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09/09/2020

Last week in Turkey: Is the war approaching?

Last week in Turkey: Is the war approaching?

Turkish public is discussing about the possibility of wars at all fronts.

In the West, the crises with Greece and European Union on the sea borders in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, are deepening every day. On the Eastern front, the support that has been given to PKK/YPG/PYD terrorist organizations, by the Western countries such as the US and France is pushing Turkey to take an action against these powers.

Turkey is increasing the number of its military exercises against these threats…

Let us start with the crisis between Turkey and Greece;

TURKISH NAVY IN THE MEDITTERANEAN SEA

On Sunday, the armed forces of Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) has begun their joint military exercises in the Northern Cyprus, as a political and a military message to the Greek threat against Ankara’s interests in the region.

This exercise will be conducted jointly with air, naval and ground forces of Turkey.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktayhas announced on Twitter that the five-day exercise, the Mediterranean Storm, is a demonstration of their will to stand against those trying to confine Turkey to the Gulf of Antalya, while ignoring the Turkish Cypriots.

Oktay has evaluated the military exercise with the following words; “The security priorities of our country (Turkey) and the TRNC are indispensable, along with the diplomatic solutions in the Eastern Mediterranean,”

The relations between Ankara and Athens has turned into a combat status, since Greece does not recognize the maritime rights of Turkey by disregarding international law, which holds the longest coastline in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Although the President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly reiterated that Turkey is ready to negotiate with every country in the region except the Greek Cyprus, Athens’ efforts to provoke Ankara over the disputes on the islands in the region are still ongoing.

The situation in Cyprus is one of the points of disagreement between Ankara and Athens.

Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot government in the north and a Greek Cypriot administration in the south since the 1974 military coup, which was plotted for its annexation by Greece. Subsequently, Turkish military intervened in the island to end the persecution and violence against Turkish Cypriots by the ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots.

WILL NATO BE THE MEDIATOR?

NATO, on the other hand, has speculated the media that it has stepped in in order to become a mediator between Turkey and Greece.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that Turkey and Greece had arranged some technical talks for the establishment of anti-conflict mechanisms in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Stoltenberghas said that ” Following my discussions with Greek and Turkish leaders, the two allies have agreed to enter into technical talks at NATO to establish mechanisms for military deconfliction to reduce the risk of incidents and accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean,”. It has been widely spoken that NATO’s intervention to the issue is actually intended for buying Greece some time, among some circles in Ankara. It is also well-known that a majority of the government officials have lost their trust in NATO since the July 15th coup attempt.

While tensions continue in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who took a flight above the Aegean Sea with an F-16 fighter jet, has also made a statement about the tensions with Greece.

Akar used the following statements; “Turkey respects the political and territorial integrity of all its neighbors. On the other hand, everyone needs to know that we will not allow our right, our law to be violated. There are those coming from thousands of kilometers away for bullying, claiming rights and playing the role of a guardian angel.These are unacceptable. As they have come, so they will go. Greece and France, with the support of the EU, illogically claim that they are right in their claims. We will never buy your understandings. It is wrong. You can’t change the facts, even if you garner the support of the entire world Cyprus is our national cause…”

 TURKISH-RUSSIAN JOINT MILITARY DRILL

Meanwhile, the cooperation between Turkey and Russia for resolving the Syrian crisis continues.

The Russian expert on Syria Alexander Grinkevich, has said in the last week that the Turkish and Russian troops have conducted joint exercises in Syria for the first time.

While the two countries have been going on with the Astana process together with Iran, they have also conducted military exercises in Syria for the first time.

Grinkevich said that the first exercise on August 31st, was aimed at securing the joint patrols carried out by Russian and Turkish forces at the de-escalation zones in Idlib. 

FRENCH SPECIAL FORCES IN SYRIA AND IRAQ

While facing Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and in Africa, some claims came out among the media, that suggests France has redeployed its special forces of 64 personnel from Syria to Northern Iraq.

Ismet Ozcelik, a columnist for the Istanbul-based Aydinlik Newspaper, has shared the following intelligence in his article, which he gathered from the Turkish officials; “France has sent a team of 64 people to Syria in coordination with the United States… This is a team that has fought in Africa before, and has provoked some civil wars, and toppled some governments.

It is also mentioned in the article that the team has been redeployed to the Northern Iraq, in fear of an attack from the Assad regime or Turkey.

According to the Turkish journalist, French forces want to continue training of the PKK/PYD elements in Erbil or Sulaymaniyah, but the Kurdistan Democratic Party under the leadership of Masoud Barzani has not allowed yet, for the fear that Turkey may react.

As the clashes in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East deepens, Turkish public began to prepare itself for the possibility of a war.

 
United World International

Independent analytical center where political scientists and experts in international relations from various countries exchange their opinions and views.

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