by Vassilis Nedos
The recent announcements by Turkish officials about Ankara’s intention to strengthen its forces in the Aegean (the Army of the Aegean) and the occupied north of Cyprus are another step in the militarized rhetoric targeting Athens and Nicosia.
The Army of the Aegean, or Fourth Army, covers the west coast of Anatolia at a depth of 400 kilometers and is based in Izmir. It has several commands, under which as many as 150,000 men can serve during operations (currently estimated at around 90,000).
In the occupied north of Cyprus, Turkish forces are estimated at 35,000, along with about 320 tanks, 650 armored personnel carriers or combat vehicles. They also have anti-aircraft and anti-tank systems, and, as is evident, they already have a numerical superiority over the well-equipped Greek Cypriot National Guard, which guards the borders of the Republic of Cyprus.