As Turkey’s economy collapses, the Turkish Yeni Şafak newspaper presents to its readers a narrative of Turkey invading 16 Greek islands.
“In case of war [with Greece], the first goal of the Turkish military will be the Aegean islands,” Yeni Şafak wrote today.
With the front page headline of “Give an account for the Aegean,” the newspaper presented to its readers the Turkish narrative about the “demilitarization” of 16 Greek islands, but also about the supposed 152 islands, islets and rocky islets that “should” belong to Turkey.
The article, accompanied by a map, refers to the issue of the demilitarization of 16 Greek islands, which Ankara has been insisting on in recent years.
The propaganda outlet writes: “Without the right to speak in the Eastern Mediterranean according to international law, Greece has concluded a pirate agreement with Egypt. Oruç Reis has entered the Exclusive Economic Zone of Turkey, advancing its research activities. The Greeks, who have become the source of tension in the Mediterranean with their actions, have been violating international conditions in the Aegean islands for years. Athens is illegally equipping the Aegean islands, something that is forbidden. Specifically, 16 islands should be “demilitarized” according to international treaties but are heavily armed.”
Discussion of wars and invading Greek islands is of course a tactic used by the regime of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to distract the Turkish population from the woeful economic situation.
The Turkish lira in revent days has reached record lows to the U.S. Dollar and Euro, well above the psychological point of 1 dollar to 7.00 liras.
Turkish economist Mahfi Egilmez said in July that an unemployment rate of 24.6% is “the closest to reality,” and not the official rate of 12.9%, showing just how deep Turkey’s economic decline is at the moment.
For context, at the peak of the economic crisis in Greece in 2013, the unemployment rate was 27.5% and currently stands at 17%.
In addition, fuel prices in Turkey rose by 3.5% yesterday and some Turkish banks have begun charging a fee to withdraw foreign currencies in cash, bankers said on Thursday, after a slide in the lira to record lows last week, according to Reuters.
As the Turkish economy continues to decline, we can expect Turkish aggression against Greece to increase to distract the public from the dire economic situation. Thus far, Erdoğan’s tactic has proven to be very successful.