Bloomberg and the Guardian are trying to analyze the reasons that have brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of a military confrontation, with the first and foremost exploitation of the energy resources of the Eastern Mediterranean.
It is a problematic relationship with a series of thorny issues that almost ignited three times in famous half a century the wick of the war between the two NATO partners Greece and Turkey, reports Bloomberg, citing points of friction between Ankara and Athens.
The agency notes that the division of Cyprus actually began in 1963, when disputes broke out between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, and ended with the invasion of “Attila” in 1974, the occupation of the northern part of Megalonisos and the creation of its “state” TRNC, recognized only by Turkey.
Reunification efforts have so far been unsuccessful, with the United States recently easing its arms embargo on the Republic of Cyprus, a move condemned by Turkey.
Tensions have escalated this year with Turkey exploring for oil and gas in disputed Eastern Mediterranean waters, where large deposits have been identified in recent years on behalf of Israel, Egypt and Turkey.
The controversy stems from conflicting interpretations of maritime borders and the issue of sovereignty in Cyprus, with Ankara challenging the Greek islands’ right to a continental shelf and refusing to sign the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNL). The administration of the Occupied Territories in Cyprus claims rights to all energy resources discovered off the coast of Megalonisos.
Disagreements in the Aegean
Greece and Turkey reached the brink of war in 1987, on the occasion of oil extraction rights in the Aegean, but also in 1996 for Imia . Turkey has stated since 1995 that it considers casus belli the extension of Greek territorial waters to 12 n.m. in the Aegean.
The demilitarization regime of the Dodecanese is also a source of friction, with Turkey blowing its whistle after the -recently- release of photos that showed Greek soldiers arriving in Kastelorizo , but also the airspace of 10 nm. from the Greek coast, which Turkey insists should be limited to 6 nautical miles – as much as the territorial waters of Greece.
The Muslims of Thrace
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan denounces discrimination against Turkish-speaking Muslims in western Thrace, while accusing Greece of closing dozens of “Turkish” schools, according to Bloomberg. Erdogan has also demanded a revision of the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne aimed at strengthening the rights of the Muslim minority in Greece and settling issues of territorial sovereignty in the Aegean, with Greece replying that Turkey has no right to speak on such issues. since it has been closing the Theological School of Halki since 1971 and recently turned the Hagia Sophia and the Monastery of Chora into mosques.
Guardian: Is it against the energy or is Erdogan’s bigotry hidden behind it?
For the Guardian, the question is whether the Greek-Turkish feud concerns only one energy dispute, or is it driven by Erdogan’s endorsement of “a pan-Islamic Ottoman ideology, largely due to its internal weakening policy .”
As the British newspaper’s diplomatic editor Patrick Windour notes, those who embrace the “Blue Homeland” theory in Turkey argue that their country’s problems stem from its unjust treatment by the old colonial powers (…). Erdogan’s supporters claim that Turkey – in a period of weakness and without a navy – was forced to sign the Treaty of Sevres and its inadequate revision with the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923, which in practice left Turkey stranded on its shores. , although it has a coastline of about 8,000 km “.
Article highlights the growing concern in France for the overall direction of Turkey, the former adviser to Francois Mitterrand n, Jacques Atali , recently noted that should be taken very seriously everything says Turkey “to be ready to act all means. “If our predecessors had listened seriously to the Führer’s speeches from 1933 to 1936, they could have prevented this monster from gathering the means to do what it did . ” The appointment of the former French ambassador to the UN, Gerard Aro , is also noted.”Russia, China and Turkey are forces of revisionism that do not accept a status quo based on the world order established by the West from 1945 to 1991, as they feel strengthened by a new global balance and the American policy. Where will they stop? “What should Europeans do?”
The answer, says the Guardian, was recently given by Emanuel Macron , when he spoke about the need for a Pax Mediterranea , in view of the return of an “imperial regional power with some fantasies from its history”, ie Turkey.
The article refers to Ankara’s shootings against France, which, according to the Turkish leadership, was disturbed by Turkey’s moves in Libya, where it militarily supported the internationally recognized government in Tripoli and “exploited its gratitude and political weakness to tempts the Prime Minister of Fayez al-Saraj to sign the bilateral agreement on the maritime borders “, which violates the mining rights of Greece and Cyprus, effectively ignoring the existence of Crete. He concludes: “Erdogan hailed the agreement as a revision of the Treaty of Sevres and the dawn of a new order. “In the coming months it will be judged whether he is right and whether this order will be achieved through war or diplomacy.”
Source – iefimerida.gr