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Erdogan Feared War with Greece Over Russia

The West cannot be trusted, especially when it comes to politics, said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan .

He explained this by the fact that Greece , when asked why it was necessary to create American bases, answers that “against Russia.” “And what have you done for Ukraine against Russia? Their words are full of lies,” the Turkish leader said.

I wonder what Russia has to do with it? It seems that Erdogan fears that these bases are against Turkey. That is, he no longer considers himself a part of the collective West and is ready for a serious conflict with it?

“There is a serious conflict between Turkey and Greece,” explains Gevorg Mirzayan , associate professor at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation .

– Not only historical, but also territorial. Therefore, Erdogan categorically does not like it when a number of Western countries take steps towards Greece. When the US and the EU strengthen the Greek defenses. Erdogan is well aware that his aggressive actions against the West can lead to the creation of a coalition against him.

“SP”: – What does Ukraine have to do with it? Does Erdogan really need the Greeks to do something against Russia?

– No. The fact is that the United States is going to strengthen its position in Greece in order to supposedly help Ukraine and contain Russia. Actually, Erdogan is asking, what did Greece itself do to contain Russia? Why does the US consider Greece an important line of containment for Moscow ?

“SP”: – By the way, is the very situation of a possible clash between NATO and Russia in the region dangerous for Turkey? Does this bother Erdogan?

“Erdogan is not worried about this, it scares him very much. Indeed, in this situation, Türkiye will be forced to stop its strategy of maneuvering and make a choice. Either she is with NATO and becomes one of the first targets for Russia, or she is with Russia and finally becomes a stranger to the West. It’s a choice between two bad choices. Erdogan categorically does not want to do it.

“SP”: – Will he demand to remove these bases among the conditions for the admission of Finland and Sweden to NATO?

– I think no. This issue does not directly concern Sweden and Finland. In addition, the current conditions put forward by Turkey in the address of Stockholm and Helsinki are practically impossible to fulfill.

“SP”: – To what extent, in your opinion, are relations between the West and Turkey at the peak of aggravation now? How far can this all go?

– Relations between Turkey and Europe are systemically bad. The parties are too far apart, and are unlikely to find a common language. On the other hand, neither Turkey nor the EU needs a complete break in relations. Therefore, they will support it at the current level of controlled conflict

“SP”: – In your opinion, the problem of Turkey’s split with the West in the personality of Erdogan? Will everything return to normal under a different president?

– In the beginning, it really was Erdogan’s personality. But during his reign, the Turkish leader changed the Turkish population. Most likely, the next leader of Turkey will be guided in the same way by Turkish nationalism and Turkish ambitions. Europe, on the other hand, is not systematically ready to understand that there are sovereign countries that want to live their own way.

– Firstly, Recep Erdogan probably believes that in the event of another increase in tension between Turkey and Greece, the appearance of new US bases on the territory of the latter will give Washington more tools to put pressure on Ankara, – said Mikhail Neyzhmakov, a leading analyst at the Agency for Political and Economic Communications .

– As you know, relations between Ankara and Athens are still very complicated – let’s recall at least Turkey’s demands regarding the demilitarization of a number of Greek islands in the eastern part of the Aegean Sea.

Secondly, the wider the network of American bases in Greece, the more zones on the territory of this country, which it will be more difficult for Ankara to declare as potential points for delivering strikes without risking a conflict with Washington. That is, Ankara, in this case, will have fewer opportunities to put pressure on Athens.

Thirdly, the appearance of new US military bases in Greece could mean an additional change in the balance in Washington’s work with the region in favor of relations with Athens. One can recall how cool the reaction of Ankara in May 2022 was caused by the visit of Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the United States and a number of statements that offended Turkey’s interests that this politician made there.

“SP”: – And if they are against Russia? Is it dangerous for Turkey?

– From the point of view of Turkey’s interests, it is rather unprofitable for Ankara that the United States may have new opportunities to demonstrate its military presence in South-Eastern Europe and in the reach zone of the Black Sea region. The use of facilities in the same Greek port of Alexandroupolis, as Greek National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos once recalled, could make it easier for the United States to transfer troops to a number of countries in this region, including Ukraine. This may weaken Turkey’s negotiating position in the dialogue with the United States.

“SP”: – Erdogan under the West has in mind someone specifically? Is he offended by someone?

– Rather, this statement by Erdogan reflects both the difficulties in relations with the United States and the protracted negotiations with Finland and Sweden, which, at least at the public level, are in no hurry to agree to all the demands of Ankara.

“SP”: – How far can this split go? Will the Americans again try to knock Erdogan over? Türkiye will leave NATO?

– In 2023, Turkey will have presidential and parliamentary elections. Meanwhile, a number of polls demonstrate a rather high level of disapproval of the activities of the current Turkish leader on the part of a noticeable part of fellow citizens. It is clear that the United States will at least try to obtain maximum concessions from Recep Erdogan at a time when he will be most vulnerable in terms of domestic political risks.

In turn, as experience shows, the current Turkish president during such periods maximizes foreign policy activity in order to have more opportunities for political bargaining, including with the United States. So the end of 2022-2023 may become a difficult period in relations between Ankara and Washington, but there are many nuances. For example, a more difficult economic situation in Turkey may, under certain circumstances, lead to Erdogan’s desire for a more active search for compromises in relations with leading Western players.

On the other hand, if for any reason Russia’s positions in the same Black Sea region at that time are strong enough, this may already push the US towards a more compromise line in relations with Turkey.

Source: Rambler