Tensions between Athens and Ankara could escalate with terrible force at any moment, which will be one of the reasons why Turkey is taking drastic measures to preserve the country’s integrity.
According to sources, Ankara is ready at any moment to close the Bosphorus and ban the passage of warships through the strait. This would mean a serious blow to the weekly supplies of arms, equipment, food and other supplies to the Russian army in Syria and to the Syrian army.
Of course, if that happens, air supplies will be Russia’s only alternative to delivering, but experts say it will not be enough to meet the weekly needs of both the Kmeimim base in Syria and Russian warships located in the Mediterranean.
The French statement that Paris would support Greece in a possible conflict between Turkey and Greece further inflamed the situation and brought Ankara closer to making more difficult decisions.
Analysts say Ankara will actually be forced to close the Black Sea-Mediterranean passage, especially if NATO member states try to further complicate the situation with a possible solution, not in favor of the Turks.
At the same time, Russia is carefully considering its actions and words, as Putin is adamantly against further escalation of tensions. Russia realizes that if this happens, the situation in the Middle East could change radically, and lead to negative consequences for Damascus. Something that Putin does not want to happen.
“About half a year ago, Turkey announced the closure of the Bosphorus in the event of the slightest threat to Turkish interests, and today Turkey has actually blocked the exit of Russian ships through the Bosphorus – this could happen in an hour, a day, a week or for a year, but this is more than real” added a number of military experts.
We remind you that only a few days ago, Turkey carried out a large-scale transfer of heavy military equipment along its border with Greece, part of which was deliberately withdrawn from Syria. With this action, Turkey forced Athens to significantly increase its combat readiness, hoping to get support from its allies.
This support could come today, after a bilateral meeting between the Greek and French prime ministers. As we wrote earlier today, Greece will discuss the supply of various military equipment, including pressing issues for new Greek frigates and fighters to be delivered from Paris.
Paris has repeatedly stated its firm opinion that it will support Greece in the conflict with Turkey.
At the same time, another unexpected friend of Athens is waiting and watching the situation with interest. Egypt has been on alert since nearly a month ago, after making it clear that it would support the Libyan National Army led by Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. Two weeks ago, Egypt officially announced that it would do the same with Greece, as Athens is an important and strategic partner of the pharaohs.
Egypt warns Turkey: We’re military power, and Greece is important
“Egypt and Greece signed a maritime demarcation agreement last week in a development that has broad economic and mainly geopolitical and defense significance,” a major Cairo newspaper reported on August 12.
More than a dozen rounds of negotiations took place before the signing of the agreement demarcating the maritime border between Egypt and Greece on August 6, which defines the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries.
The agreement is important for Greece and Egypt,” explained Egyptian oil expert Ramad Aboul-Ella.
“It could also mean exploiting new gas fields, after the Zohr one that was discovered in 2015. This is particularly important as there are those who want to ‘soil’ our financial waters,” Abul-Ela said. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan who “wants to stick his nose where it does not belong” underlines.
“First, he [Erdogan – ed.] is an invader in northern Syria and Iraq and now he is pirate in the Mediterranean,” he said, echoing the general view that prevails in Egypt about R.T. Erdogan.
In November last year, Turkey and the Prime Minister of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya Fayez Al-Sarraj signed a memorandum of understanding on maritime borders in the Mediterranean Sea.
“Their shores are not opposite, though,” Abul-Ela said.
UNCLOS is an international convention adopted in 1982 that allows a state to extend the EEZ coast to 200 nautical miles (370 km). However, if the sea distance between two countries is more than 424 nautical miles, the exclusive economic zone can only be defined through bilateral agreements between two coastal states.