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The West surrendered Kurds to Erdogan

Written by The Frontier Post

David Narmania

The change in Turkey’s position on the issue of accession of Sweden and Finland to NATO was a matter of time. Few expected it to happen so soon, but there was even less doubt that it was inevitable. And with the greatest concern these events are observed not only in Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora, but also in Greece.
Last Saturday, Turkish intelligence reported the capture of a spy, Moham-med Amar Ampara, who w-orked for their Greek counterparts. Allegedly, the bus-inessman, under the guise of trading activities, lear-ned and transmitted to At-hens information about the Turkish army, Syrian refu-gees in the country and supporters of FETÖ, an organization of followers of Fe-thullah Gülen, whom Erd-ogan considers the organizer of the 2016 coup attempt.
This is not the first and not the last espionage scandal, but the fact that both countries are members of NATO, the military organization that personifies the unity of the (recently questionable) West in the face of any (recently predominantly Russian) threat, makes t-he situation especially piquant.
In general, the confrontation between Turkey and Greece has been going on for more than a century. We will not go into the details already forgotten by Athens of how the country’s independence was achieved through the efforts of not only the Greek, but also the Russian army – the Adrianople Peace, which de facto secured the independence of Greece, was the result of the war between the Russian and Ottoman empires in 1828-1829. We are much more interested in the events of the last decades.
The time bomb carefully left by Britain in the form of the Cyprus issue has been preventing the normalization of relations between Athens and Ankara for almost 40 years.
Taking advantage of the 1974 military coup in Cyprus (which was supported by Greece), Turkey took control of the northern part of the island. This circumstance serves as a serious obstacle on the way to the European Union – the Republic of Cyprus is itself a member of the EU, but Ankara does not recognize the government in Nicosia. Moreover, in 2014, the ECHR ordered the Turkish side to pay the Cypriots a total of 90 million euros, which the Erdogan government expectedly refused. After that, he repeatedly changed his position on the problem of European integration: either he declared that Turkey was no longer interested in it, or he called joining the EU a strategic goal – after all, 23 years in the status of a candidate.
In recent years, this story has played with new colors. In the late 2010s, geologists in the Levantine Basin discovered oil and gas deposits, with several of them located in the economic zone of Cyprus.
But even without these reserves, the island is of interest from the point of view of energy security – it is planned to build East-Med, the Eastern Medite-rranean gas pipeline, thr-ough its territory, which is designed to ensure the supply of Middle Eastern fuel to Europe. To do this, Greece actively developed contacts with other countries in the region, in particular Israel and even Egypt.
Another issue in which formal allies oppose each other is the dispute over the islands in the Aegean Sea. Ankara is convinced that Greece is violating their de-militarized status. In At-hens, in turn, these claims are considered “legally, historically and factually unfo-unded.” In short, the Greek side wants to expand the t-erritorial waters adjacent to the islands by the 12 miles allowed by the UN Con-vention on the Law of the Sea in order to develop the gas fields available there.
Turkey did not sign this document, therefore, Ankara prefers to refer to the memorandum of understanding with Libya on the delimitation of maritime zones, concluded in 2019. This agreement, in turn, is no longer recognized by the Greek authorities, because they believe that it violates their rights to the resource-rich shelf zone. After its signing, the Libyan ambassador was even expelled from Athens.
Greece’s position on this issue was repeatedly supported by Egypt and Israel, as well as France, who conducted joint naval exercises. At the beginning of the year, Athens deployed a landing force near the islands in a problem area. All this against the background of direct threats of war from Ankara. To understand why these issues are so important to Turkey, it is worth remembering who she sees herself as.
If Russia is sometimes reproached for the lack of a national idea, then Erdogan has three of them. Until recently, the current Turkish leadership has been equally actively trying to promote the concepts of European integration, neo-Ottomanism and Pan-Turkism for internal and external consumers, but the first idea has lost its position due to the circumstances described above.
As part of his neo-Ottoman policy, Erdogan sees the Middle East as his own backyard and imperial legacy, so Ankara is receiving hostility from Athens’ attempts to establish contacts with Arab countries. But the problem is that since the rule of the Porte, the former vilayets have grown significantly stronger and they are not particularly attracted by the prospect of regional leadership of an ethnically alien Turkey. Some players, such as Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, Egypt, would like to see themselves as leaders in the Arab world. They even achieve some success in this field, but with an eye on Russia.
With the implementation of the concept of the Great Turan, Erdogan is doing the best: in recent years, the integration of the Turkic peoples is gaining momentum, Baku is especially actively moving closer to Ankara. But other Central Asian former Soviet repu-blics (in particular, Kazak-hstan) are also not abandoning this project. Given that this idea implies, if not a single state, then at least a community “from the Med-iterranean to the Laptev Sea”, Russia is closely watching Turkey’s actions in this direction.
The implementation of any of these ideas will require enormous costs from the Turkish authorities and the construction of a powerful economy. And here the boat of the Sultan’s ambitions crashes against the harsh life of a record 70 percent inflation, which threatens not only the implementation of large-scale strategies, but also Erdogan’s victory in the elections, which are less than a year away.
However, in light of the current turbulence and Eu-rope’s attempts to find an alternative to Russian gas and oil, access to energy re-sources promises huge benefits for Ankara that could help solve existing domestic problems. That is why Turkey so zealously defen-ds its status as the main fuel hub in the south of the European Union, while also trying to become an independent supplier. In pursuit of this, she behaves like a weapon that has got rid of the NATO ship, firing at 270 degrees – both in disputes with Greece and on the issue of joining the alli-ance of Finland and Swe-den, who are forced to ma-ke concessions. And the US is forced to watch as such actions threaten the unity of the West – as they say, this is not the time to hit on the head. And do not care what is declaredAmerica and its allies see the values of Ankara, Stockholm and Helsinki as a bargaining ch-ip in this deal, because for the rejection of ephemeral ideals one can get quite material benefits. But in Athens they understand that their interests may become the next handout in excha-nge for Erdogan’s loyalty.

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