A race to rearm in the Mediterranean. Turkey and Greece are getting a change

According to the Turkish president, the United States has proposed selling F-16s in exchange for its investment in F-35s, after Athens bought 24 Rafale fighters, 3 corvettes and 2 Bilhara frigates from France.

A few hours after a trip to Africa, Turkish businessmen are watching it with great interest, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan He issues a statement that rocks relations with the United States, if only because it comes a few days after the new defense agreement between Washington and Athens. It was reported that the United States proposed to sell fighter jets F-16 to Turkey in exchange for its investment in the F-35 program, from which Ankara was removed after purchasing S-400 defense systems from Russia. It is clear that after the Greek purchases made by France (that is, 24 fighters Storm, 3 cruisers and 2 frigates Bilhara) Tensions are set to rise in the eastern Mediterranean.

WHO Ankara

A busy week opens for Ankara’s foreign policy. The President’s upcoming trip to Africa will bring huge investment opportunities to the continent. Erdogan will visit Nigeria, Togo and Angola, where he will speak at a forum Council on Foreign Economic Relations (DEIK) Turkish (Monday in Angola and Wednesday in Nigeria). But along with Turkey’s growing presence in Africa, the file related to defense and international relations stands out.

“There is 1.4 billion dollars we paid for F35 And the United States had such a proposal in return for these payments – Erdogan said – and in connection with this, we said to take all necessary measures to meet the defense needs of our country. We are evolving our fleet from upgrading our F-16 aircraft to additional new F-16 purchases.

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second also Reuters Turkey has submitted an order to the United States for the purchase of 40 F-16 fighters made by a company Lockheed Martin and nearly 80 modernization kits for its current warplanes.

On the other hand, Ankara reminds everyone, allies and non-allies, that they have ordered 100 F-35s, something that has faded due to the accompanying trade relations with Moscow under the S-400 line. On the other hand, Erdogan has repeatedly stressed that Ankara still intends to buy a second batch di S-400 From Russia: This is a move that, if it seems to deepen the rift with Washington, is actually opening up to the geopolitical ping-pong intertwined with the moves of Paris and Washington itself in the total area of ​​the Aegean.

Here is Egan

A few days ago, the United States and Greece reached an agreement in the defense sector for the use of new bases in Greek territory and for the principle of mutual assistance. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias I signed Thursday in Washington with the US Secretary of State Anthony Blink Agreement that will protect Greece from aggression from other countries. On this occasion, they launched the third strategic dialogue between Greece and the United States which included the representation of joint agencies from both countries.

Choose to focus on the port city Alexandroupolis It refers to the American desire to increase security in southeastern Europe by bypassing the Dardanelles. The American side affirms the protection of the territorial sovereignty of Greece. The Greek side knocks on the foreign and French doors as it is difficult to reason with NATO on the same terms, due to the hybrid position of Turkey, a member of the alliance and the main opponent of two other members such as Greece and Cyprus.

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Scenarios

Is an arms race launched in the eastern Mediterranean? First of all, bipartisan pressure from the US Congress to advance the administration must be registered Biden To calm Ankara for two main reasons: its geopolitical and military relationship with Moscow and the lack of progress in the ancestral file related to freedoms and human rights, which led to arrests and persecution after hit 2016.

Especially the Republican senator Bob Menendez Distinguished by many initiatives in defense of the sovereignty Greece and CyprusWhich is being jeopardized by Erdogan’s requests targeting gas in the two countries’ exclusive economic zones. Meanwhile, Erdogan turned Santa Sophia into a mosque and withdrew the country from the Istanbul Agreement. Two movements put it in fact in contrast to Western values.

All this during the chancellor’s farewell visit to Ankara Merkel: “I have always said that our cooperation has been very good in the years that I worked with Mr. Erdogan – said Merkel after the meeting behind closed doors – I criticized Turkey on the issue of human rights and individual liberties. We looked for solutions. We could have had differences, but we adopted on each other.” Finally, pay attention to this one we’ve considered in these columns in the past regarding Greece’s interest in F35s.

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