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28 May, 2024
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How likely is a Greek-Turkish military conflict?

Greek-born editor-in-chief of Munich newspaper Münchner Merkur George Anastasiadis comments on Turkey's new threats against Greece



"Conflict over the Aegean Islands: Erdogan Threatens Europe with Next War." This is the title of a comment by the Greek-born editor-in-chief of the Munich newspaper Münchner Merkur, George Anastasiadis, on Turkey's new threats against Greece over sovereign rights in the eastern Aegean islands.

Among other things, Mr. Anastasiadis observes: "Erdogan, who is under pressure due to the serious economic crisis and the upcoming presidential elections, can do anything to divert attention from political problems at home - even waging war against Greece, a NATO ally. Every day, Turkish fighter jets enter Greek airspace.  It is, therefore, a positive turn of events that Chancellor Olaf Scholz is now listening to Athens' concerns. When it comes to Turkey, Athens and Berlin are on the same side. This is because an integral part of Turkey's threats is that it will open the gates for immigrants […] Anyone who has visited the big cities, Athens and Thessaloniki, can see how much they suffer from the large number of migrants trapped in the country...Erdogan does not even need to drop bombs...The threat of war is enough to drive out tourists.  Consequently, eliminating the income garnered from this industry and on which countries are heavily dependent especially after the economic crisis.   This is a form of war that requires a clear European response."

"Turkish President Erdogan openly threatens Greece with war for the Aegean islands.  What is happening, what does Erdogan want and how big is the risk of a military conflict?" These are the questions that Gerd Heller raises in his analysis on the RND network.

The German correspondent in Athens presents Tayyip Erdogan's recent statements on sovereignty over the Eastern Aegean islands and Turkish exercises in the region, looking back at the history of Turkish claims. "The conflict has been burning in the area for many years. But now, for the first time, Turkey is openly questioning Greek sovereignty over the islands - and ostentatiously launching military landing exercises. "The Cold War in the Aegean threatens to turn into a hot episode."

Like Merkur, the analysis in the RND looks behind Erdogan's threats, internal political reasons and the upcoming presidential election.

"The head of the Turkish state will do everything in his power to win the upcoming elections. It may even risk a war with neighboring Greece." Elsewhere he tries to decipher Erdogan's aspirations: "It is not ruled out that Erdogan will send ships and try to conquer one or more Greek islands, but it is not very likely. It is more likely that Turkey will try to underline its sovereign claims in the airspace over the Aegean. It has been doing so for weeks with more and more frequent overflights over the Aegean."

In conclusion, the article assesses the developments in the Aegean coupled with the situation in Moscow by saying, "The leader of the Kremlin, Putin, should be watching the developments with satisfaction.  A military conflict between Greece and Turkey, that is, between NATO partners, would be in his favor now more than ever for the war in Ukraine."

Source: Deutsche Welle

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