Former Turkish General expresses frustration over Greece's interests in F-35 fighter jets

F-35 jet.

The Greek Defense Ministry sent an official request letter on November 6 to the US government for the purchase of the F-35 fighter jets.

In a letter of request, Theodoros Lagios, General Director of the Armaments and Investment Department of the Greek Ministry of Defense, stated the importance of Greece acquiring the U.S.-made jets.

“It is important for Greece to receive the first F-35s in 2021. We request you to examine our request urgently," Lagios said.

Greece, which has accelerated its military investments in recent years, decided to buy from France a total of 18 Rafale warplanes - 12 of which were used and 6 which are new.

This decision was made in September following Turkey's ongoing provocations against Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean.

"The US should take into account the strategic balances between the two countries," said retired Turkish Brigadier General Nejat Eslen.

Retired Turkish Brigadier General Nejat Eslen
Retired Turkish Brigadier General Nejat Eslen.

"Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean was trying to usurp the rights of Turkey. In addition to this, there is also the Cyprus issue. Greece is a country with a small population, a bad economy and undeveloped industry," Eslen said to Sputnik Türkiye without the slightest hint of contradiction considering the rapidly declining Turkish economy.

"It's impossible to compare Turkey with Greece," he said while ignoring Greece's air superiority and its Navy that has never lost a battle since its modern formation in 1821.

Visibly frustrated, the retired Brigadier General attempted to convince that Washington's interests are not with Greece.

"Turkey is an important country for the US and NATO, as well as their geopolitical position. The unconditional US support for Greece in both the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean is not in their own interests," he said.

"The US should take into account the strategic balances between the two countries," Eslen added.

Eslen then attempted to downplay the impressiveness of the F-35's, a completely different tune Turkey was playing about the warplanes until they were blacklisted from purchasing them last year for acquiring the Russian-made S-400 missile defense system.

Russian-made S-400.
Russian-made S-400.

"The whole world knows that F-35s do not have stealth capability in contrast to the S-400s. The US is also worried about this. If Greece continue their efforts to acquire the F-35, the S-400 can be used," he said.

"When we deploy the S-400s in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, we will establish a regional strategic superiority against Greece and other adventure-seeking countries in the Eastern Mediterranean," Elsen said without a sense of irony considering Turkey is actively engaged in the East Mediterranean against the sovereignty of Greece, Cyprus, Syria and Libya.

"Instead of spending so much money of the Greek economy getting the F-35's, building factories in the country would be more appropriate," he said as Turkish unemployment reaches new heights and the Turkish currency reaches record lows at a time when Greece has reactivated its military industry and had its credit rating boosted.

Frigate building shipyard Syros
Revived Onex Shipyard in Syros.

“Against whom does Greece want to use the F-35s? Why did France send its aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean? Turkey's threat perception has changed compared to the Cold War era," he said visibly worried about Turkey's continued isolation.