The past few weeks have seen growing tension between Turkey and other states in the Eastern Mediterranean. The discovery of gas reserves of the coast of Turkish-occupied Cyprus have seen increased Turkish military presence in the area.
Things came to a head in recent days as patrols by Turkish naval vessels and aircraft entered Greek and Cypriot territory. Greek military forces have been placed on high alert and several European states have criticised Turkey’s actions.
Alongside the threat of military conflict with neighbouring states, this news also raises the prospect of increased ecological destruction in the region with the impacts of extractive gas mining likely to be widespread.
The recent threats to Cyprus are even more shocking given the recent anniversary of the invasion of Northern Cyprus by Turkey. The invasion in 1974 lead to ethnic cleansing and an occupation that continues to this day. Despite this companies like Nike continue to sponsor the Northern Cyprus puppet state’s sporting teams.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian government has approved military intervention in Libya. Such a move would put Egypt in direct conflict with Turkish forces in Libya. The threat of increased destruction in the region is clearly a very realistic and worrying one. With Turkish aggression and expansionism aggravating several of its neighbours.
Turkey has also threatened to get more explicitly involved in the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia which has become increasingly tense in recent months. Turkey has long been a backer of Azerbaijan, selling arms to the country to support its military capabilities. Recent skirmishes between Azerbaijan and Armenia have prompted threats of direct intervention from by Turkey. Such a move could also lead to increased tensions between Turkey and nearby Russia.
A common theme in all these conflicts is the aggressive expansionist nature of the regime in Ankara. The nationalist policies of the regime are clearly fueling conflicts across the region. This is no surprise given the ‘Neo-Ottoman‘ ambitions of Erdoğan’s government.