The Greco-Turkish animosities

Greece and Turkey have not been friend nations for innumerable years, even since the dawn of two of the oldest and most culturally advanced societies in the history of mankind, the cradles of Western philosophical thought as it is commonly understood.

I assume that most of our readers know about the Greeks and the Persians; thanks to the cinematographic industry, we all know a little history (though wrong in several details, if the truth be told). Even the Spartans, living in the second largest Greek polis after Athens, had been mercenaries for the Persians at one time, but the real problems between Athens and Ankara came about at the end of the World War I, fought between the Allied Powers, including the autonomous Greece, and the Central Powers, including (what was left of) the Ottoman Empire.

At the end of the First World War, Greece felt that, with Turkey apparently much weakened, the situation was favourable for an extension of its sovereignty in Asia Minor. In May 1919, a Greek expeditionary force disembarked in Smyrna and set out to conquer the hinterland, penetrating into the heart of Anatolia. However, the Turks resisted, regaining the upper hand in August 1922 and retaking Smyrna on 9 September.

An armistice was signed at Moudania, in Anatolia, on 11 October 1922. A conference of all the powers interested in restoring peace to the Near East met in Lausanne in January 1923. The Turkish-Greek accord that resulted on 30 January provided for the repatriation of all civilian internees on both sides regardless of number, as well all of the Turkish prisoners of war and an equal number of Greek prisoners of war. The remainder of the Greek prisoners of war were to be repatriated after signing the peace treaty, which took place on 24 July 1923.

(ICRC)

Events went along sort of smoothly until 1974, when happenings in the Hellenic Republic caused the Turks to invade the island nation of Cyprus (the birthplace of Aphrodite, the goddess of Beauty, and as such sung by Hesiod, the author of the Theogony as well as one of the most prominent representatives of the ancient Greek poetry).

The conflict in Cyprus has been stalemated since 1974.  Contrary to the low-level ethnic violence which occupied the island from between 1955 and 1974, there have been very few incidents since the Turkish invasion.

(Daily Kos)

AtaturkAndVenizelos
Turkish President Mustafa Kemal Atatürk hosting Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos (1930)
I cited all this historical information because there is a need for people to understand that Greece and Turkey are still, up to date, not on very good terms. And that brings me to the meat of this post.

The whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks recently published a piece of intelligence:

 

 

WikiLeaks published an article relevant to the bilateral relationship between Greece and Turkey.
According to leaked documents, the American embassy in Ankara insists that Turkey planned to cause a convulsion at the Greek abuttals in order to invade the north side of Evros. The document came into publicity the last days. It says that the executive officers know that a coup d’état will be incited so they made scenarios which would justify their actions. This document is extremely important. After its publication, the U.S. confirmed an attack was about to be conducted against Greece in 2003. In addition, they imply that the Turkish Army will continue to cause such convulsions in their relationship with Greece.
(Greek Reporter)
After reading it, I was not surprised when I read yet another news report from the region: there was a “minor” incident over the Aegean Sea, namely in the waters between the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula and the western Asia Minor (also known as Anatolia).

Greek and Turkish jets engaged in a brief dogfight over the Aegean Sea on Tuesday after Turkish aircraft violated Greek national air space several times.

A formation of six Turkish jets, flanked by two CN-235 aircraft that were not in formation, violated Greek air space nine times, according to Greek defense officials.

In all cases the Turkish jets were chased off by Greek aircraft. Two of the eight Turkish aircraft were armed.

The violations were the first since early December following a minor diplomatic spat between the two Aegean neighbors after a message on Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’s Twitter account accused Turkish jets of repeated transgressions in the Aegean.

(Ekathimerini)

Greece–Turkey land border
The Greece–Turkey land border by PanchoS [CC BY-SA 4.0]
The Turkish government (which, nowadays more than ever, has a name and a surname: Recep Tayyip Erdoğan) is flexing its muscle now that Ankara is a(n ambiguous) component of the anti-IS international coalition. Does this give some sort of immunity to act as the country sees fit toward its neighbors? Is this yet another “problem” that the world will have to moderate?There is one bright spot in this conflict: Cyprus. It is possible that Turkey and Greece are holding meetings to unify the island nation once again, but this newest mash-up could end up putting a wet cloth on the negotiations.

As with anything geopolitical, there is more to the solution than most seem to believe.

The world is watching, what will the final choice be?

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. Dreamer9177 says:

    There seemed to be a window of hope after earthquakes devastated both countries only a year or so apart. Sadly, thos in power always seem to think that there is more profit in war and conflict than in peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. lobotero says:

      It has been that way for centuries….profit is the main cause of war….chuq

      Like

  2. lobotero says:

    Reblogged this on In Saner Thought and commented:
    An op-ed that I wrote for my friend over at “Legationes”…..if you are looking for worthwhile reading of news of the world then this is the place to be…..always stay informed and you will always be safe…..

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lobotero says:

    As always I appreciate the chance you afford me…..looks great….chuq

    Liked by 1 person

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