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The Arms Race between Greece and Turkey

I do not think that anyone has missed the fact that Greece is rapidly moving to strengthen its defense and to equip its armed forces to the point where they become at least a serious deterrent to Turkey in the face of the daily provocations of Ankara.

Οn March 24, our homeland signed a second agreement with France, this time worth $4.4 billion, for the purchase of three frigates and six additional Rafale aircraft.

This is a new, significant expense relative to the size and condition of the Greek economy, and it could not have come at a worse time. With the global economy under severe strain due to two years of the coronavirus – and now we have the serious economic consequences of the Russian invasion of Ukraine – these funds could have been used to alleviate the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Greek families due to the inflation that has arisen.

It was clear before, but it is becoming more and more nightmarishly clear now, that we live in a dangerous world. What was valid until yesterday has been overthrown. The time where almost all of us believed, (based on the 80 years of continuous peace and economic development since the end of World War II), that we would continue to live under these conditions for the foreseeable future, has been overthrown – and we have no idea what the end result will be.

How many ‘experts’, even heads of state, believed that what is happening in Europe today could have possibly occurred? That Russia would take a page from its imperialist history, from the time of the tsars, and would invade and destroy an independent neighboring country that refuses to submit to it, as Mussolini’s Italy once demanded of John Metaxas?

And who would have thought that ‘brain dead’ NATO, to use Macron’s phrase, would today be united as never before and would be preparing to confront Russia in the event of the use of nuclear weapons and a possible attack on a member state?

And who would have thought that in the year of 2022 millions of citizens of a European country would grab their most cherished belongings, pack a suitcase, and take to the road as refugees, running for their lives?

These images remind us of the genocides of Armenians and Greeks at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and the destruction of the Greeks of Asia Minor 100 years ago.

And who today can rule out the possibility of Turkey acting on the threats to our sovereignty that are hurled at us on an almost daily basis, threatening our islands and Western Thrace?

Who really believes, based on everything Turkey does on Cyprus, that it is impossible that it would at some point invade the free part of Cyprus?

So in this general climate of war and uncertainty that we live in, what other option does Greece have than to arm herself?

And going one step further, what other option does she have than to prepare her people, to call on them to make financial sacrifices, as a small price to be paid in order to guarantee the freedom of the homeland?

On the contrary, one could argue that our homeland was too late to take such measures
The Utopia, the Paradise that we saw through our rose-colored glasses for decades, if it ever existed, clearly no longer exists.


This article is part of a continuing series dealing with reports of Greek POWs in Asia Minor in the Thessaloniki newspaper, Makedonia in July 1936.

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