Political Observation - Escalating Tension in Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey & Greece

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

Political Observation - Escalating Tension in Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey & Greece 

Tension and escalation in the eastern Mediterranean have intensified in recent days between Turkey and Greece which virtually came close to brinkmanship. Observers of the events are well aware that America has been orchestrating the crisis since she gave the government of al-Sarraj the green light on the demarcation of a maritime border in the Mediterranean with Turkey. 

This ignited a war of words between Turkey, Greece and France and placed Turkey in a minefield and within shooting range of the US-affiliated states such as Egypt and the Emirates which were very eager to partake in joint military manoeuvres with "Israel" and Greece in the years that followed the attempted coup d’état on Erdoğan. 

Turkey, however, acts according to her national interests and her rights to the riches of the Mediterranean Sea. Turkey also believes that protecting the Turkish dry homeland is tightly linked to protecting the “blue homeland” and her territorial waters, especially as the issue of the eastern Mediterranean is linked to national security from the side of the Aegean Sea through which Greece wants to blackmail Turkey in respect of the Cypriot issue, in addition to controlling the Turkish trade routes and plundering Turkey’s rights to the gas of the Mediterranean. 

  America for her part is not averse to the Turkish activity in the eastern Mediterranean and Libya as she endeavours to generate a host of hotspots through which she would control the countries of the Mediterranean basin to contain Turkey, thus heralding her recapture, in addition to concocting a pretext to involve NATO as an umbrella to settle the disputes. 

Therefore, by turning a blind eye to Turkey’s activity in Libya and the eastern Mediterranean, America aims to raise the stakes of her silence as she attempts to bring Turkey back to the house of obedience, and Greece is assisting her in this endeavour either through escalation to the point of brinkmanship or a limited military skirmish with Turkey.

Moreover, America wants to prove to France and Germany of their inability to protect their interests, compelling them to seek her help and remain within her embrace after she ran out of patience with their attempts to release themselves from her embrace, break free from her shackles and adopt a policy based on their interests that America deems secondary to US policies targeting the Middle East, Russia and China. This is what former French ambassador to Washington, Gérard Araud, warned against with a tweet that must have horrified the Europeans: “The reactions of some European experts, especially in Germany, shows that they don’t understand that a post-American world means anarchy. Anarchy is the triumph of carnivores...”. This was a clear indication of the necessity to comply with the dictates of the US and not to attempt to break free from her grip. 

Previously, Germany has expressed resentment towards US policy and alluded to a rapprochement with Russia on the Libyan file, contrary to what America wanted regarding the UN mission. The German ambassador to the UN, Christoph Heusgen, said on 31 July that “The United States should not stop UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres from naming a new UN Libya envoy”.

For his part, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, said during a press briefing on 30 July that the “Algerian foreign minister and Ghana’s former foreign minister had been nominated but Washington refused to back them up.” He concluded that the “Americans are attempting to marginalise the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres.” And during the visit of US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to several Central Asian states, known for their hatred towards Russia, with the aim of splitting the European ranks on the stance towards Russia and to incite them against China ahead of the G5 Technology conference next October, German foreign minister Heiko Maas travelled to Moscow and St Petersberg and announced that “German-Russian relations are too important to be left to chance.” He indicated that “only with Moscow’s participation will results be achieved in important issues such as settling the conflicts in Ukraine, Libya and Syria, in addition to Russia’s central role on settling the issue of disarmament.” The German foreign minister and his Russian counterpart stressed the “importance of resuming the Nord Stream 3 gas project despite America’s objections and the sanctions she has imposed on the companies working on it.”

As for France, she has been acting like an eager dog in an attempt to seize the initiative in Europe after the exit of Britain from the EU. This was evidently reflected in the Lebanese file following the Beirut harbour explosion and how she confronted Turkey in her crisis with Greece.

Hence, stirring up the eastern Mediterranean front serves America’s aims pertinent to controlling Europe and preventing her from being independent in her policies towards Russia and China. The escalation is set to be settled within NATO’s framework since Turkey, Greece and France are member states of the organisation whose authority in respect of the security of European states will be corroborated. The Pentagon expressed this narrative by stating recently that it was “obviously concerned” about the French navy deployment in the eastern Mediterranean against Turkey. US Department of Defense, Jonathan Hoffman said that France and Turkey are “both extremely important allies of NATO and we would like to see tensions decrease”.

24 Thil Hijjah 1441
14 August 2020