It is time to shore a collective bulwark against Turkish aggressiveness

It is heartwarming that the Supreme Representative of the EU on foreign policy, Mr. Borrel has warned against unilateral actions (e.g. illegal explorations and drillings in Cyprus’s EEZ by Turkey) in the Eastern Mediterranean, and so has an unnamed EU official.


Such warnings are worth the paper they are printed on, if they are accompanied by implied threats of action that will severely injure the guilty party, so that it will be unthinkable to proceed with these unilateral actions.

The EU, as well as NATO and the US/UK in particular have watched nonchalantly escalating Turkish actions in violation of international treaties for over 65 years now. Starting with the massive pogrom of the Greek Community in Istanbul (September 1955) on the faked news that a bomb had been placed in the Turkish Consulate General in Thessaloniki, presumably Attaturk’s house of birth. The demand by American Secretary of State John Foster Dulles that Greece keep quiet over this monstrosity, was the green light awaited by Turkey to proceed with worst unilateral actions:

1. arming Turkish Cypriots to terrorize their kin and then proceed against Greek Cypriots, with the acquiescence, if not encouragement, of British Colonial Authorities,

2. continuing the encouragement of this form of terrorist action to precipitate further unrest as a pretext to invade Cyprus (Christmas 1963, first semester 1964),

3. outright invasion of Cyprus with wanton loss of life (5000 dead, 1600 gone missing, all in a population of 600,000 then) in 1974, 4. colonization of Cyprus since with over 300,000 illegal settlers from Turkey (1974 to present), to say nothing of the consequent ethnic cleansing of 30,000 Greek Cypriots in the Karpasia Peninsula (1974-1980),

4. Unilateral declaration of the pseudostate of “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, immediately condemned in a unanimous decision by the UN Security Council (1983), and thus recognized by no one but Turkey,

5. Illegal explorations in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus (since 2013), followed by illegal drillings (since 2018),

6. The world-first and only forging of a so-called “EEZ agreement” between Turkey and the leader of Libya’s faction of the GNU that is completely contrary to the provisions of the UNCLoS, as it ignores completely the rights of immediately neighboring countries of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus (November, 2019)

7. The illegal aiding and abetting by Turkish army and gendarmes of hapless migrants (that have found themselves in Turkey), to cross the river border in Evros from Turkey into Greece, or the Eastern Aegean Sea (i.e. the borders of EU with Turkey), this past March and spring; both attempts were generally unsuccessful, as the world was to see, including so many EU officials and leaders that visited Evros in the meantime!

All the above actions (and many more not listed in the interest of brevity) by Turkey directed against Greece and Cyprus (EU members since 1981 and 2004, respectively, the former also a NATO member since 1952), unfortunately had the acquiescence, occasionally outright encouragement (nos 1-3) by the UK and/or the US, as scholarly research has revealed decades after the facts.

As there is no EU country that faces such challenges and aggressiveness by any neighbor, it is thus incumbent on the EU to take all the necessary measures to put a stop to this aggressiveness. Turkey has habitually ignored pertinent UN Security Council resolutions for withdrawing its illegally-stationed troops in the 38% of Cyprus occupied by her armed forces, and the claim “Turkey is important for the EU and NATO” has continuously been used as an excuse for the illegal actions galore, listed above.

Unquestionably, all EU and NATO leaders would be towing a different line, had any of their countries a neighbor with such behavior. Even the Soviet Union at the height of the Cold War had never displayed any such aggressiveness towards the West, or promoted such revisionist claims.

Must it be left to Der Spiegel, the New York Times and other publications to state what has been obvious to Greece and Cyprus for so many decades, regarding Turkey? An aggressive state respecting no provisions of international law, an elephant in the room of NATO, and EU-accession states.

And this says nothing about Turkey’s actions in Syria, Iraq and Libya, also exposed in the international press, and surely known to officials of Mr. Borrel’s status and caliber… The time to shore a bulwark against Turkish aggressiveness (and any persistent aggressiveness by any state for that matter) was many years ago, but it is never too late. The sooner the better, the later the worse.