Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been promising military action against Greece forever... but as Turkish elections are drawing close and polls show him trailing, he has become more desperate to divert attention away from his country's economic problems (inflation officially at 80%, unofficially at least double that).
With the Turkish lira dropping to record levels, more and more households are finding it hard to make ends meet. People are selling their household appliances to pay their children's tuition fees. Millions of Turks are unable to pay their electric bills and are being cut off.
The only thing that will boost the "Sultan's" popularity, at least the way he sees it, is a military victory against Turkey's "eternal enemy", Greece.
Claims that islands in the Aegean, inhabited by Greeks for thousands of years, are Turkish by virtue of their being occupied at one time by the Ottoman Empire, are being flaunted widely and raising nationalist sentiment among his supporters.
But the rhetoric isn't enough. He needs that "glorious victory"
The Turkish Presidential elections are in the spring of next year and it's already September. The winter will be upon us soon and that will make it that much more difficult for a naval operation to capture even a small uninhabited Greek island. The time to act is now, before his window of opportunity closes.
However, if Erdoğan should fail to achieve that "victory", then he can forget his White Palace with the 1,100 rooms, the more than a dozen Presidential planes, the 64 car motorcades.... He'll be lucky to flee his suffering country with his family to enjoy his billions in exile.
For Erdoğan, it's a "damned if you do and damned if you don't" situation and the Greeks are not going to make it easy for him.
One can almost feel sorry for him.... almost.