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Editorial

The Intentions of the Turks Are Very Clear

In the announcement issued after this week’s meeting of the Security Council of Turkey, which marks – or if you prefer, puts its stamp on – Erdogan’s decisions, we are informed that among the few other issues they discussed was their country’s relations with Greece.

Following the announcements of this body over time, one can form a realistic picture of Turkey’s foreign policy.

Thus, it is important to keep in mind that when Foreign Minister Cavusoglu, for example, threatens the islands, as he did recently, he does not speak just for himself. He acts on the basis of his country’s official policy.

Here, is an excerpt from the announcement of the National Security Council of Turkey concerning Greece:

“Greece’s gradually increasing provocative actions in the Aegean Sea, violating international law and the treaties to which it is a party, and its attempts to exploit alliances that require action taken with an understanding of cooperation, were discussed, and it was emphasized that our determined stance on the protection of our nation’s rights and interests would be maintained without compromise.”

It is clear that the Security Council is referring to Turkey’s demands for the demilitarization of the islands: “provocative actions by Greece in the Aegean Sea.” It is also clear that they are referring to the Prime Minister’s recent visit to the United States: “[Greece]’s efforts to exploit Alliances,” and they stress that they will not make any “retreat.”
How much clearer can they be about their intentions?

There are people in the Greek-American community and in Greece who will claim that such announcements, along with the continuous steps Ankara is taking for the Turkification of Famagusta, the problems it is causing regarding the accession of Finland and Sweden to NATO, and the relentless bombing of the Kurds, simply aim to strengthen the patriotic credentials of Erdogan in view of an economy that is collapsing as elections approach.

There is some truth in that, but it would be a mistake to attribute these actions only to political expediency.

These are Turkey’s strategic plans.

And to be even clearer: sooner or later Turkey, with or without Erdogan, will provoke a military incident with Greece, as they so openly announce.

Fortunately, Kyriakos Mitsotakis is not sitting idly by. He is building alliances and arming Greece.

It is in this context that his triumphant visit to the United States bothered the Turkish President so much.

Of course, America does not need evidence from Greece about the actions of the Turks. They definitely have their own sources.

However, it is important for the United States to look the Greek Prime Minister in the eyes, so to speak, to know who they are dealing with, and to what extent they can cooperate with him in replacing the services and facilities offered by Turkey with similar ones in Greece.

And, of course, at the same time, Greece’s purchase of warplanes from France, as well as the discussions that took place for the supply of more from America, speak for themselves.

The war in Ukraine came like a deus ex machina for Erdogan, which further emboldened him.

And, unfortunately, while it is becoming increasingly clear that Turkey should not be a member of NATO – because the Turks do not share the same principles and values as other NATO member states, and as senator Rober Menendez, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee said: “Turkey under Erdogan should not and can not be seen as an ally” – NATO continues to pretend that Turkey is needed by the alliance despite growing concerns that its aggressiveness is problematic in the Eastern Mediterranean, that in blocking the membership of Finland and Sweden into NATO is playing Putin’s game, and so much more.

They are deluding themselves.

As the Prime Minister of Greece stated in his Council of Ministers: “This does not mean, in any case, that we will not defend our rights, and obviously it does not mean that we will not publicize internationally, in all fora, what is unacceptable and what is happening in recent months in the region.”

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My name is Charles Robbins, the chief correspondent of the Chicago Daily Tribune in Constantinople.

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