Considering the refusal of the European Union to impose sanctions on Turkey in response to Ankara's aggressive and expansionist designs against Greece and Cyprus one cannot help but be reminded of he European betrayal of Greece during the effort by Athens to liberate the Hellenic populations of Asia Minor and possibly Constantinople. The Italians were the first to make deals with Mustafa Kemal's murderous nationalists in Anatolia. The Italians were followed by the French and the British who imposed an arms embargo on Greece while the Kemalists were fully armed even as they slaughtered defenseless Greek, Armenian, and Assyrian Christians.
The sanctions imposed on Turkey by both Europe and the United States are based on Turkish purchases of a Russian air-defense system. While the short term goal of the sanctions may be directed against Turkey, the long term target is Russia. The anti-Russian policies of Europe and the United States will not be to the long term benefits of Greece. It is a historically proven fact that the Turks have always been the beneficiaries of the west's Russophobia. No better example of this exists than the pro-Ottoman policies pursued by the British Empire and France during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
Anti-Russian hysteria broke out in Europe in 1853 during the run up to the Crimean War. The British even composed a song, ‘the Russians shall not have Constantinople.’ Greece at the time was anxious to join the
Russians in their fight against the Ottoman Empire only to see the port of Piraeus occupied by the British and French. Anti-Russian sentiment among the Europeans permitted the Ottoman Empire's murderous campaigns against the Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks to proceed gradually.
During the Cold War, when the Soviet Union was the adversary of the west, Turkey was considered a strategic asset. It is because Turkey was considered a strategic asset that America and Europe ignored the anti-Greek pogroms of 1955 and the subsequent ethnic cleansing of Greeks from Constantinople and the islands of Imbros and Tenedos during the 1960's. Furthermore, the perception of Washington that Turkey was strategically important permitted Washington to support the Turkish invasions of Cyprus that occurred in July and August 1974. Therefore, the renewed anti-Russian hysteria in America and Europe should be of concern to Greece and Cyprus as Turkey may become the beneficiary of anti-Russian hysteria as it has been throughout the past two centuries.
While it is true that Russia and Turkey have been cooperating in recent years, the reality is that enemy states frequently form temporary truces and periods of cooperation. The most notorious example of enemies making nice with each other is the pact between Hitler and Stalin that was signed in 1939. Turkey has signed an agreement with Libya to divide the Mediterranean between the two of them. More crucially, Russia and Turkey are on opposite sides in the conflict in Libya. Russia and Greece are in fact supporting the same side in Libya.
Turkey and Azerbaijan have been supporting Syrian jihadists against the Armenians in Artsakh. This in addition to the Syrian jihadists that have been fighting for Turkey in Libya. Furthermore, Turkish officials have bragged that Syrian jihadists would fight with Turkey in the event of a Greek-Turkish war. It should be remembered and emphasized that Russia used its might to defend the secular and pro-Christian government in
Damascus against the Syrian jihadists that were being sponsored and supported by Ankara. Turkey is a jihadist state who supported the murderous Islamic State politically and economically.
With regard to the Turkish bragging that Syrians will fight with Turkey against Greece. Western foreign policy nearly turned Syria into another Afghanistan. During the 1980's, jihadists who would later form Al Quada gathered in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. Syrian jihadists have become a problem as a result of American and European meddling in Syria. Furthermore, the Greek islands have been flooded with refugees as a result of the western interventions in Iraq and Syria. Are Greek interests really intertwined with those of Europe and can Greece really trust the Europeans?
The Germans have worked to undermine Greek efforts to ensure that sanctions would be imposed on Turkey as a result of Turkish threats against European Union members Greece and Cyprus. The Germans are more interested in appeasing Turkey because of Ankara's threats to flood Europe with millions of refugees. Other European countries such as Spain and Italy have rejected the possibility of ending their economic ties over Greece and Cyprus.
The Russians have recently been making statements very friendly to Greece. They have expressed support for Greece's right to expand its territory in the Aegean Sea. Russia has also condemned the Turkish opening of the beach of Varosha in the Turkish occupied territories of Cyprus. Russia has also reminded the Turks of the Russian role in helping to free Greece at the Battle of Navarino in 1828. Greece hasexperienced great historical injustices at the hands of the Europeans throughout history. It should not be forgotten that the Greek and Armenian Christian populations at Smyrna were slaughtered while Italian, French,British, and American battleships in the harbor stood by without intervening. This after the European powers supported the armies of Mustafa Kemal.
Greek and Cypriot foreign policy changes need to be evaluated very carefully and all options must remain open. Options must include the possibility of aligning with Orthodox Russia under the right circumstances.
American and European perceptions that Russia is a threat may very well lead them to support Turkey. It is quite possible that nothing may come of any American and European efforts to reconcile with Turkey as Ankara is a jihadist state. Regardless, historical precedents remain as do certain geographical realities. The Greeks would do well to perceive European refusal to punish Turkey for its aggressive designs on Greek and Cypriot territory as unfriendly. Athens would also be wise to contemplate the possibilities of a Greek-Russian partnership in the probable event that Russian-Turkish relations fall apart, as they did in 2015.