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    HomeOpinionsCypriot PerspectiveIf a Greco-Turkish war breaks out...

    If a Greco-Turkish war breaks out…


    By George Koumoullis

    The term Blue Homeland (MAVI VATAN) used by the Turks in recent years means the seas, the continental shelf, but also the EEZs that their homeland considers to belong to it. If we look at the map that the Turkish leaders are proudly displaying and that they published on Google Maps, we will see the gravity of the situation. It depicts, as you will see, all those maritime zones that they consider as Turkish in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea. Now, we see this map and dressed in the background of a photograph, behind President Erdogan, being formalized through the communication route. It is a huge area, a total of 462,000 square kilometers.


    For the Turks, Cyprus, as an island that it is, has no EEZ and that is why Turkey’s EEZ borders on that of Egypt. In other words, Turkey is contesting plots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12 and 13 of the Cyprus EEZ and has shown in practice its sovereignty over these plots, expelling from this area – in a lawful manner and despite the international outcry – research and fishing vessels.


    The day before yesterday, the CD gave permission to search plot 5 to ExxxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum and immediately Turkey reacted, warning that it will not allow such an action, as plot 5 is within the Turkish EEZ! It is indeed a very worrying, though expected, development. Will these companies finally succumb to Turkey’s threats? We are in the thw, we are in the th!


    Erdogan has repeatedly announced that in due course Turkey will drill in the Mediterranean, in areas that it considers to belong to its own EEZ. It is for this reason that Turkey recently bought a fourth state-of-the-art drilling rig, as announced by the President of Turkey.


    War, however, will be inevitable if Turkey decides to drill in the Eastern Aegean, which Greece considers, under the Law of the Sea of 1982, its own EEZ. In short, Greece will never accept a violation of its sovereignty. If a hot incident in the Aegean or the Eastern Mediterranean develops, the non-genito, into a general conflict, Cyprus will probably be the big victim. Turkey will pay the whole island so that after the end of hostilities it can have a haggle ace up its sleeve. Let us ignore the human and material losses that we will suffer, perhaps worse than those of 1974, and let us focus on the long-term consequences. As a condition for the withdrawal of Turkish troops from southern Cyprus, Turkey will demand some quid pro quo depending, of course, on the outcome of the war. It could, fore,g., demand de jure recognition of the TRNC, or the de jure partition of the Aegean. Moreover, Turkey may not withdraw its troops, under a thousand and one pretexts (its old art sieve), with the ultimate goal of ethnic cleansing in the south as well. The new situation that will be created will encourage, on the one hand, the mass migration of Greek Cypriots abroad and, on the other hand, the influx of tens of thousands of Turks to the south. In the long run, the Turks will form the majority and then push the UN for a referendum, based on the principle of “one man one vote”. The history of Alexandretta will be repeated. I recall that in the 1930s, Ankara actively began to claim this territory and finally, in 1939, organised a transfer of Turkish populations and then a referendum, which by a large majority supported union with Turkey, even though with the Treaty of Lausanne Turkey had explicitly given up any change in its borders.


    There are four factors that increase the likelihood of war: 1) Erdogan’s independence to a large extent from the US and NATO, 2) the Turkish revisionist trend, 3) the economic problems caused by the slump in the Turkish lira, may push Erdogan into war to raise his popularity, which is now moving to the lowest levels, and 4) dictatorships usually find a way out of the war.


    However, Turkey will not dare to attack Greece if it feels that the latter’s military power is prohibitive. That is why, I believe, the strategic agreement between Greece and France is of the utmost importance, especially the point where it provides for military assistance from France to Greece and vice versa, in the event that there is an attack by a third country, even if that country is within the framework of their alliances, such as Turkey, which is a member of NATO, for others.


    *Opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of CypriumNews.


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