turkey ship

The world is dangerously heading towards a war which eventually has the likelihood to change into a world-war. There are now conflict zones getting ‘more aggravated’ owing to geo-political needs and there is a growing tension between Greece-Turkey in the Mediterranean sea,  since at least a month and there are all out chances that it may turn out to be what is being called as an ‘unfortunate-war’ 1 by VOInews on September 1, 2020.  The dispute is getting awkward as Turkey is into digging oil, gas and hydrocarbons under waters inside Mediterranean sea which it claims belong to Turkey and which is also claimed by Greece. Israel, France, Egypt and UAE are into for support to Greece while Turkey is to fend alone.

Turkey has been into throes since US started to sponsor war on Syria where Russia and Iran came to support Syria, but in the last couple of years, Syria is just beyond repair and has found millions of its refugees getting into Turkey. Turkey is also into what we call as ‘bad-books’ of India where it has supported the cause of Kashmir, much to the disliking of India , from quite before when PM Modi finished-off Article 370, hence, the special-status of Jk&L  on August 5, 2019, as it was Turkish president Tayyip Erdogan who just ahead of his visit to India on May 7, 2017, has said  ‘”We should not allow more casualties to occur and by strengthening multilateral dialogue, we can be involved,” he had said before adding ,”Through multilateral dialogue, I think we have to seek out ways to settle this question once and for all. This Kashmir question, this question saddens us deeply. It upsets both the countries involved. Surmounting the Kashmiri challenge will contribute tremendously to global peace.”’ 2. India settled the entire question once and for all, and which, has led to a lot of chasm between India, Pakistan and China and a war is looming over the sub-continent.

Turkey was a super-power before the first-world war and Britishers brought it down and the Ottoman empire or the Ottomon Caliphate was also annulled. A new power center inside the Muslim world i.e. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was propped-up by Britishers, and now, after around a century there are voices that Turkey re-claim its Caliphate, much to the ado of European nations, US, Israel, KSA and other Gulf-states, and even with no apparent takers from India as well. The recent move of Tayyip Erdogan to change Hagia-Sophia museum, from 75 years, into a mosque on July 14, 2020 3, has no wonder, made KSA become so unhappy that it started to boycott all trade with Turkey on July 24, 2020 4.  The Christian religion Pope was pained over it 5 and ironically, Erdogan likened the effort to the liberation of Al-Aqsa mosque, for which he had said, ‘The revival of Hagia Sophia presages the liberation of the Al-Aqsa Mosque’ 6  , which of course the Jews want to bring down and make a ‘third temple’ on it, and US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has already been submitted with its plan 7 .  The Al-Aqsa mosque is in Jerusalem which was a part of the Turkish Ottoman empire before 1948.   In all the recent moves, it is quite understood, that Turkey is to seek opposite-forces from Christian, Jewish and also the Muslim world.

In such circumstances Turkey is being entangled with Greece, and it has come out that on August 24, 2020, Turkey intercepted six F-16 fighter jets of Greece , ‘Turkey (has ) said that it will hold a military exercises for the next two weeks, two days after it intercepted six Greek F-16 jets in the Mediterranean amid growing tensions with Athens over energy exploration rights. Video footage posted by the Turkish defence ministry (has) shown Turkish Air Force planes preventing the Greek aircraft from entering the area where Turkey was operating. The move has obviously started to  ‘raise-eyebrows’ in European Union as ‘ A European Union’s top diplomat said that the bloc was preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be discussed at a summit in late September in response to Ankara’s stand-off with EU member Greece. The measures, meant to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could affect individuals, ships or the use of European ports, The EU would focus on everything related to “activities we consider illegal,’ it was informed as was reported in MiddleEastEye 8 .

A surprise element in this whole chaos is UAE which sent its F-16 jets to the rescue of Greece on August 26, 2020 9 , which Turkey  received with disdain and has openly warned that it would shoot down UAE’s F-16 if they are to violate Turkish sovereignty. ‘The UAE is trying to play a role which is bigger than its size. It is playing with fire. If it violates the redlines or it approaches the Turkish waters, it will receive a harsh lesson,’ informed a source 10. UAE is right now basking in the shadows of Israel, as just ten days after the Beirut, Lebanon, blasts on August 4, 2020, UAE announced to formalise its relations with Israel, and Turkey feels that UAE’s steps against Turkey is to seek Israel support against Turkey. ‘Last month, the Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar had told that the UAE harmed Libya and Syria, and Turkey would hold it accountable, accusing the UAE of supporting terrorists and interfering in other countries affairs’ called the report published in MiddleEastMonitor 11 .

The Europe as well as Israel and US knows it full well that Turkey is under the same president Erdogan who on November 24, 2015, had brought down the powerful Russian Sukoi SU-24 fighter jet 12 , and which had made both Erdogan and Russian president Putin come face-to-face,  but it did not escalate into a war, which US wanted, and sense prevailed and ultimately Turkey went on to buy the all powerful Russian S-400 13 , despite US stiff opposition.   Thus, if Turkey can bring down a Russian fighter jet, why would it desist from UAE? How the tide is turning out for UAE, which is an extended arm of KSA, is that France, which has started to show fresh-muscles, after the Beirut blast, has come to the aid of Greece, perhaps by an example as never set before, as it has declared that it would sell 10 Rafale jets to Greece and give eight, apart from them, as a gift to Greece.  ‘Reportedly, the eight Rafales were the jets that bombed the Turkish facilities in Libya’ 14.  France has very clearly proved that blood is much thicker than water, as much as to the ashamed Gulf-states.

Turkey, meanwhile, is preparing for any eventuality as it has started to work on hypersonic missiles  and laser missiles technology. “I would like to announce the start of the first space trials of domestically developed liquid-propellant rocket engine technology,” Erdogan said on August 30, 2020. He further had added, “We will also continue our efforts to develop hybrid fuel rocket engines, we are working on technologies of the future, such as miniature weapons, hypersonic systems, and laser and directed-energy weapons using electromagnetic technology,” 15 . Turkey seem to be taking-on European Union all alone.

The latest development to it , on September 2, 2020,  is that US has lifted an arms-embargo on Cyprus, a move to instigate Turkey, paving way for the sale of non-lethal military goods to the Mediterranean island, and Turkish foreign ministry has called the step to  ‘poison the peace and stability environment in the region’ 16 .

The writer is a former UP State Information Commissioner. He writes on international politics.

 

References:

1-      https://www.voanews.com/europe/turkey-greece-maritime-squabble-risks-unfortunate-war

2-      https://www.dw.com/en/indians-reject-divisive-erdogans-lecture-on-kashmir/a-38654129

3-      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/14/opinion/hagia-sophia-turkey-mosque.html

4-      https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200724-saudi-arabia-forces-businesses-not-to-trade-with-turkey-in-effort-to-boost-boycott/

5-      https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53371341

6-      https://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/turkey/.premium-erdogan-has-a-new-mosque-and-the-turks-will-pay-for-it-1.9000075

7-      https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2020-08-25/rnc-pompeo-israel

8-      https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/turkey-intercepted-greek-jets-mediterranean-tensions-rise

9-      https://eurasiantimes.com/uae-sends-four-f-16-jets-to-support-greece-against-turkey/

10-   https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200829-turkey-to-shoot-down-uae-jets-if-turkish-sovereignty-violated/

11-   https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200829-turkey-to-shoot-down-uae-jets-if-turkish-sovereignty-violated/

12-   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-34912581

13-   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48620087

14-   https://eurasiantimes.com/after-india-france-to-sell-18-rafale-jets-to-greece-amid-escalating-tensions-with-turkey-reports/

15-   Amid Tensions With Greece, Turkey Working On Hypersonic Missiles, Laser Weapons Technology

16-   https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/partially-lifts-decades-arms-embargo-cyprus-200902080001348.html


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