aegean Sea could have unpredictable consequences.
The first to show goodwill was Turkey, which canceled its Navtex maneuvers on Monday in order, according to Turkish sources, “to show Turkey’s willingness to solve problems in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean through dialogue.”
The Turkish exercises were aimed at practicing communication at sea. The Greeks, in response to them, decided on October 8 to make their own – combined with shooting. While any move to de-escalate, especially in today’s international context, should be welcomed, what we are actually dealing with is a Turkish withdrawal from their plans.
What is the reason – the mediation of the European Union and the United States, or the burnout of the possibilities of the Turkish state that is militarily engaged in many theaters – is difficult to assess at the moment. Last week, however, there was a withdrawal of Turkish troops from the Syrian province in Syria. At the same time, decisive bombings and movements of Syrian and Russian forces began there. Recently, a truce has also been achieved in Libya. On the other hand, the Azerbaijani-Armenian struggles, in which Turkey is considered a country engaged on the Azerbaijani side, have not stopped, which puts it in the way of Russian interests.
Erdogan seeks the Aegean as a ‘reward’ from the West – Is the end of NATO coming?
What is the hidden plan of the Turkish president with everything he has been doing for months in Greek region? There is a lot of information now that Erdogan after the failed coup of 2016 holds the US responsible and is moving at full speed to withdraw from the alliance moving in an autonomous course.
This issue was also covered by the big American newspaper, the WSJ, which is published under the headline “Erdogan really threatens a NATO ally in the Mediterranean”, referring to Erdogan’s provocative statements against France and Greece.
The Americans were late but it seems they are now actively dealing with the growing tension between Greece and Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean. Newspapers, magazines and websites now frequently report on Ankara’s threats to the EU, France, the US, Greece and the Mediterranean countries.
However, the American newspaper pointed out that in the Eastern Mediterranean, what is called NATO may “die”, at least as we knew it until today, and this rang a “bell” in Washington. The newspaper began by stating that the issue of the continental shelf and territorial waters in the Aegean as the main causes of the crisis between Greece and Turkey, which tends to turn into a conflict. The article considers that the “crisis” between Greeks and Turks started long before Erdogan came to power and will probably continue after him.
The WSJ claims that the growing tension in the last period is due to the very aggressiveness of the Turkish president. “Both sides also have legitimate allegations, but Ankara is trying to legitimize them with nationalist rhetoric and bad behavior”. Under the Erdogan government, Turkey, using the advantages of relations with the West, began rapprochement with Russia. NATO member Turkey, although strategically important in the Black Sea region for the West, is very aggressive.
For this relationship, Ankara is said to be asking for some kind of reward, blackmailing and intimidating another allied country such as Greece in this way, demanding the tolerance of the United States. If Erdogan uses violence or threatens to send refugees to Europe, Washington and Brussels must work together to counter him. The media attention to President Trump’s tweets and his approach based on the logic of a dubious “foreign policy” has all the time allowed Turkey to do what it does in the region. “However, the Eastern Mediterranean could bring an end to NATO as we know it,” the American newspaper writes, among other things.
“If Greece pulls the trigger, it will be the end of NATO,” said Turkish Admiral T. Gurdeniz, implying that Turkey would withdraw from the military alliance [and either join the Eurasian Union or remain independent with the latter]. We think that Erdogan is seeking to disengage from NATO from 2016, and remain autonomous to implement his plans to annex territories in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Armenia and the Aegean, all the rest is just wishful thinking.
His plan is backed by at least 70% of today’s Turkey, which considers the West, and especially the United States, “infected” and a major enemy of the country, according to opinion polls, while nurturing at least two generations of Turks alongside extremist Islamist ideology.
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