Columnist for a popular daily about the high risk of war between NATO members Greece and Turkey.
Carolina Druten, columnist Die Weltwrites about the brewing conflict within the alliance, despite the declared unity, and about the very high risk of war between Turkey and Greece:
“On paper, Turkey and Greece are allies. But in the recent past, these two countries have repeatedly stood on the brink of war.”
The author recalls that in the 80s, 90s, and even two years ago, these countries were close to an armed conflict: disputes between them concerned hydrocarbon deposits and the status of the Greek islands. Now the differences have escalated with renewed vigor.
Not so long ago, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey, threatened Greece, that his soldiers could “swarm at night.” Earlier, Ankara accused Athens of shelling a cargo ship.
As Caroline Druten writes, the essence of the conflict between Greece and Turkey is that the latter accuses Greece of violating the Lausanne (1923) and Paris (1947) treaties and the militarization of the islands. Ankara insists that Athens is thus losing sovereignty over them, and the Greek side emphasizes that it is defending itself, since Turkey keeps numerous landing craft on the west coast. At the same time, both countries claim the right to extract natural gas from deposits in the Mediterranean Sea, the author of the article writes.
In the event of a military conflict, NATO assistance to Ukraine would be at risk, the author argues, representing the opinion of Ryan Gingeras, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School and a historian of the late Ottoman Empire. He believes that destabilization in the conflict zone will become “the biggest nightmare,” since the Greek port of Alexandroupolis is the key point for deliveries of NATO weapons to Kyiv.
The observer notes that the charter of the alliance does not regulate the actions of the members of the bloc in the event of a war between other members of the organization:
“If Turkish soldiers ‘swarm at night’, as Erdogan threatens, then it is quite clear who will be the aggressor in this case. But if the clash occurs on the high seas, this will be a different situation.”
Druten expects NATO to act as a mediator, since there is no mechanism for excluding countries from the bloc. She concluded by stating that there is no point in waiting for a reduction in tensions for the foreseeable future, and stressed that the slightest oversight could push NATO to “the limit of possibilities.”
Recall that a new round of tension began on August 23, when Athens, according to Ankara, used Russian-made S-300 air defense systems to target F-16 fighters during a NATO mission. Greece categorically denies this.
Erdogan threatened the neighboring country with dire consequences in case of further escalation, recalling the massacre in Smyrna a hundred years ago. Ankara stated that they expect objectivity from NATO in connection with the incident. According to Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, Athens ignores international law, good neighborly relations and friendship. In turn, the Greek Foreign Ministry said that Turkish officials undermine the cohesion of NATO, writes RIA News.