The security and foreign policy advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Mesut Hakkı Caşın, has stated that the balance of power over the Aegean Sea has shifted in Greece’s favour after receiving military assistance from the West.
Caşın, who has threatened to personally shoot Greek soldiers and blaming Greece for last year’s devastating forest fires in Turkey, also contradict Turkey’s longstanding assertion, including that of his own, that the Turkish military is far superior to its neighbour.
Caşın in December attended the annual Islamic Union Congress organised by the Association of Justice Defenders Strategic Studies Center (ASSAM), a front organisation, according to Nordic Monitor, run by private Turkish military contractor SADAT.
Starting his online presentation by saying, “May Allah not separate us from righteousness.” Erdoğan’s advisor said the “arms assistance to Greece” scares him the most.
“Look, in addition to the fighter jets, four modern American frigates were given to Greece,” Caşın told viewers.
“France also provided four. Four MEKOs [German-made frigates] in the inventory are being modernised.
“With these 12 warships, American-Greek cooperation has been challenging us in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean.
“There are 20 US military bases in Greece. We see that Turkey has difficulties in Alexandroupoli and Crete.”
Caşın said air superiority has shifted towards Greece with the help of the new French-made Rafale fighter jets that has been acquired.
In January 2021, Greece purchased 18 Rafale jets for 2.5 billion euros. Later in the year, Greece added six more Rafale fighter jets to the order, bringing the total to 24.
Turkey is especially concerned after it was expelled from the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program over its purchase of Russian-made S-400 long-range missiles defence system, that it may be on the verge of losing its air deterrence against Greece.
“It is not yet clear what Turkey can do against an attack by the Greek army, which is prepared to intervene in Thrace and the Aegean,” he said.
Criticising the recent joint military exercises between Greece and the US in the Aegean last November, Caşın said it was carried out with much more personnel and ships than needed and that this was not a good omen for Turkey.
He also claimed that Greece has become an American garrison.