Retired Turkish military chief: Conflict with Greece will be total war, our forces were ready in 1996

Turkish Erdogan Karakus

Turkish analyst and retired lieutenant colonel Erdoğan Karakuş expressed his assessment that any "hot episode" with Greece would turn into a "total war" between the two countries, stressing the importance of the "air superiority" that Turkey should have in order to avoid serious losses.

"Without securing air supremacy, no military operation can take place," he said. "Even if we do, we will have very large losses.

"We must always take these losses into account. That's why we say we have to have air superiority so that our people on the ground do not become martyrs."

Speaking on a news program, Karakuş also referred to the backstage of the 1996 crisis in the rocky islets of Imia, where - according to his claim - Turkish military chiefs were ready for a total war with Greece.

"I was in the facts. I was in charge of the action plan in Imia," he said.

"At the beginning, the air force was in a state of war within 12 hours. Then, the Navy in two days. In seven days, the army was ready for war. And then we took out a unit on the rocky islet of Imia so that if they intervened in any way against our sailors, our preparations were complete for a total war.

"And for this reason, if in anyway our unit was under fire there, 12 aircraft were already waiting in the air."

The analyst and retired lieutenant colonel stated that in 1994 there was a possibility of a "hot episode" with Greece, which - according to him - would lead to a "total war" with Greece.

During the show, Karakuş, who recently claimed that the first threat to Turkey is Greece and that Mitsotakis' visit to Washington was essentially directed against Turkey, repeated several times during the show that if there is a conflict with Greece "it will be a total war."

"In 1994, when there was the possibility of Greece extending to 12 miles [its territorial waters in the Aegean Sea, after a held a conference in November on the Law of the Sea, our air force, as well as all our forces, were in a state of war."

"Once the forces are in a state of war, no incident of individual conflict occurs, but a total war takes place.

"A total war is being waged. And this is something that our nation must know - if there is any battle with Greece, it will be a total war," he pointed out.

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