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Politics

Report Says Turkey Plans Secret Escalation of Tensions With Greece

ANKARA – Turkey reportedly plans to stoke up trouble with Greece using a secret, specially trained unit attached to its intelligence service MIT in a clandestine operation as the two countries at times have already been at the point of conflict.

The claim was made by the site Nordic Monitor, led by Abdullah Bozkurt, a Turkish investigative journalist living in Sweden, a number of Turkish reporters in exile as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has jailed dozens of them.

The scheme, the report said, is under the direct control of Erdogan who has openly said he may order an invasion of Greece but nonetheless was invited to a European Union meeting where he was greeted and faced no sanctions.

The report said that the existence of the new unit of MIT has never been reported until now and could be involved in setting up secret military operations against Greece, a fellow member of NATO, which said it wants no part of the issues between them.

The plot to ramp up tensions – it wasn’t said if that’s a pretext for an invasion – includes several options, including sabotage on Greek islands near Turkey’s coast as Turkey has demanded Greece remove troops from them.

Others were said to call for forces to raise the Turkish flag on one or several uninhabited islets and rock formations as well as conducting a false flag operation to justify a Turkish response.

That happened in 1996 on the uninhabited islet of Imia and almost led to an all-out war between the countries and the details of the crash of a Greek military helicopter there have never been revealed.

Erdoğan is still considering the alternatives submitted to him by his confidant, Hakan Fidan, the head of MIT, and has not yet decided which course of action he wants to take, according to the report.

Nordic Monitor said it had information from sources not named that the special unit would carry out operations in the Aegean Sea with logistical support from the Turkish military’s air and naval assets.

The plot, kept strictly confidential on a need-to-know basis within Erdoğan and Fidan’s close circle, is slated to begin shortly before the June 18, 2023 elections in Turkey where Erdogan is facing a tough fight.

That will be around the same time as Greece’s elections with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis facing a battle in the run-up to the polls as he’s trying to deal with Turkish provocations and fierce criticism from his major rival SYRIZA.

The intent in Turkey, the report said, is to galvanize support for Erdogan beyond his zealous nationalist base and whip up a reason why Turks should rally around him and bring him back to office.

Fidan, the report added, is in charge of a so-called false flag operation against Greece to deliberately stoke further tensions, not to defend Turkey’s national security but serve Erdogan’s personal and political interests.

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