Ladies and gentlemen, in this corner we have the combined forces of Greece, Cyprus, the United Nations, the United States, and the European Union, and in the other the undisputed heavyweight ruler of all of them, Turkish Dictator/President Recep …….. Tayyip ……. “Crusher!” Erdogan. “Let’s get ready to ruuuumbble!”
And then, just like that, the no-holds barred death-cage match that should have been held in one of Greece’s hellish refugee centers, where Erdogan let human traffickers send them after they went to Turkey fleeing war and strife in other countries, was over.
The winner, and still champion: Erdogan.
In one fell swoop, he has managed to send energy drill ships into Cypriot waters to hunt for oil and gas, defying calls to stop, held out the threat of flooding the EU, through Greek islands, with millions more refugees and migrants who have no place to go, and punk’d U.S. President Humpty Dumpty into giving him a green light to go into northern Syria to go after the Kurds, American allies who had been working and dying with U.S. troops there to try to squash the terrorists forever.
Talk about a Trifecta. Game over, man, and it belongs to Erdogan, along with the East Mediterranean, big chunks of the Aegean – including Greek waters he claims – and Cyprus, which he could take tomorrow with a new invasion, 45 years after Turkey seized the northern third of the island with the implicit approval of the United States.
No one is willing to stand up to him, not even German Chancellor Angela Merkel, a/k/a the world’s most powerful woman who a few years ago hesitated before not letting Turkey try to get its hands on a German comic who insulted the Sultan, almost a capital crime in Turkey.
Turkey wants to join the EU – to which Cyprus belongs, while barring its ships and planes and not recognizing the legitimate government. The saga has been going on for 14 years with no sign of ending and yet Greece and Cyprus, both bullied into thinking appeasement will work with Erdogan, have backed the effort, fearing it will get worse if they don’t. (Check history, see Neville Chamberlain for that answer.)
There’s nothing funny about Erdogan, apart from his goofy Charlie Chaplin faux Hitler mustache he thinks makes him look tough but the pencil-thin hair just makes him look like a mental patient with an agenda.
After he snookered Humpty Dumpty, Erdogan gave his best Mussolini gloat, knowing he had won a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent and got to kill a bunch of Kurds – abandoned by the U.S. to their fate.
Speaking to his party, Erdogan said Turkish forces had killed 109 "militants" since the operation began, and warned he would "open the doors" to spark a new refugee crisis in Europe if the EU called it an "invasion."
"Hey EU, wake up. I say it again: if you try to frame our operation there as an invasion, our task is simple: we will open the doors and send 3.6 million migrants to you," he said.
The way there is through Greek islands already trying to deal with more than 78,000 of them, including more than 28,000 on islands where detention centers and camps have become tinderboxes for violence, clashes between ethnic groups and with riot police by people penned up, frustrated their applications for asylum have taken two years to process.
That's what new Greek Premier and New Democracy Conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is up against as the country tries to deal with a new invasion – oops, incursion – of more of them that Erdogan is letting human traffickers keep sending, and good guy that he is, Mitsotakis is out of his league trying to deal with Erdogan.
But Greece is the first line of defense against Erdogan and Mitsotakis has to pull off a Philippe Petit-like Man on Wire act between the now-toppled World Trade Center buildings, backing more EU funding for Turkey so that Erdogan won't, as threatened, send an invasion – make that influx – of more refugees and migrants to Greek islands where there's already so many it's a wonder they haven't sunk.
He won't get any help from the EU, which is short for eunuch, and Erdogan has already politically castrated the bloc's leaders, and with a new European Commission – already rife with corruption charges – taking office on Nov. 1 there's nobody in Brussels who can match him either so this is where Mitsotakis can step up.
He must, because Erdogan, like Humpty Dumpty, just gets emboldened when other leaders hide under their desks and tap their heels and say, “there's no place like home,” hoping when they open their eyes he won't be there, but he will because he beat EU leaders like a rented mule.
But Mitsotakis is waffling, giving Erdogan – who never does – the opening he needs. Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said, “Any funding to Turkey, which anyone with humanitarian feelings would not oppose, must be combined with clear actions by Turkey that would stop its provocative behavior,” he said. “This is what we and other European capitals are working toward,” he added.
For those who don't speak gutless, here's the translation: the EU will do nothing, the UN will do nothing, Greece will do nothing. The winner and still champion: Erdogan.