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Turkey - a real turkey?

Now that would have been a meeting to sit in on. Both are very strong-willed characters and both get on well socially, having known each other for about 10 years. Sir Stu is not one to be trifled with yet he 'gets' Turkey and its unique place in the world. As the former Ambassador to Ankara and soon-to-be C (also a good friend of Sir Stu) said 'Geography doesn't change'.

Ps: Good to see Sir Stu in No 6 Khaki Drill
 
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Turkey has accused Macron of "colonial reflexes” with the Turkish foreign ministry stating that Macron was endangering EU interests with his "individual and nationalistic stance”.

Macron and Mitsotakis were attending a MED7 summit on the French island of Corsica along with the leaders of Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta.

Macron wants Europe to adopt a "united and clear voice" on policy towards Turkey as Ankara is "no longer a partner" given it recent conduct in the Mediterranean and Libya. H”e said that Europeans need to be clear and firm" with Erdogan and his "unacceptable behaviour.”

Greece has raised the prospect of sanctions on Turkey. Mitsotakis said on Thursday that the the EU should impose sanctions on Turkey unless Ankara pulls its maritime assets out of disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean.

"If Turkey refuses to see sense I see no option but for my fellow European leaders to impose meaningful sanctions. This is no longer just about European solidarity but about recognising that vital interests - strategic European interests which are now at stake. If Europe wants to exercise meaningful geopolitical power, it cannot afford to appease a belligerent Erdogan.

Ankara meanwhile has said it has every right to prospect the region accusing Athens of trying to take an unfair share of maritime resources. EU leaders are sure to attend a special summit on how to resolve the crisis between Cyprus and Turkey from September 24-25.

 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Greece upping it's firepower..


Meanwhile and more troublingly...



Whose side are we on?
 
More commentary on Sultan Erdogan's possible motives and end-game.

'Under the Erdogan government, Turkey, using the advantages of relations with the West, began rapprochement with Russia. NATO member Turkey, although strategically important in the Black Sea region for the West, is very aggressive. For this relationship, Ankara is said to be asking for some kind of reward, blackmailing and intimidating another allied country such as Greece in this way, demanding the tolerance of the United States.

'If Erdogan uses violence or threatens to send refugees to Europe, Washington and Brussels must work together to counter him. The media attention to President Trump’s tweets and his approach based on the logic of a dubious “foreign policy” has all the time allowed Turkey to do what it does in the region. “However, the Eastern Mediterranean could bring an end to NATO as we know it,” the American newspaper writes, among other things.

“If Greece pulls the trigger, it will be the end of NATO,” said Turkish Admiral T. Gurdeniz, implying that Turkey would withdraw from the military alliance [and either join the Eurasian Union or remain independent with the latter].

'We think that Erdogan is seeking to disengage from NATO from 2016, and remain autonomous to implement his plans to annex territories in Syria, Libya, Iraq, Armenia and the Aegean, all the rest is just wishful thinking.

'His plan is backed by at least 70% of today’s Turkey, which considers the West, and especially the United States, “infected” and a major enemy of the country, according to opinion polls, while nurturing at least two generations of Turks alongside extremist Islamist ideology.'


 
Those unreasonable, perfidious Greeks are at it again, unlike law-abiding cuddly neighbour and all-round solid ally Turkey!

'Greece's violation of international treaties by arming 18 Aegean islands serves only to escalate tensions and sabotage dialogue, Turkey's top defense official said Sept. 13.

'Greece should put aside 'provocative behavior' that raises tension in the region, Hulusi Akarsaid in an interview with state-run Anadolu Agency, in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya.

“An arms race has recently started in Greece. It is kept on the agenda with the provocation and encouragement of France," he said.

'Underlining the importance of diplomacy in resolving disputes, Akar said Turkey is always on the side of dialogue and negotiation.

'He added that Turkey will continue to defend its rights in the region.'


 

Flight

LE
Book Reviewer
Fundamentally Churchill tried to get Turkey into WW2, and it both failed in that regard and was almost disasterous militarily in trying to defend Greece, Crete etc.

Postwar therefore they lost all of their little islands which would have given them a decent EEZ.

So diddums basically.

Meanwhile they threaten war and then moan about Greece defending it's islands? I would think that the right to self defence overides any previous treaty clauses, Lausanne etc.
 
Turkey appears so emboldened now, that it can dictate diplomatic efforts to the USA.

'Turkey said early on Monday that the United States needed to return to a neutral stance on Cyprus, after Washington and Nicosia signed a memorandum of understanding to create a training centre.

'Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier this month that the United States would lift a 33-year arms embargo on Cyprus and deepen its security cooperation with Nicosia. During a visit to Cyprus, Pompeo said on Saturday that Washington remained “deeply concerned” about Turkey’s actions in the eastern Mediterranean, where it is at a standoff with Greece and Cyprus over maritime areas thought to be rich in natural gas.

“The memorandum of understanding will not serve peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean and will damage the solution of the Cyprus problem,” Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said. It added that the recent steps by the United States increased the tensions in the eastern Mediterranean. “We invite the U.S. to return to the neutrality policy it traditionally follows on the island of Cyprus and to contribute to the efforts aimed at the solution of the Cyprus issue,” the ministry said.'


 
An interesting turn of events, considering Turkey hosts a US ABM radar which is there specifically to detect missile launches from Iran.

'The Turkish Foreign Ministry condemned Bahrain’s decision that would encourage Israel to continue disregarding Palestinian interests and undermine regional peace plans. The ministry said in its statement that doing so “would deal yet another blow to the efforts to defend the Palestinian cause and would further embolden Israel to continue its illegal acts and attempts to perpetuate the occupation of the Palestinian territories”.

'It is commonly suggested that the reason Israel and the Gulf monarchies are now moving towards open diplomatic relations has to do with their common enemy – Iran. The Trump administration’s support in touting these initiatives is believed to cement this notion as it continues to pursue its “maximum pressure” campaign against Tehran’s regime.

'However, Turkey is another country that inspires mounting concerns in Israel and in Arab countries, particularly under its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. His confrontational policies across the region and his attempt to undermine his rival politically has only deepened their concerns.

“The crucible that drove Israel and the Gulf states together is not just the Iranian problem, which was always there for decades,” explains Frantzman. “It's the Turkish challenge, the reality of what Turkey has become and that's only happened in the last few years.” Relations between Turkey and Israel have grown more distant despite Turkey being the first Muslim-majority nation to recognise Israel in 1949.

'In some Israeli security circles, Turkey is increasingly seen as a threat. An Israeli Defence Force assessment in January listed Turkey as a “challenge” for the first time. Yossi Cohen, director of Israel’s intelligence agency Mossad, reportedly told counterparts that he viewed Turkey as a bigger threat than even Iran.

'Another worry relates to Turkey’s relationship with Iran. The same week that Bahrain announced it would begin diplomatic ties, Erdoğan met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss new areas of bilateral cooperation.

'Like Turkey, Iran aided Qatar when its neighbours blockaded it in 2017 and they have cooperated diplomatically in Syria, where they back opposite sides. Ankara and Tehran are also allies of Hamas, the Palestinian ruling faction in the Gaza Strip that regularly skirmishes with Israeli forces. Following the UAE-Israel deal last month, Hamas’ representative in Iran said in an interview that Iran, Turkey and Qatar should unite against the new Israeli-Arab alliance.

“There is no reason this region can’t be more peaceful, but obviously the [AKP] and the regime in Iran thrive on these conflicts and gain a lot by them and get to stay in power.”


 
It's not as if the idea of removing nukes from Turkey would be a bad thing though. Hopefully for once, the GOP has made a good decision without informing the military (and Souda Bay is a nicer location for a deployment than the middle of Anatolia).

'The Department of Defense on Tuesday denied comments from a senior senator who suggested the US is building up its capacity on a Greek island as a looming replacement for its presence at a Turkish air base.

'Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell told Anadolu Agency the US "has no plans to end our presence at Incirlik Air Base" after Senator Ron Johnson told the Washington Examiner newspaper that the US is building up its presence at a naval base in Crete as an alternative.

"The U.S. has operated at Incirlik Air Base for decades at the invitation of the Turkish government, and our continued presence there demonstrates the ongoing and strong relationship between the United States and our NATO Ally Turkey,” Campbell said in an email exchange.

'Johnson, an influential Republican senator who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, said in an interview published last week that US officials are ramping up efforts to leave Incirlik amid tensions between Washington and Ankara that have been exacerbated by a series of issues.

'Those include US support for the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, Turkey's purchase of an advanced Russian air defense system and the subsequent US decision to remove Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program.

'Johnson told the Examiner the US wants "to maintain our full presence and cooperation in Turkey” but said the tensions are prompting officials to expedite a withdrawal.

“I don’t think we want to make that strategic shift, but I think, from a defensive posture, I think we have to look at the reality of the situation,” he said. "We're already looking at Greece as an alternative.”

'In particular, Johnson said the US is seeking to bolster its naval base in Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete.

“It's very unfortunate the path that Erdogan is taking Turkey, or has put Turkey on,” Johnson said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. “It's very concerning, which is one of the reasons we certainly are increasing and improving our military cooperation with Greece...beefing up our presence in Souda Bay, because our presence, quite honestly, in Turkey is certainly threatened.”


 
Fundamentally Churchill tried to get Turkey into WW2, and it both failed in that regard and was almost disasterous militarily in trying to defend Greece, Crete etc.

Postwar therefore they lost all of their little islands which would have given them a decent EEZ.

So diddums basically.

Meanwhile they threaten war and then moan about Greece defending it's islands? I would think that the right to self defence overides any previous treaty clauses, Lausanne etc.
It's a little more complex than that (extract from a briefing paper on Turkey):

World War II

As World War II approached, France and Britain garnered support from Turkey. Turkey secretly – again – sounded out both Italy and Germany for support and the President, İsmet İnönü (1884 – 1973) signed a Non-Aggression Pact with Germany in June 1941, on the eve of the Nazi assault on the Soviet Union, fearing attacks from its nemesis. Turkey remained focussed on the Soviet threat and considered operations in the Caucuses to retake Baku (capital of modern-day Azerbaijan), and İnönü had secret discussions with the German ambassador Franz von Papen (1879 – 1969)[1] about these plans against the Soviet Union. Nonetheless, Turkey viewed any allegiances with mistrust. In İstanbul and the coastal cities, extensive anti-aircraft defences and air raid precautions were put in place.

When war was declared in September 1939, the British War Cabinet authorised the exchange of intelligence material with Turkey and in December 1939 a small inter-Service ‘Balkans Intelligence Centre’ was established in İstanbul in great secrecy, under the control of the Military Attaché in Ankara.[2] The Istanbul Centre acted as the collecting agency for information from British military attachés and SIS stations in Budapest, Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia and Athens. It is not clear what, if any, information was exchanged with the Turkish intelligence services, but attempts to do so ceased in May 1940. British military intelligence predicted that Germany would attack Turkey through Bulgaria and seize the Turkish Straits in December 1940, following on Italy’s attack on Greece. It is not clear whether this was communicated to the Turkish General Staff, given the sensitivities of the sources – German Enigma codes had been cracked, revealing this plan.[3]

Germany attempted to buy much of Turkey’s chromite ore production, essential in producing high quality steel and munitions and offered locomotives and rolling stock to sweeten the deal. However, Britain (and later, the US) managed to buy out much Turkey’s output at much higher prices, as well as agreeing to buy tobacco and dried fruit production. Britain also provided steam locomotives to replace the German ones.[4] In spite of being threatened with trade sanctions by the US, by trading with both sides (often to the highest bidder) and avoiding sanctions, the Turkish economy grew and gold reserves saw a 10-fold increase by the end of the war.
Despite extensive military assistance from Britain, in truth Turkish forces were largely unmechanised and would have been little match for the battle-hardened Wehrmacht and Luftwaffe operating in both the Balkans and the Caucasus, as well as from occupied islands in the Aegean. From March 1941, neighbouring Bulgaria had joined the Axis powers. The Turkish Air Force operated German-supplied aircraft types, including later on, the formidable FW-190 fighter, alongside RAF-supplied models including the Blenheim, Beaufort, Hurricane and Spitfire. A number of sailors and airmen went to the UK to train and at least 14 aircrew were killed in flying accidents or as a result of enemy action.[5]

Nonetheless, tensions were high on occasions. In May 1941, Turkey allowed military supplies and weapons from Vichy-controlled Syria to pass through Turkish territory to Mosul, to arm the rebels who had overthrown the pro-British monarchy in Baghdad. The rebels, with Vichy, Italian and German assistance then attempted to defeat the British presence in Mesopotamia (Iraq) but were roundly beaten by British and Commonwealth troops, assisted by local militia.[6] During this so-called Anglo-Iraqi war, Turkey offered to mediate, but Whitehall feared a degree of Turkish self-interest (in particular an eye on the oil fields near Mosul) and declined the offer.

In a separate incident in August 1942, British aircraft operating from Cyprus infringed territorial airspace and attacked a Vichy French merchant vessel as it attempted to enter Antalya Harbour and were fired on by Turkish anti-aircraft batteries. One Turkish citizen died when an air-dropped torpedo overshot the target and exploded in the old harbour. The ship – disguised as the hospital ship San Didier – was found to be covertly carrying munitions and attempted to reach Axis forces in North Africa but had sought refuge in neutral Turkey.[7]
Damaged Allied aircraft also crashed in territorial waters and the crews well-treated by the Authorities, who regarded them as shipwrecked mariners, and released them back to the Allies.

Dodecanese Disaster

In 1943, the Adana Agreement sought to increase military assistance to Turkey in return for making airfields available for British aircraft to support the operations to displace Italian troops from Dodecanese Islands, and denying them to the Germans – and to distract the Germans from the impending D-Day landings in France (Operation SATURN). However, Turkey refused to grant Allied use of airfields and this was to result in the defeat of British and Commonwealth forces who were on the islands of Kos, Samos and Leros. They were ousted with great loss by German troops in October – November 1943 on Operation TAIFUN, using superior air power. Thousands of Italian troops – who had surrendered - were either killed by the Germans or died when their troops ships, repatriating them back to Italy, were sunk in the Aegean.

Ankara broke off diplomatic relations with Germany in August 1944 when land connections to the Third Reich were lost in Bulgaria as a result of Red Army advances. In February 1945, Turkey declared war against Germany and Japan; however, the gesture was a political one and Turkey did not take part in any warlike operations.

Espionage

İstanbul was a city of intrigue, teeming with émigrés and spies from all sides. Much smaller Ankara had its secrets, too. The British Ambassador’s valet, Ilyaz Bazna (1904?-1970), was a suave, opportunistic Albanian who offered access to the ambassador’s secret documents to the head of the Sicherheitsdienst (SD – the Nazi SS security and intelligence service) in Ankara. Run from the nearby German Embassy under the code-name CICERO, Bazna photographed highly sensitive ‘Codeword’ documents each evening as the ambassador had his bath. He also stole documents from the Military Attaché. After the war, the ambassador, Sir Hughe Knatchbull-Hugessen (1886 – 1971) was admonished for his lax personal security in what was one of the greatest security breaches in World War II, but the stream of high quality and highly-classified material that Cicero copied – which included BIGOT material relating to the forthcoming landings in France - was largely dismissed by the German Foreign Service. Meanwhile the head of the Abwehr (German Military Intelligence Service) in Ankara was being run as British agent by the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) from the British Embassy.[8]
Kim Philby (1912 – 1988) another member of the Cambridge Spy ring of Communist agents, was a regular visitor to İstanbul, as he was in charge of counter-intelligence activities for SIS in the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa from 1943 onwards. He was to be appointed Director, Ottoman and Levant in İstanbul in 1947, in charge of SIS Stations across the eastern Mediterranean, and spent considerable time in Ankara, leaving at the end of 1948.[9]

[1] Von Papen, who was the German Chancellor in 1932, helped manoeuvre Hitler in to power in 1933, but was then marginalised. He built a career on espionage, intrigue and fomenting insurrection in Mexico, California, Ireland and Turkey. He was also attached to the Ottoman Army in Palestine during World War I.
[2] Istanbul Centre wasn’t secret for long: the Germans broadcast news of its formation a week later.
[3] What gave added impetus to this prediction was the relocation of the headquarters in France that had been established to plan the invasion of the UK had been relocated to Romania.
[4] The UK provided 20 Stanier-designed LMS 8F locomotives that worked into the 1980s as TCCD 45151 Class. Several are on display at a steam museum near the Aegean city of Kuşadaşı; one (formerly TCCD 45160) was returned to the UK in 1989 and restored.
[5] Two pilots were shot down by a Luftwaffe night-fighter as they returned to an RAF airfield from a night navigation exercise.
[6] Turkey briefly wavered in May 1941 when rebel factions in Mesopotamia (Iraq) attacked British bases there (principally RAF Habbaniya), hoping to secure oil fields, interrupt supplies to Russia passing through neighbouring Persia (Iran) and disrupt British presence in the region. The attacks were decisively defeated in an ad hoc and heroic style, mainly by the RAF cadets flying pre-war training aircraft or local Assyrian levies on the ground, operating Great-war vintage armoured cars (incidentally, including ex RNAS cars that had seen action against Ottoman forces). A substantial Italian Air Force contingent and smaller Luftwaffe force that received support from Vichy-held Syria, hampered by logistical difficulties, were also defeated as Nazi Germany sought to gain access through Turkish territory near the Iraqi border. Turkey declined the request; if the Nazi attacks had proved successful, there was the possibility - indeed, probability that Turkey would have joined the Axis, in an attempt to regain territory in Iraq, principally Mosul.
[7] Sometimes referred to locally as the Societie de Navigoziana, the San Didier was built in Scotland in 1920. The wreck is about 100 m off the Antalya harbour entrance in 30 m of water and is a popular dive site.
[8] Bazna/Cicero (was also known as Elyesa Bazna), was paid handsomely in £5 notes by his German handlers. At the end of the war he discovered they were mostly counterfeit. The security breach was subject to a joint investigation by SIS and MI5 (Security Service), led by Major Anthony Blunt, who was also a Soviet spy.
[9] Harold Adrian Russell Philby spent much of his time covering his tracks, and that of his fellow Cantabrigian agents, including arranging for the Soviet Rezident (head of espionage in the Soviet Consulate in İstanbul) and his wife to be kidnapped, flown to Moscow and executed, as they was about to unmask Soviet agents in the UK. Philby left SIS in 1951 under suspicion and fled to Moscow from Beirut in 1963.
 
Seems that Turkey may have been stuffed with a lemon.

'The head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the fact that the S-400 missiles acquired from Russia have not yet been put into operation. Russian sources and the media, however, report the existence of a problem identified by the Turkish army, which it has not been able to resolve for about six months.

'Things got worse as the Turks refused to accept Russian engineers into their territory and did not approve the adaptation of the new S-400 electronic systems themselves. It turned out that the Turkish army had neither the experience nor the knowledge to put Russian missiles on alert.

'At present, it is absolutely impossible to do anything without Russia’s participation, however, Ankara and its NATO partners believe that Russian experts will implement “special” changes to Russian missile systems, which would have a very negative effect on alliance.

'The Turkish Foreign Minister, in turn, noted that the issue of operational readiness of the S-400 will be resolved by Turkish experts, however, Russian defense analysts believe that the situation for Ankara is quite serious and irreversible.

'Other experts believe that Turkey is in fact afraid of Washington imposing sanctions on the acquisition of Russian weapons systems and thus makes pretexts not to put them on alert. Only Erdogan is afraid of the multitude of enemies that surround him at home and abroad and would definitely like ready-to-use S-400s.'


 
Seems that Turkey may have been stuffed with a lemon.

'The head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the fact that the S-400 missiles acquired from Russia have not yet been put into operation. Russian sources and the media, however, report the existence of a problem identified by the Turkish army, which it has not been able to resolve for about six months.

'Things got worse as the Turks refused to accept Russian engineers into their territory and did not approve the adaptation of the new S-400 electronic systems themselves. It turned out that the Turkish army had neither the experience nor the knowledge to put Russian missiles on alert.

'At present, it is absolutely impossible to do anything without Russia’s participation, however, Ankara and its NATO partners believe that Russian experts will implement “special” changes to Russian missile systems, which would have a very negative effect on alliance.

'The Turkish Foreign Minister, in turn, noted that the issue of operational readiness of the S-400 will be resolved by Turkish experts, however, Russian defense analysts believe that the situation for Ankara is quite serious and irreversible.

'Other experts believe that Turkey is in fact afraid of Washington imposing sanctions on the acquisition of Russian weapons systems and thus makes pretexts not to put them on alert. Only Erdogan is afraid of the multitude of enemies that surround him at home and abroad and would definitely like ready-to-use S-400s.'


Fancy that: a NATO ally getting a special export version of the S400 from Russia!
 
Fancy that! A NATO ally getting a special export version of the S400 from Russia?

I'm sure it has all manner of interesting 'additional features'. Having been in the conversation, I know this possibility (certainly) was pointed out to the Turks in 2013, but obviously Sultan Erdogan knows best.
 
Seems that Turkey may have been stuffed with a lemon.

'The head of the Turkish Foreign Ministry confirmed the fact that the S-400 missiles acquired from Russia have not yet been put into operation. Russian sources and the media, however, report the existence of a problem identified by the Turkish army, which it has not been able to resolve for about six months.

'Things got worse as the Turks refused to accept Russian engineers into their territory and did not approve the adaptation of the new S-400 electronic systems themselves. It turned out that the Turkish army had neither the experience nor the knowledge to put Russian missiles on alert.

'At present, it is absolutely impossible to do anything without Russia’s participation, however, Ankara and its NATO partners believe that Russian experts will implement “special” changes to Russian missile systems, which would have a very negative effect on alliance.

'The Turkish Foreign Minister, in turn, noted that the issue of operational readiness of the S-400 will be resolved by Turkish experts, however, Russian defense analysts believe that the situation for Ankara is quite serious and irreversible.

'Other experts believe that Turkey is in fact afraid of Washington imposing sanctions on the acquisition of Russian weapons systems and thus makes pretexts not to put them on alert. Only Erdogan is afraid of the multitude of enemies that surround him at home and abroad and would definitely like ready-to-use S-400s.'


It doesn't say there's anything wrong with the missile system itself. It just says that the Turks can't install and integrate it themselves (perhaps because they lack any experience with it), but won't let Russian experts come in to do that for them.

The Turks have taken delivery but may be creating excuses to delay actually commissioning them for diplomatic and political reasons.
 

TamH70

MIA
It doesn't say there's anything wrong with the missile system itself. It just says that the Turks can't install and integrate it themselves (perhaps because they lack any experience with it), but won't let Russian experts come in to do that for them.

The Turks have taken delivery but may be creating excuses to delay actually commissioning them for diplomatic and political reasons.

Chief and abiding and deep among them their utter, utter, utter, and did I say utter? hatred of the Russians which goes back to at least when they both had their own empires which wanted control of that region of the world if not before.
 
It doesn't say there's anything wrong with the missile system itself. It just says that the Turks can't install and integrate it themselves (perhaps because they lack any experience with it), but won't let Russian experts come in to do that for them.

The Turks have taken delivery but may be creating excuses to delay actually commissioning them for diplomatic and political reasons.
The Turks had indicated that they would develop their own data links for the system, realising that these were a particular vulnerability.
 
Fancy that, screw up yet another weapons deal.

Wonder if that will progress faster than their 5th gen fighter program and indigenous battle tank.
 

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