by Kakaouskia for The Saker Blog
Greetings to the Saker community and readers.
This article is an update on the events described in the first article as the situation is evolving.
As Saker’s readers might recall, Greece and Turkey were locked into a cat and mouse game in the Eastern Mediterranean over their Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) boundaries.
After the collision between F-451 Limnos (S class frigate) and F-247 TCG Kemalreis Turkey appears to have reinforced the flotilla surrounding their research vessel Oruç Reis by removing 2 of the – obsolete – corvettes and adding frigates.
On the other hand, the Hellenic navy released a photo of the Turkish frigate after the collision with Lemnos, showcasing the damage inflicted.
(Image taken from https://marineschepen.nl/nieuws/images/beschadigd-turks-fregat.jpg Courtesy of Hellenic Navy)
In an unprecedented move Greece and France deployed fighters together in Cyprus; France deploed 3 Rafales and Greece a total of 8 F16s. These took part into a 3-day exercise (26th – 28th of August) between Cyprus, Greece, France and Italy which included naval and land assets as well. If one takes into account that Cyprus is not supposed to have any kind of access to NATO weaponry, having a dozen fighters for days on a Cypriot airbase must have annoyed certain circles in NATO.
The conmemorative foto of the exercise (image taken from https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EgZ6cloXsAA9y8j?format=jpg&name=large)
Coincidentally last week operation Allied Sky was conducted by NATO all over Europe. This is a typical operation where strategic bombers from USAF fly over the majority of European NATO members and the air force of each country is providing refuelling and escort services; the aim is to practice joint operations. This of course included Greece and Turkey. According to the Greek Ministry of Defence (in Greek), on Friday 28th of August during the hand over from Turkish air force to the Hellenic air force, the Turkish fighters refused to leave at the designated point (Turkey is disputing Greece’s air space since 1975) and were driven away by Greek fighters. While USA is keeping a middle ground for years as far as Greece and Turkey are concerned, I am sure it does not see kindly to USAF strategic assets being played to the benefit of others and by others; usually it is the other way around. Most likely there will not be any visible reprecaussions to Turkey but something will probably take place using back channels.
The B-52 NATO flight. (Image taken from https://www.ptisidiastima.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/B52-MT-15.jpg)
There was also another peculiar event that took place in 115 Combat Wing, Souda Bay on the 26th of August. An air detachment from the UAE arrived for joint training with Hellenic air force. This detachment included 3 F16s, 1 C-130 and 1 Airbus A332 MRTT for air refuelling and support. It also included 3 C-17 strategic transport aircraft, a very odd inclusion considering that the C-130 and the MRTT are more than enough to support 3 F-16s. These caused rumours to fly as Greece and the UAE share quite a few common weapon systems and ammunition. Greece announced on the 17th of August that it had signed a deal with UAE to purchase their stock of AH-64A Apache spare parts since UAE upgraded its fleet to the newer standard. Also, UAE has a stockpile of 600 Black Shaheen tactical strike missiles, the export version of the Scalp-EG Greece is using. No one is confirming what was in those C-17s – and for good reason – but all indications point to the fact that something was delivered.
Greece, effectivly having its armed forces on high alert for the past 30+ days realised the neglect caused by years of austerity and announced an emergency rearmament program valued at €3B. According to press reports in Greece, France is offering 18 Rafale fighters to replace the aging Mirage 2000s Greece has. Rumours have it that should Greece agree to the purchase France is ready to “hot transfer” part of the order from its own air force assets to assist Greece considering time is pressing. If this is true – note that France did the same with Mirage F1Cs ordered by Greece back in 1975 – it will indicate that France is de facto siding with Greece in this dispute with Turkey taking into account that not only Rafale is a generation newer than anything in current Greek inventory, it can also carry multiple Scalp-EG missiles instead of one which is the current limit of Mirge 2000-5s .Yes, Greek pilots and ground crews will need time to adapt to the new plane however current Mirage 2000-5s Greece has have the same computer as the Rafale plus can fire the same weapons, which already exist in Greece’s inventory. Truth be told, unless the US is willing to hot transfer F-16s and munitions there is no other way for Greece to increase its air capabilities in a few months instead of the typically couple of years the introduction of a new type requires.
Since the Hellenic navy is also in need to replace at a minimum its 9 aging firgates, a proposal was made to Greece regarding the availability of surplus Type-23 frigates from the UK. Recently UK is seriously downsizing its armed forces and the Royal Navy is no exception. Currently there are 16 Type-23s in service, with their age raging from 1990 to 2002 and the Royal Navy has a plan in place to upgrade some of the general-purpose Type-23s to ASW with new radar and sonar among other things. This is the sweetener in the proposal as Greece can opt to install the same upgrades should it purchase the ships – planned and tested upgrades are better than starting electromechanical and intergratin studies from scratch. The main factor is the cost; if one is to believe the numbers that are circulating Greece can purchase 4-5 of these ships and upgrade them with more or less the same cost of buing a couple of new frigates. True, the abilities will not be the same however the first Type-23 is scheduled to be mothballed in 2021; a new frigate will not arrive to Greece before 2024-2025. With 16 ships of the type in service with the Royal Navy there is room for negotiating the transfer of all to Greece as they are being replaced resulting in a steady stream of spare parts and components.
On the diplomatic front, the EU has scrambled to at least demonstrate that it can resolve a dispute and defend the rights of its member states however the results so far from the various meetings indicate a disagreement between North and South. France is the most vocal country against Turkey, so vocal in fact that Erdogan has characterised the leadership of France and Greece as greedy and incompetent. Greek government has announced its intention to expand its territorial waters to 12nm in the Ionian sea and south of Crete as a first step to which the Turkish government responded by repeating its threats that should Greece expand its territorial waters to 12nm in the Aegean sea it will be considered as casus belli. Germany, having the EU leadership at present announced an initiative to start a dialogue between the two countries in order to resolve the issue. Personally, I believe this has little chance of succeeding as dialogue implies good faith between the participants and certainly not threats of war.
In the meantime, both Greece and Turkey have issued Navtex notices for the East Med area, including notes of live fire exercises going well into September. Turkey also included areas north of Cyprus.
It appears that the tension in the area is not going away any time soon.
Xania airbase on Crete is well inside turkish S400 range imo..so this could be very interesting for those f16s there.
French are there for money so Greeks could end like Serbs in WW1,but lets hope and pray for our brothers in Greece.
No,it is not.
Due to earth’s curvature, the max range of s400 is worthless, especially on low flying planes (see radar horizon).
Also S400 is NOt and will not be placed in Minor Asia shores (turkish shores at the aegean sea) since it is vulnerable to surprise attacks by eg frogmen.
Finally, the geography favours Greece.
Something else:greek pilots were always are and will always outclass their mongol… ehm sorry, sutkish “colleagues”
See video and have fun!
The Turkish people are not Mongols. They are Greeks, Armenians, and Iranians who were forced to speak Turkic by Seljuq invaders.
Istanbul is still a majority Greek city, ethnically speaking.
I know,I just like to tese them from time to time!
Mongolodi features are prominent in central turkey and at occupied cypruw(they deliberately brought these on the island).
Still turks have always elected governments that harm Greece and Greeks and always invade,occupy and provoke.
Jamshyd, you are correct as I believe that more than 60% of “Turks” are Greeks.
Enjoy this video, where Turkala (This is how we would refer to Turkish woman in Greek) sings in Pontic Greek, funny enough how Mongols borrowed our (Greek) words. She says nani (sleep baby) some Turk translated that to nini. Oh well, you can’t win them all can you, but the day will come.
Rule of thumb: Whenever there is a conflict between Erdogan and the Euro-trash, Erdogan always prevails. It really is that simple. Erdogan and his government can not only congratulate themselves for having a sizeable Turkish diaspora among the Euro-trash (further reinforced by other supportive Sunni Muslim communities). What really stands out as the Turkish government’s trump card is Erdogan’s very accurate sense of smell regarding Western squabbling, corruption, rot, and decay. The Turks must have been really amused watching the Euro-trash punish the Greeks who sucked up to the EU and NATO only to be even more raped and pillaged. To top it off, the Greeks can now enjoy watching how the Turks career around in Libya whose destruction the Greeks happily took part in (the NATO bombers took off from Souda Bay, Crete). The Euro-trash — Greece in particular — is at a total loss grasping what is taking place. Corrupt dregs, the whole lot.
Under ordinary circumstances, I’d be inclined to not be on Turkey’s side in these matters because of a certain resurgence of Neo-Ottomanism, and I was really angered by the return of the Hagia Sophia to being a Mosque, but there are things I cannot deny;
”corrupt dregs”, as you say. Totally corrupt. These formerly Orthodox Christian societies like Greece have totally sold out to the Latin-Frankish Power, whereas Turkey has begun to turn away from the West, especially after the coup attempt on Erdogan a few years ago.
I look at Turkey in the Middle East and I see other issues which I cannot deny that explain Turkey’s position quite well. It’s obvious to me that the West is trying to among other things, carve out a ”Kurdistan” in the region from the corpses of Syria, Iraq, Iran, and Turkey. This must be prevented at all costs and would be a geopolitical and civilizational disaster.
So I’m prepared to learn more and consider more about the proper position to take on Turkey. Not that i’m totally unfamiliar with this turning away from the West in Turkey; I’m somewhat familiar with the works of this man;
I would even go so far as saying that Greece along with these ”Slavic Orthodox” satrapies deserve Turkish conquest outright (just look at the despicable comment submitted by Apostolos above). That would have a most sobering effect on their unfounded, silly delusions about ”Western solidarity”. Not only would Erdogan get away with it; some of the loudest cheering would be heard from within Germany and France.
Ok We get it. You hate slavic orthodox christians. Noone cares. You’re oversharing.
As for Vladimir: noone wants to know about your familiarity with a sexual cult leader who was interned in a psychiatric ward.
A waste of space…
Not that I’m supportive of the Turks; surely you read my caveats! But, I do understand their position and their turning away from the West. As for the Turkish Creationist, I focused on his being a Creationist, not his other beliefs. I’m an traditional Orthodox Christian, and so following the teachings of the Orthodox Fathers, I am necessarily a Creationist as they were. How far has the West and it’s lies seeped into the global non-western consciousness, Serbian Girl? One of those lies is evolution, in fact it’s almost the foundation of every other Western lie, like racism.
I would never be in support of Turkish conquest of the Balkans, again, far from it i’d love to be there to help crush and utterly defeat it should it ever be attempted. But, I do understand the turning away from the West. The West’s betrayal of Turkey and the gathering of these Orthodox peoples into NATO and the EU is for the purpose of eventually destroying Orthodox Russia and restoring the Papal sovereignty over Europe that Pope Innocent III enjoyed after the fourth crusade.
I want neither the Papal Tiara nor the Muslim Turban, but the latter tries to take the body while the former takes both the body and the soul. Gennadius Scholarius saw this clearly;
As did St. Alexander Nevsky, in his own way;
Greece is a NATO asset in Southern Europe. The present Greek PM is a Western-educated politician loyal to the US, first and foremost.
What we have observed over the last couple of years when it comes to Greece’s geopolitical course and position is its steady drift away from any sort of partnership with Russia and firmly into US sphere on influence. It’s no coincidence that the Patriarch of Constantinople has made his move to cause strife in the Orthodox world by granting autocephaly to the so-called ‘Church of Ukraine’ at the time when Turkey-US and Greece-Russia relations have been worsening. We’ve also had an incident with Athens accusing Russian diplomats of espionage and expelling them.
In the content of Balkan politics, under the Tsipras govt. Greece has brokered the Prespa agreement with Macedonia, under Western (German and American) auspices, enabling Macedonia to enter NATO, as the name of the country, previously disputed by Greece had been the biggest obstacle for the country’s NATO membership. To further put things into historical context: Greece has traditionally been the bastion of British influence in Southern Europe and the trend continues to this day, albeit now the US plays the role of sponsor.
It can’t be denied that Greece’s orientation towards NATO and the West is a geopolitical necessity, considering Turkey’s ambitions. All the more reason to stop harboring any illusions about Greece and its role in the wider geopolitical confrontation between Russia and China and the US (and its client states).
” The Euro-trash — Greece in particular — is at a total loss grasping what is taking place. Corrupt dregs, the whole lot.””””
You claim that the Greeks are “euro-trash”& “corrupt”
What about the Turks then? What are they ?”neo-ottoman Islamist trash”‘?
All these demeaning characterizations about peoples & cultures are stupid
But no one in their right mind could ever claim that the Turkish establishment / government etc is not corrupt.
Erdogan may talk trash about EU or other countries but he is equally corrupt & criminal
Erdogan & turkish elites are not only corrupt but also liable for war crimes, meddling in other countries affairs, ethnic cleansing, censoring, illegal occupation of foreign lands but also corrupt business practices, use of mercenaries & jihadists, weapon & migrant smuggling etc . And Turkey is also a NATO member & pawn of Western powers. It is not an independent actor in world affairs & they do not have the military/economic power or power projection to conquer, occupy Greece or any other Balkan Arab states …. Turkish economy also benefits from western investment & EU agreements for the transfer or goods. It does not have any capacity to act as a superpower
Like it or not, USA is the ruler of this part of the world and have the final say
As for Greece, due to geostrategic factors it was and will be under Western orbit.
Had the western powers not intervene, it could have a communist government during Cold War. There was also strong popular resistance to enter European economic community in 1981 or the Eurozone in 2000. There were massive demonstrations against the EU IMF imposed austerity. But there was huge pressure by EU, the west & also western media. The role of political elites was also crucial as they were subservient to EU & agreed to the imposition of EU austerity
”What about the Turks then? What are they ? ’neo-ottoman Islamist trash‘ ?”
Something along those lines, yes.
Is there corruption in Turkey? Absolutely. Are there any crazy rotten people in Turkey? Ditto. But again: Turkey’s leadership stands out as the more able and dexterous one as compared to the terminally sick EU psychopaths and their culture of flat-out greed, incompetence, and self-worship. Really, it would be criminal negligence on the part of Turkey not to take advantage of this state of affairs. And the fact that Turkey brings disunity and confusion to NATO is something that should be welcomed — unless of course one admires the Pindos and Euro-trash along with their delusions.
The enemy of my enemy is not always my friend. But, I understand, and I am honest enough to admit that for now, your leadership is better for Turkey than much of what passes for leadership elsewhere. However, that same leadership is going to take it too far, and hubris will lead inevitably to nemesis.
I am always on the side of the Greek people. However, like most of Orthodox peoples they are lead and represented by human garbage that has sold out to the darkest of globalists.
Exactly so. This is why caution and careful consideration is called for in this and other matters.
Great write up Kakouskia!
You mention that ” Greek government has announced its intention to expand its territorial waters to 12nm in the Ionian sea and south of Crete as a first step..”
As a first step to what? What is their legal justification?
I doubt there is much EU can do. Spanish and French banks have a lot of exposure to Turkish debt. They will not be sanctioning Turkey, Turkish economy is in freefall, and already risks taking the EU banks with them.
Greetings Serbian girl
Greece adheres by the UNCLOS treaty (full text here: http://www.un.org/Depts/los/convention_agreements/texts/unclos/unclos_e.pdf – fair warning, it is over 200 pages :) )
UNCLOS – United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea: General provisions
top Initiated in 1982 in New York, UNCLOS entered into force in 1994, after ratification by 60 countries. UNCLOS, often referred to as the Law of the Sea, gives all coastal states the right to extend their territorial sea from the former 3nm (5.5km) to 12nm (22.2km); in practice, many nations had already done this. Most important, it also gives countries the right to declare a marine EEZ up to 200nm (370km) from the coast as well as from national islands off the coast, and up to 350nm (649km) from the coast where a continental shelf extension can be established. Coastal states have management jurisdiction over their EEZ, including the management of both living and non-living marine resources. Other norms of high seas law, such as right of passage, apply.
The regime of the high seas (outside the EEZs) dictates that all states have the right to engage in fishing, subject to treaty obligations and the rights of other states.
UNCLOS also has relevance to areas outside the national EEZs and to high seas MPA creation. UNCLOS is a living treaty, subject to modification and elaboration.
Marine mammals are specifically exempted from the general requirement to promote optimum utilization of living resources within the EEZs and on the high seas. According to Article 65, states are required to prohibit or regulate their exploitation more strictly than with other marine species. ‘States shall cooperate with a view to the conservation of marine mammals and in the case of cetaceans shall in particular work through the appropriate international organizations for [their] conservation, management and study.’ Article 120 extends this principle to the high seas.
You can find a list of signatories and ratifiers here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_parties_to_the_United_Nations_Convention_on_the_Law_of_the_Sea
The issue is that a few of the Greek islands in the Aegean are less than 12nm from the shores of Turkey. While UNCLOS does provide mechanisms to facilitate situations like this, Turkey is one of the handful of states that have neither signed nor ratified the treaty.
Thus the “first step”. Since Greece signed the EEZ treaties with Italy and Egypt, it moves forward with expanding the territorial waters to 12nm for the seas bordering these countries.
First step to expanding it in the aegean also which Turkey and the US oppose. In fact Turkey says it is a casus belli so they are testing the waters so to speak
EU is a corrupt institution but that doesn’t mean that Turkey is non corrupt.
Turkey has a horrific record as far as human rights are concerned and their policy is aggressive & chauvinistic.
Turkish media & politicians make statements that are “militaristic” “racist” or “extremist” . Imagine if western media & politicians had the same rhetoric about Turks, promising “conquest” & “ethnic cleansing” as Erdogan stated
And yes the Turkish government is very corrupt too, and their interference in other countries affairs is due to greed and plans to grab oil resources.
They are not any kind of “revolutionaries”,
Erdogan government are Islamist
neoliberals kleptocrats who try to grab whatever they can by taking advantage of the geopolitical situations, giving contracts to business owned by their family members
The current tension started from Erdogan, although the maritime dispute is old one
But as far the recent crisis is concerned,
A few months ago, Erdogan tried to breach Greek borders by sending thousands of illegal migrants & demanded that EU accepts millions of Muslims. Erdogan stated that Turkey cannot afford to have so many foreigners
His so called “Muslim solidarity” is to sent millions of Muslims into EU. Turkey has many foreigners as it has visa free travel with numerous Muslim and African countries. All these people fly to Turkey, then they pay smugglers and enter EU
Then Erdogan invaded & occupied Syria , Iraq & Libyan territories. This is against international law, as Turkey had no right to occupy other countries or to militarily invade.
Then Erdogan signed a maritime agreement with the Turkish backed government of Tripoli claiming that sea areas south of Crete belong to Turkey. Turkey does not recognise that Islands could have exclusive economic zones therefore they try to claim maritime areas of Cyprus & Greece
When Greece signed maritime agreements with Egypt, Erdogan threatened with war
KV90, “unfortunately for Erdogan” Libyan Parliament rejected $hitty agreement signed with “whom-ever”. Erdo tried to outmuscle the Greek Government, but fortunately the Greek military stepped in, and Greek government is sitting quite for the fear of being overturned. Also, thanks to Makron he shut Merkel down, at least for a while, and therefore EU is beginning to pip-squeak against Turkey, which has had strong ties with Germans for ever like. I won’t get into this subject, for I do not want to insult the Germans. I guess, Greece is sort of getting support because Israel is in on its East-Med pipe to Europe. Russia says nothing, but is not happy because East-Med pipe is going to severely cut its gas income. Mind you Russian gas companies have significant percent in Greek gas and oil extraction. So, theoretically Russia will make money, except for the money spent on pipes.
Interesting discussion between Bogdanos and Lygeros on the subject (sorry it’s in Greek). Bogdanos, as I see it, is fishing for advise as he is a parliamentarian for Nea Dimokratia’s current government.
Συνέντευξη Ν. Λυγερού: Στρατηγική Ελληνική ΑΟΖ, με τον Κ. Μπογδάνο. Παραπολιτικά 90,1. 31/08/2020
In the last 10 years a lot has been founded in that region. Oil, gas, gold, sunken ships, flying Dutchmen, aliens from Mars, aliens with green hair, aliens without green hair … whatever you wish the found there in this area. But we see and got nothing in the last 10 years and trust me in the next 50 years we will never see or get anything.
But for sure soon we will get a unsafe + bloody and very closed sea route to Syria and Lebanon. Thatswhy the need turkey and greek blood for long long time ( problem is they can’t close the Bosporus for russian Foodships )