TEHRAN – Stressing that the French frigates give Greece naval supremacy over Turkey, a defense analyst says the Greco-French pact is a game-changer in the eastern Mediterranean.
“The FDI frigate is the 5th generation of combat vessel for naval supremacy and crisis management,” Andreas Mountzouroulias told The Tehran Times.
“This warship is designed for navies seeking a compact frigate capable of performing a wide range of missions independently or as part of a task force.”
Greek lawmakers on Thursday ratified a new defense agreement between Greece and France that will allow them to rescue each other in the event of an external threat, but which has fueled new tensions with Turkey.
The strategic military and defense cooperation pact between the two NATO allies was concluded last month and included an order for three French frigates worth around 3 billion euros. Athens had already ordered some 24 Rafale fighter jets manufactured by Dassault this year.
âThe military and defense pact signed between Greece and France seems to be the most revealing because it provides for immediate military assistance from France to Greece and vice versa, in the event of an attack by a third country, even if it ‘is within the framework of their alliances (eg Turkey, a member of NATO), âargues Mountzouroulias.
Here is the text of the interview:
Can you tell us about the new defense agreement between Greece and France and its implications for the region, especially Turkey?
Turkey expresses its dissatisfaction with the Franco-Greek defense deal with pointed remarks that it is supposed to be detrimental to NATO, as well as repeated violations of Greece’s airspace.
France and Greece have announced a defense and security deal, including Greece’s purchase of three advanced French frigates and additional Rafale fighter jets. In addition, they pledged to help each other militarily.
The Greco-French pact is a game-changer in the Eastern Mediterranean – Article 2 provides for mutual military support.
The military and defense pact signed between Greece and France by Greek Prime Minister Mitsitakis and French President Macron seems to be the most revealing as it provides for immediate military assistance from France to Greece and vice versa, in the event of attack from a third country, even if it is within the framework of their alliances (eg Turkey, a NATO member).
As stated in the pact, the two countries have agreed to provide each other with military support using “all means at their disposal, including, where appropriate, armed violence” in the event of an invasion of their soil, according to a copy of the document. .
The FDI frigate is the 5th generation of combat ships for naval supremacy and crisis management. This warship is designed for navies seeking a compact frigate capable of performing a wide range of missions independently or as part of a task force. The FDI frigate has high-level capabilities in the areas of anti-aircraft, anti-surface, anti-submarine and asymmetric warfare, taking into account the operational heritage of the French Navy acquired in a war situation. The first digital frigate, the FDI frigate integrates the latest generation systems around a distributed digital naval cloud architecture, natively cyber-secure and compatible with new developments and evolutions in Information Technologies, and offers sailors adapted services. Different versions are available to meet the specific needs of each navy.
Turkey is a member of NATO. Does Greece expect a military clash with Turkey? In this case, where will the European states be?
Turkey is a member of NATO and challenges Greece every day.
Interestingly, airspace violations have been an almost constant flashpoint between Turkey and another NATO member, Greece, for years. This is due to a dispute over the sovereignty of the Aegean Islands and other factors such as the delimitation of territorial waters and national airspace. The latter gave rise to frequent clashes between the air forces of the two countries. These are known to become aggressive, resulting in losses on both sides.
As the crisis in the Eastern Mediterranean reached its peak this year, Greece has been the subject of daily violations by Turkey for decades. Ankara has systematically violated international law, continually threatening Athens while testing its air availability.
âErdogan wants the restoration of the Ottoman Empire; it’s his dream.Perhaps the most threatening change in Ankara’s strategy against Greece has been the increase in the number of overflights of Turkish planes – often armed – over the mainland and islands of Greece. There were 368 overflights in 2020 YTD – 10 times the annual average of the last decade!
There is no excuse for Ankara to continue these provocations and violations of international law. Likewise, there is no excuse for the EU / NATO to remain silent in the face of such blatantly illegal and threatening behavior. EU / NATO inaction only breeds further illegal actions by Erdogan.
Turkey does not want a war with Greece because it is afraid of us. They have phobic syndrome and don’t believe in what they are doing. No Greek is afraid; respectively, the Turks are afraid of us. They are ordered to enter the Aegean Sea and in no way feel comfortable. If the “Aeolus bag” is opened, we will take it with an overwhelming difference.
It is no coincidence that every year the Greek pilots are at the top of the exercises. They love their homeland and will do anything to keep it free. They don’t want to see it shrink, and under certain conditions, they want to see it grow. We have occupied places in Cyprus; we have people who have not been protected by the Greek state.
The Greco-French pact changes the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean because article 2 provides for mutual military support. As stated in the pact, the two countries have agreed to provide each other with military support using “all means at their disposal, including, where appropriate, armed violence” in the event of an invasion of their soil, according to a copy of the document. .
I am not expecting help from other countries in the European Union.
Germany supports Turkey. It is noteworthy that Turkey and Germany have strong economic ties, while around 4 million Turks now live in the European country. Some are the descendants of the first Turkish immigrants from previous decades, while others are German citizens.
Greece, however, has strong alliances, beyond France, with the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Israel and India.
What are the main differences between Turkey and Greece?
Ankara brings several issues to the table every day, such as the continental shelf, the demilitarization of the Greek islands, the gray areas and airspace of the Aegean Sea, and the exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
In the Aegean Sea, Turkey wishes to discuss issues relating to the continental shelf, territorial waters, airspace, demilitarization of islands and islets, air traffic centers (FIRs) and jurisdictions of operations.
As for the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus, Ankara wishes to evoke the continental shelf and the EEZ as part of a “fair solution” for the protection of the rights of Turkish Cypriots in the occupied part of the island.
Greece made it clear from the outset that issues such as continental shelves and territorial waters are not to be discussed as they have already been decided by the Treaty of Lausanne.
Recep Tayyip Erdo? An, his administration and the Turkish media continually claim that Greece must âdemilitarizeâ its eastern Aegean islands.
Athens has continuously closed all discussions on demilitarization.
Greece has categorically said there is no way the islands’ demilitarized status will be discussed. With Greece having the legal right to militarize its islands to varying degrees and monitor Turkish threats against the eastern Aegean islands, dialogue will be deadlocked as Erdogan will not back down from his demands for demilitarization of the islands.
Regarding the militarization of the islands of the Eastern Aegean Sea, various international agreements apply. Specifically:
These islands were ceded to Greece in full sovereignty by the Paris Peace Treaty between Italy and the Allies in April 1947.
Regarding Turkish claims on the demilitarization of the Dodecanese Islands, it should be noted that:
Turkey is not a signatory state to this treaty. According to article 34 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, a treaty does not create obligations or rights for third countries.
Why is the EU rejecting Erdogan’s plans for a two-state solution in Cyprus?
Brussels and Washington reacted strongly to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s decision to partially reopen a seaside resort emptied of its original Greek Cypriot inhabitants as well as to his proposal for a two-state solution on the island of Cyprus.
Erdogan also expressed support for Turkish Cypriot plans to reopen part of Varosha, effectively handing over control of the Turkish military and changing the status quo in defiance of UN resolutions.
Turkish troops seized the northern third of Cyprus in response to a failed coup in Nicosia aimed at reuniting the country with Greece.
Let us not forget that Cyprus is a member of the European Union. Brussels, like Athens and Nicosia, wants the elimination of the settlers and the occupying army.
Ankara is deploying its military forces in Cyprus’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in an apparent effort to torpedo efforts to continue construction of the East Med pipeline by imposing its own maps and pushing its expansionist “blue homeland theory” ” at sea .
Cypriot government sources have revealed on Cypriot Sigma TV that three Turkish warships – two frigates and a corvette – are blocking the Nautical Geo research vessel in southwestern Cyprus.
The warships mainly occupy an area of ââthe EEZ of Cyprus for which Nicosia issued a NAVTEX a day ago. The ship was conducting research in the same area until recently.
Ankara’s escalation coincided with the recent Greek-Turkish exploratory talks in Ankara.
The Nautical Geo – which is conducting research at the request of Cyprus, Greece and Israel – anchored four nautical miles from the port of Larnaca.
Ankara cites a NAVTEX it illegally published to conduct military exercises in the region, which have yet to begin.
How do you assess Turkey’s role in the region?
Turkey has become a state that challenges other nations and gets involved in the internal policies of other countries. Turkey also played an active role in the Artsakh war, where it provided / provided assistance to Azerbaijan. As is known, Turkey sent a drone to Baku.
Turkey has also challenged Greece in recent years and tried to abolish international treaties. Turkey also sent mercenaries to Libya, and of course Turkey was embroiled in the Syrian war. Erdogan’s goal is to acquire nuclear weapons to achieve his goals. At the same time, Erdogan exploited the refugee and migrant crisis to his advantage. He continues to send thousands of people to Greece and Europe. Erdogan wants the restoration of the Ottoman Empire; it’s his dream.