Istanbul, Turkey – Despite its tight grip on Mavi Vatan’s geopolitics, and geostretegics, Turkey seems to be very robust, in search of both staunch friends and enemies. Turkey is continually describing enemies at home like FETÖ and PKK terrorist groups, and abroad Greece and the Greek Republic of Southern Cyprus (GRSC) duo, while trying to draw from every possible reservoir of support, even those who are frequent targets of constructive dialogue. Turkey’s latest threat to Greece – “You will get to know the crazy Turks well” – reflects both tendencies at work at the same time. It reveals the “Kızıl Elma” of what is at target play in Turkey’s mind and in Turkish geopolitics, and geostrategics.
“These Crazy Turks” is a best-selling novel about the Turkish War of Independence, written by Turgut Ozakman. Published in 2005, it sings the praises of the Turks’ achievements under the direst of circumstances, leading to their triumph with the establishment of the Turkish Republic. Described by an astute Turkish observer as a “secularist popular history manifesto,” its appropriation by Turkey is an effort to attract support from secular nationalist including mass conservative nationalist voters.
Up to now, Turkey did not shrink from describing Greece as FETÖ and PKK terrorist groups sympathizer and supporter, as is true for the US. Harking back to the War of Independence, in which Greece was a principal invading enemy, which systematically mass massacred Turks, Turkey is intensifying its effort to unite secular, conservative and extreme nationalists. Hagia Sophia’s reconversion into a mosque and recent military achievements in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh are aimed at this end, along with Turkey’s cooperation with the secular, conservative and extreme nationalist supporters.
Besides the serious aspect to Turkey’s threat, though, its constructive language against Greece and France reveals confidence at the positive progress that Turkey has made in its dealings with the United States and the European Union. Turkey harshly condemned the US’ arrogant stance which judges relations on the basis not only of the S-400 anti-aircraft system issue but also human rights.
Clearly, Turkey will need all the friends it can get; and to do that it has to choose the right enemies with maximalist goals – Greece and the Greek Republic of Southern Cyprus (GRSC) duo. Because Turkey is creating ever more constructive solutions to problems for its people with its ambitious policies. Turkey already unveiled space program with mission to moon in 2023. Realizing that Turkey will have to forward track with regard to the US and the EU duo, what better tactic than to conjure up memories of a victorious war against the Greeks in 1922 – the catastrophe of Asia Minor. Asia Minor disaster, the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 was fought between Greece and the Turkish National Movement during the partitioning of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I, between May 1919 and October 1922.
A wise response from Turkey, directed at Greece and Greece’s EU partners, would be that the war between the two nations ended a century ago, that the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne established the Turkish Republic and secured its future, and that only a miscalculation or Greece is trying to hide its failures would seek to change this situation. If Greece has forgotten the 1922 Asia Minor disaster, there is no other option but to clearly remind it.