Monday, January 7, 2013

Turkey Threatens WAR If Greece "Dares" To Proclaim EEZ

English: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davuto...
English: Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu. December 2, 2009 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Word has it that Greece is going to proclaim its EEZ in the forthcoming weeks at the United Nations. Obviously this is not something that is in the interests of Turkey which has claims in Greece's continental shelf. That is why the Turkish government on Monday openly threatened Greece with war if it "dared" to move ahead with this plan of action.

More exactly, while speaking about the issue of EEZ on the Turkish TRT Channel on Monday Turkish Foreign Minister A. Davutoglu said that "we must ignore one-sided moves that might result to a (strong) 'response' by Turkey. In a period when relations between both countries (Greece and Turkey) have matured, it is vital that every decision that is taken is done so in cooperation. Of course we all recognize our national position, both country's recognize their positions. (If Greece proclaims its EEZ) In such an instance, Turkey will respond, but let us hope that this will not be necessary. There is a network of dialogue between us, as there are other avenues (as well)" said the Turkish FM.

Basically, he directly threatened Greece with a "hot" crisis -or WAR- if Athens even attempted to move ahead with this plan of action. And even though Turkey is presently busy with Syria, and the ongoing crisis there, he also left it to be understood that regardless of whether Turkey is busy in Syria or not, Ankara "will react instantly."

And as intimidating as this all sounds, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on his part also threatened Greece not to even think of conducting surveys in areas of the Aegean which Ankara still labels as being "disputed" or gray without the consent of Turkey!

Yes you head correctly, Greece is not allowed to survey its own territorial waters.

Of course "virtual" diplomacy quickly took over -the Turks are really good with that- and Yildiz quickly said that "I do not think that the neighboring country, which is dealing with so many economic difficulties, will open new fields of litigation." (Fake tears). He said Turkey has not proclaimed its EEZ even though it has a (virtual) booming economy, and his government does not believe that Greece will do so because it's currently facing a terrible economic crisis. "We are not planning to operate in disputed areas of the Aegean. We have taken positive steps to strengthen relations between our countries and we plan to continue that way."

(It should be noted that when Cyprus was getting ready to make the same moves, he said the very same thing but he ended up swallowing the drill which was set up there a little shortly after and just had to stomach it.)

So the obvious question is why did Davutoglu feel the need to make these comments now? Well there are increasing reports that claim that the government of Antonis Samaras will make a "partial" proclamation of Greece's EEZ by sending the coordinates of the outer limits of Greece's continental shelf to the United Nations in the first months of 2013.

Hopefully the Greek government will not do that, and will rather be brave and make a full and not partial proclamation because it will immediately show its weakness and incompetence.

Turkey is busy with Syria and will not attempt aggressive moves.

Most importantly, there are many that say that the US, which has a strong influence in the region, is not against this Greek initiative either. So if Greece has the support of Washington then everything is OK right? Well... Yes. But Greek citizens are still weary because history has shown us that when the US has to choose between Greek and Turkish interests it definitely does not allow the scale to tip in the favor of Athens. So anything is possible.

Nonetheless, the government in the meantime is getting prepared. At present it knows the exact state of the Armed Forces especially its Navy and Air Force because EEZ type-games apparently require other types of tricks. A relevant report on defencenet says that they are looking into more powerful surface units with strong radars, powerful missile defense areas, aircraft naval cooperation, surveillance systems such as satellite communications and surveillance units, fighter planes that can patrol for 60" over the areas that will probably be exploited, etc.

This is all certainly necessary but it's really all a matter of political will and courage. If the Ministry of Foreign Affairs follows the example of Cyprus which faced serious security risks when it proclaimed its EEZ -its armed forces are much weaker than that of Greece- then Greece does indeed have a chance to succeed. Cyprus who is led by patriots did not hesitate to proceed and exercise its international rights and Greece must do the same, so a "partial" proclamation will not suffice, our government must finally show decisiveness and political will and allow this country which has been oppressed for far too long to finally go forward.

Unfortunately for our country no one paid attention to the countless reports and calls for action that were published in various news sites and blogs on the decisions that were taken by the PASOK government last year (specifically Feb, 2012). At the time reports spoke about surveys that were being conducted by Turkey off of Adana, Antalya, Antioch and Mugla, and then later included areas in Greece's continental shelf such as south of Rhodes south and east of Karpathos, Kastellorizo, south and east of Crete and parts of the Cyprus' EEZ.

In the same period, we did not see any tears from that PASOK led government when the Turkish government gazette published a Council of Ministers decision on March 16, 2012 granting the Turkish State Oil Company (TFAO) licenses for hydrocarbon exploration in these areas (2012/2802, 2012/2968, 2012/2973 , 2012/2974, 2012/2975, 2012/1753).

The government only woke up when Ankara announced that it hired a Norwegian company to conduct hydrocarbon surveys. That is when they realized that Turkey is creating -de facto- situations in the Aegean and we are guessing that this made them come to the realization that in the long run this would obviously hurt Greek interests.

Let us hope that the government of Samaras succeeds and finally does what is needed. The conservatives cannot repeat the countless mistakes that were made by the socialists who allowed this country's political and economic oligarchs to never operate for the "we" (the nation), but rather for only for their own pockets.
Source in Greek - defencenet

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