Turkish president Erdogan and his ruling party seem obsessed lately with reestablishing the Ottoman Empire’s former greatness, as they are literally threatening to invade/conquer a number of Greek islands which Turkey claims are actually their territories. Here’s Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan speaking on February 12, 2018:
“The things we have done so far [pale in comparison to the] even greater attempts and attacks [we are planning for] the coming days, inshallah [Allah willing].”
And if you think these are mere words with no significance, I must remind you that Turkey just invaded Syria, a sovereign country, with the state-funded Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet respectively, describing the invasion of Afrin (a region in northern Syria) as “jihad“. Now, here’s how Turkey, a NATO country, started its war of words (for now) with another NATO member:
A Turkish patrol boat reportedly rammed a Greek coast guard vessel that was anchored off the island of Imia in the Aegean at around midnight on Monday. The incident did not result in any no injuries but only minor damage to the stern of the Greek vessel, yet it serves to illustrate the heightened tension in the area where Greece and Turkey came on the brink of war 22 years ago. The Turkish naval presence, on coast guard terms, remains high in the area, where Greece also conducts frequent patrols. The Greek government has not yet issued a statement on the incident. Turkey disputes the sovereignty of the Imia islts, which it calls Kardak.
Less than two weeks prior to the ramming incident, the Greek Defense Ministry announced that Greek airspace was violated 138 times in one day by Turkey. The vast majority of modern Greece’s territory was occupied by the Ottoman Empire (that’s Turkey) from the mid 15th century until 1821, when Greece became once again a sovereign state following the Greek War of Independence. The current Greek state was established in 1832, but the islands Turkey claims sovereignty over are historically and legally pertaining to Greece, as their names suggest. Also, when they joined NATO, both countries signed a document which waves any territorial claims from one another.
However, the leader of the main Turkish opposition CHP party, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu respectively, stated that when he wins the 2019 election, he will, let me quote, “invade and take over 18 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, just as former Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit invaded Cyprus in 1974.”, as there’s “no document” (in his view) to prove that those islands belong to Greece. Moreover, here’s what the Turkish president Erdoğan declared:
“We warn those who have crossed the line in the Aegean and Cyprus. Their courage persists only until they see our army, our ships and our planes… Whatever Afrin is to us, our rights in the Aegean and Cyprus are the same. Do not ever think that the natural gas exploration in the waters of Cyprus and the opportunistic attempts in the Aegean Sea drop off our radar.
Just as we disrupt the plots [in the region] through Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch [on Syria], and soon in Manbij and other regions, we can and we will disrupt the plots of those who engage in miscalculations on our southern border… Our warships and air forces are keeping an eye on the area closely to intervene in every way when required.
Those who think that we have erased from our hearts the lands from which we withdrew in tears a hundred years ago are wrong. We say at every opportunity we have that Syria, Iraq and other places in the geography [map] in our hearts are no different from our own homeland. We are struggling so that a foreign flag will not be waved anywhere where adhan [Islamic call to prayer in mosques] is recited.
The things we have done so far [pale in comparison to the] even greater attempts and attacks [we are planning for] the coming days, inshallah [Allah willing].”
The Ottoman empire/dynasty was established back in the year 1300 and for the following 600 years, the Islamic Caliphate represented by Ottoman Turks launched wars, invaded and occupied lands across 5 continents. Turkey’s neo-Ottomans are basically embracing the Islamic concept of holy war (jihad), as per the Diyanet’s own words, when he referred to Turkey’s invasion in Syria as jihad. Even if it was admitted in NATO back in 1952, Turkey was never held accountable for its assaults against Christians in the 20th century, and I am referring to the 1914-1923 genocide of Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians (Syriacs/Chaldeans) in Ottoman Turkey. Turkey still denies the genocide today, and just three years after joining NATO, in 1955 respectively, it committed a savage anti-Greek pogrom in Istanbul and also forcibly expelled the remaining Greeks from Turkey in 1964.