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Editorial

The Military Ambitions of the Turks

I was worried about a report this week in the Washington Post about Turkey. It added another important element to Erdogan's apparent quest for military supremacy in its region: Turkey’s mastery of drone technology.

The article noted that “as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wages a widening military campaign for influence from North Africa to the Caucasus, his forces have relied on a potent weapon to gain a battlefield edge while drumming up domestic support for foreign interventions: homemade armed drones.”

“Turkey used its military power in Libya,” the article continued, “with drones a critical component,” and added, “they helped Azerbaijan, an ally of Turkey, prevail over Armenian forces in the fighting over the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region, according to military analysts.”

The author explained that the drones are significant on multiple levels: “At home, the growing sophistication of the indigenous drones have made them a symbol of Turkish technological innovation and self-sufficiency, boosting national confidence amid a severe economic downturn and friction with some other NATO countries.”

Addressing these developments will be a challenge for the new Biden administration because, as the article explains, “the battlefield successes pose an urgent foreign policy challenge for the incoming Biden administration: what to do about Ankara’s expansionist policies, which have put Turkey in conflict with a range of other U.S. allies, including Greece and the United Arab Emirates.”

I have been following the American press that specializes in military issues for a long time and I know that Turkish ambitions also extend to the field of nuclear power. This worries me.

It is clear that the Turks are spending large sums of money on their war industry and technology in order to become independent, and therefore insulated from external pressures, like embargoes.

That is what Erdogan proudly declares, for obvious political reasons.

Of course, I cannot know how far they have come. That's why the Post's report on the fact that they are building their own high-tech unmanned aerial vehicles, which have proven effective on the battlefield, is worrying.

Of course, all this – and more – has drawn the attention of the Greek authorities.

They do not need me to point anything out. And I believe that despite the pandemic and the economic crisis it is creating, Greece is spending substantial funds so that it will never be exposed to deadly blackmail from Turkey. 

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