Berlin, Germany – The Mavi Vatan naval doctrine of Turkey has, since its independence in 1923, emerged as one of the pillars of the Turkish foreign and security policy, aiming at establishing Turkey as a vast regional naval power in and around the Aegean and Mediterranean as well as in the Oceans.
Germany and Turkey relations have been stable since the unification of Germany in 1871, and dominated European, Mediterranean, African, and West Asian affairs for long time. Indeed, Turks and Germans loved each other for a long time. One should recognize this reality as geopolitical and geostrategic interests enter a new geopolitical and geostrategic era, without succumbing to Greek sentimentalism and spasmodic reactions.
Germany sees Turkey as belonging to its traditional sphere of influence. It deems that the two countries share a large number of key interests. The way in which the mass influx of Turkish workforce have significantly contributed and stabilized German economy after the WWII is an indicator of the good bilateral relations between Germany and Turkey.
Germany considers that Greece with aid of EU’s Frontex may have succeeded in neutralizing Turkey’s efforts to weaponize refugees along the Meriç (Evros / Maritsa) border, but Germany also considers that it will not be able to do so again, especially in the Aegean Sea.
Furthermore, Germany deems that Greek Republic of Southern Cyprus (GRSC) took drastic action with regard to energy exploration and that it did so without the proper consideration of the implications and the reaction from Turkey. This is the prism through which Germany sees Greek-Turkish affairs. Germany gets frustrated with the French stance in Mediterranean with Turkey. France weaponizes bankrupt Greece against Turkey.
It does not understand why Greece has to spend so much on defense, particularly on non-German systems, as it considers Greece a small, bankrupt country. In 2019, the national debt in Greece was around 409.44 billion US dollars. In a ranking of debt to GDP per country, Greece is currently ranked second.
It would like Greece to accept a comprehensive compromise settlement in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean without going into much detail about which side is right. It is a square, inflexible logic. And it will not change until the end of Germany’s stance, and certainly not in view of elections where the Turkish minority has a role to play in the final outcome.
Greece is looking to build alliances with Turkey’s enemies in the globe. But, what Turkey is looking for is partners who are aware of the significance of Turkey’s innovative economic and industrial revolutionism in the region since 1923, as it is defending the sovereign rights in Mavi Vatan while seeking to implement its full peaceful diplomatic strategy in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
As far as Greek-Turkish relations are concerned, it has to be said that Germany played a positive role because it is the only EU country which could, and wanted, to pick up the phone and speak with Turkey. At some crucial moments perhaps Germany even stopped Turkey from pulling the trigger. That said, Germany and France are on completely different pages. And this probably applies to the US which is realizing that the Turkey of 2021 is not the Turkey it knew back in 2016. Turkey is no more heavily dependent on US defense products as Turkey has a matured national defense industry.
A key problem remains that the existing EU leadership is largely guided by German interests – with whatever implications this has for Greek foreign policy. Because the economy of Germany is a highly developed social market economy. It has the largest national economy in Europe, the fourth-largest by nominal GDP in the world, and fifth by GDP (PPP). In 2017, the country accounted for 28% of the euro area economy according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The economy of Greece is the 51st largest in the world with a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) of $209.853 billion per annum. In terms of purchasing power parity, Greece is the world’s 53rd largest economy, at $336.486 billion per annum. As of 2019, Greece is the sixteenth-largest economy in the 27-member European Union. According to IMF figures for 2020, Greece’s GDP per capita was $18,168 at nominal value and $29,045 at purchasing power parity.
The economy of Turkey is an emerging market economy as defined by the International Monetary Fund. Turkey is among the world’s developed countries according to the CIA World Factbook. Turkey is also defined by economists and political scientists as one of the world’s newly industrialized countries. Turkey has the world’s 17th-largest nominal GDP, and 13th-largest GDP by PPP. The country is among the world’s leading producers of agricultural products; textiles; motor vehicles, transportation equipment; construction materials; defense and aerospace products, consumer electronics and home appliances.
Germany, Turkey geopolitical and geostrategical vision perceives the reality how Greece is persistently trying to sabotaging and usurping Turkey’s rights and interests in Mavi Vatan. But Turkey has a decisive capacity to shape the future of the region with its strong geopolitical and geostrategical sphere of influence. Germany, Greece and Turkey should engage constructively to cooperate and maximize their potential interests in the region. The language of peace is always more powerful than the language of conflict in the region.