"Greece's provocative actions and its increase in armaments only increase tensions," said the Security Council of Turkey in its statement, which concluded on Wednesday under the chairmanship of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. It lasted three hours and 40 minutes and he main topic was Greece.
It is no secret that Greece's armament program has caused particular concern in Ankara, especially since Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu requested US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for F-16 fighter jets. He did not receive the answer he was hoping for.
According to the Turkish Security Council, Greece's "provocative actions and rhetoric and arming efforts will not bring any benefit other than increasing tension in our region" and said that "any action aimed at Turkey's national security and interests will not be allowed under any circumstances."
The inclusion of Sweden and Finland in NATO was also discussed.
"States wishing to join the NATO must act in accordance with the law and the spirit of the alliance and must fulfill their obligations arising from the memorandum of understanding to combat terrorist organisations, in particular [the Kurdish] PKK/KCK-PYD/ YPG and FETO," the statement added.
Ankara, therefore, makes it clear in all tones that it is not going to lift its objections to the accession of Sweden - mainly - and Finland to NATO, with Erdoğan exercising Turkey's veto - at least until the Turkish elections...
The Erdoğan government cannot allow Sweden to join as such a move would be considered a political defeat for the Turkish president. In the pre-election period, it is estimated that it would have huge political costs for him.
As long as Erdoğan is fighting for the upcoming elections, diplomatic tension will continue to escalate with the US. Anti-Turkish voices in Washington is growing though.
The issue with the F-16s is also complicated. However, without the NATO enlargement sanction, the chances of the US F-16 deal passing through the US Congress are reduced, if not nullified, as it will be difficult for the Biden administration to support the sale of US aircraft without ending the NATO issue.
A representative of the State Department clarified that there is no question of Turkey re-joining the F-35 program. However, much will also be decided in the upcoming visit of Blinken to Greece, Turkey and Israel, scheduled for around February 20.
There, Washington is expected to show intentions and send further messages to the Turkish president.
Another interesting development is yesterday's cancellation of Erdoğan's visit to Berlin and by extension his meeting with the German Chancellor.
He was supposed to arrive there on Friday, and intense processes and preparations had been made to make this visit a success. Berlin, however, did not want the Turkish president to use this trip as propaganda for his election campaign.
We must not forget that not many days have passed since MP Mustafa Açıkgöz from Turkey's ruling party spoke in Berlin against the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Gulenists, provoking strong criticism in Germany. German security authorities even spoke of an indirect "threat to the country's security".
The climate, therefore, was not deemed suitable for the arrival of the Turkish president who sees his traditional ally Germany distancing itself. The Chancellor, after all, understands that the next period requires delicate manipulations against Erdoğan, who seems to have alienated everyone...
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