Turkey: “The” example of how pride precedes the fall


Hollande’s visit to Greece was accompanied by a historic event, whereby the Greeks set their Naval zone-limits, especially after the guarantees both in terms of support and war materiel that the French President promised. This fact by itself, though, does not make the volatile situation in the SE Mediterranean less complicated. On the contrary, the Turks have not taken so lightly the fact that the Greeks have set their perimeter after prompted by the EU. There are two versions of the story, the legal and the Turkish. The legal goes according to the International Maritime Law, which Turkey does not accept (note: If that occurred with another Country, the Country would be “bombed all the way to Democracy”, but seemingly Turkish is and has always been a rather “different” example). The Turkish version states that the treaties signed, those that defined Greece’s naval borders, are annulled. Why? Because they say so! Turkey has published maps including whole islands like Rhodes and many others located in the Eastern parts of the Aegean, claiming that “they are within the Turkish borders”.

What does Greece do about it? Nothing! After the Imia crisis in 1996 Prime Minister Kostas Simitis has taken the issue to Hague, but this is a language the Turks do not and will not understand. For the Turks the word border is defined by what a Country can afford to protect and at this time, Greece has the low ground because of the Economic Crisis. The drills, though, as we have written in a previous essay, have undergone superbly and indicate a high readiness along with an equally high morale, in spite of the poor wages and the fact of course that many officers of the Greek army are now considered to live below poverty line. This fact, though, has not hit the morale, on the contrary they are as operational as if they were working for the United States or a Country which faced no financial difficulties at all.

Beyond those observations, we should have a look at the facts. The Greek political leadership does nothing to counter the slow and sly infiltration of the Turks in Evros (Western Thrace). This inertia has resulted in far-fetched claims by Turkey, that Western Thrace has a “Turkish minority” and that the Greeks do not show the proper respect. There is no such thing as a Turkish minority first of all, but let’s suppose that the Greek political leadership stays on this course of inertia and keeps on doing nothing. Ultimately, one day, Western Thrace will have been taken by the Turks, via soft power. The same, or nearly the same, goes for the Aegean as well, despite the fact that the Turks “bit off far more than they could chew” in terms of illegal territorial claims. This can go down as well without a fight, as the Greeks will keep sticking to this “non-belligerent”, war evasive policy. So, ultimately the question which is born is why do the Turks use a war-like language, risking to lose everything, even their own territorial integrity. Indeed, this is not the 1974 and the International community will not tolerate another “Cyprus carnage”, even though Turkey is a NATO member.

The answer lies within the context of Turkish mentality. Turks never had a measure, never knew when to stop, when to draw the line. They knew that the Western backing was granted, because of their geographical location. They felt good with themselves when they prohibited US troops from passing through their territory to Iraq, as they feel sure of themselves now, considering the opportunity as a “now or never” situation to take what is within their grasp. That is why “future political corpses” like Deputy FM Naci Koru state so arrogantly that “Ankara won’t allow South Cyprus to breach Turkey’s continental shelf for exploration of oil and gas in the Eastern Mediterranean” or “Our country and Northern Cyprus have objected to exploration activities [conducted] by South Cyprus. The unilateral stand of South Cyprus means the extortion of Turkish Cypriots’ rights”.

The “funniest thing” was when he was asked about Davutoglu’s “zero problems with neighbors” diplomatic doctrine. He answered: “This policy is based on the fact that [we should] focus not on our differences but on areas of cooperation [with neighboring countries]”!!! It doesn’t feel like that in the Aegean with iconic close combat dogfights and mini naval battles or fly bys performed on purpose by Turkey over Greek territorial grounds. 

It’s a huge irony, a Country having no reasons to go to war, in the end to get entangled in a war having been provoked by its politicians against the Country’s own national interests even against its Raison d’etre. Be that as it may, the Greeks have a saying: “When the goat wants to get a good beat, then what it does, it goes and rubs itself on the Shepherd’s crook”. Let’s consider this as another way of saying: “Pride comes before the fall”

Source: http://www.defensehorizon.com affiliate website

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