TURKEY AND GREECE AND THEIR REGIONAL GEOPOLITICAL CHALLENGES
Turkey borders with Syria thus, the refugees of the Syrian civil war are passing from Turkey to go to Greece and the rest of Europe. More 2,000,000 million Syrians on top of other refugees and economic illegal immigrants from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan pass from Turkey daily. Currently, nearly three million Syrians have found refuge in Turkey. The Erdogan regime does not want to integrate the Syrians to the Turkish socio-political system. The Turkish authoritarian regime utilizes the refugee crisis to undermine blackmail the European Union (EU).
Many Turkish businessmen are profiting from this human influx. Refugees and illegal immigrants pay high prices to cross the Aegean Sea. Greece and the rest of the European nations have accused Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan of utilizing the humanitarian crisis to Islamize Greece and the rest of Europe. Moreover, the same statesmen accused the Turkish government of supporting ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups in the region.
Of course, Turkey has suffered various terrorist attacks from ISIS and PKK the Kurdish terrorist groups. In addition, the Turkish border towns with Syria are full with refugees and ISIS fighters. This creates a serious political and security problem for Ankara. Still, Erdogan refuses to fully collaborate with the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Currently, NATO has deployed a flotilla to patrol the maritime border between Greece and Turkey. On the other side of the Aegean Sea, Greece also faces serious sociopolitical challenges due to the economic crisis. The Communist Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras follows a peculiar political strategy. His main political goal is to create a communist revolution in Greece. In addition, he has implemented an open door policy regarding the refugee and illegal immigration movement in Europe.
Both policies have exacerbated the economic situation in Greece. Tsipras believes the Europeans will forgive part of the Greek debt due to the refugee crisis; however, the EU has strongly indicated that the refugee crisis could not be used as a weapon to forgive part of the Greek debt. In addition, Austria and other EU members want to isolate Greece and remove them from the Schengen agreement (the Schengen agreement is a treaty which led to the creation of Europe’s borderless Schengen region).
In fact, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) and Bulgaria want to erect permanent security walls and prohibit refugee and illegal immigrant movement from Greece. Greece’s Conservative Defense Minister Panos Kammenos agrees with Prime Minister Tsipras’ peculiar policies. In addition, both daily insult the Europeans to be racists and anti-Greeks.
Despite these difficulties and challenges, Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans stated: “The European Union needs Turkey and Turkey needs the European Union.” This kind of statement does not suggest a cogent plan that can solve the problem. Further issues have increased tension in the area, including, the downing of a Russian fighter jet by a Turkish fighter which put a strain on relationships between Russian and Turkey.
The Obama administration has sat on the sidelines; as always, during the various global crises. His goal is to finish his term without making any serious decisions on global matters and continue to present a phony image of a peace-loving administration. The American government has the influence to pressure the Erdogan administration into being more aggressive with stopping the refugee influx, unfortunately, President Obama is no show in this humanitarian crisis. In addition, 2016 is an election year, the public is focusing on who will be the next US president. Without a doubt, the situation is serious and dangerous for the regional stability.
The Trump administration has adopted a more aggressive policy towards Syria. American naval forces bombed the Assad regime due to the use of chemical weapons. In addition, daily American forces clash with ISIS. The main target or President Donald Trump is to destroy ISIS in Syria. Moreover, he wants to stop the Iranian expansion into Syria. The USA views that Turkey and Greece are vital allies in that crucial military situation. However, President Erdogan does not support the American efforts all the way because the American government supports the Kurds. On the other side of the Atlantic Greece has a corrupt communist regime. Prime Minister Tsipras wants to create a European Venezuela in the European Union. It is evident that the Trump administration faces serious challenges in the region. It is imperative for the Trump administration to show leadership and influence the decision-making in the EU and in the southern European region. Only then Europe can be survived the Islamic terrorist threat.
American and European intelligent officials stated that jihadists used Greece to pass to other European countries. Even two Islamic terrorists in the French attacks passed as refugees from Greece. Athens needs to adopt a coherent policy regarding the refugee crisis. The Greek government with the assistance of NATO and the American defense department need to organize a task force with both law enforcement and military personnel. In addition, the Greek police and Greek armed forces need to create Special Forces units to battle potential jihadists. It is imperative that Greece needs to adopt and execute a coherent security policy regarding the refugee crisis. The future will indicate the dramatic evolution of this humanitarian crisis. Nonetheless, in order, Greece to adopt a vibrant defence and homeland security policy needs to face a regime change. Greece needs to have a conservative government who believes in strong defense, pro-Atlantic, pro-capitalist and free-market. This government needs to seek the support of the American government on various defense and homeland security issues. Only then Greece can enter a new era of security stability.