Days after a war Turkey has supported looks set to end in Azerbaijan, Ankara needs a new crisis and is threatening Greece with a naval operation between November 11 and 23. The operation is designed to create a crisis and clashes and is timed to coincide precisely with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the region.Turkey uses a navigational announcement called Navtex and a “research vessel” as cover for military drills that are designed to harass and provoke Greece. Since the beginning of the year, it has announced almost a dozen of these navigational stunts, even using its S-400 air defense system it bought from Russia to harass Greek F-16s.Greece is a member of NATO, and Turkey, also a NATO member, frequently threatens other NATO members, such as France.Turkey uses the Oruc Reis to claim it is doing research, but it escorts the ship with naval craft. No other country in the world uses the Navtex as a way to enter the waters of other countries under the guise of research.The current area Turkey says it will be using is a swath of water the size of Lebanon that stretches between Cyprus and Greece. This is a clear, symbolic water grab, where Turkey will try to divide Cyprus and Greece. Turkey has already said it demands these water rights between Turkey and Libya, where it signed a deal in December 2019.Israel, Cyprus and Greece want to build a pipeline across the Mediterranean; and Israel, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Jordan are also part of a gas forum for the Eastern Mediterranean. Greece and Egypt have been enjoying close relations in the past year, in the face of Turkey’s provocations. Israel is also taking delivery of Sa’ar 6-class corvettes in the next year, which will give it more power at sea.Turkey’s attempt to provoke also extends to Cyprus, where it has sought to encourage northern Cyprus, which it occupies, to break away as a new country. It also moved to open up Varosha, an area that has been deserted since the 1970s war in Cyprus.Turkey uses a crisis every week to threaten its neighbors and distract from economic failures at home. In late October and early November, it also incited against France, and terrorist attacks took place in Europe. There was a beheading at a church in France after Turkey’s media claimed offensive cartoons were shown, and Turkey uses religious extremist messages to encourage tensions in Europe. This is the Ankara model: Threaten Israel, Greece, Cyprus, France, Greece, the UAE and other countries. This year, Turkey bombed northern Iraq, striking at minority Yazidis and Kurds, and it encouraged two wars against Armenia and fought a war in Syria. It threatened the US and Kurdish partners and Christians with more invasions in eastern Syria, it threatened Egypt, sent Syrian rebel mercenaries to Libya, threatened Greek F-16s, tested its S-400, threatened Israel, hosted Hamas terrorist leaders twice, threatened to cut relations with the UAE and vowed to “liberate” al-Aqsa Mosque.It has carried out threats against Greece in the form of the naval exercises every month since July. It also threatened US President-elect Joe Biden, slammed Nancy Pelosi and the Trump administration, threatened to force refugees into Greece in February, fomented clashes in Libya in March and April, and has been involved in threats against Turkish journalists in Europe.
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