(Ankara/Athens 18 August – 27.27). The Greek flags in Pserimos enraged Turkish media, which continue to maintain a climate of tension towards Greece, defiantly bringing back the theory of so-called grey zones in the Aegean Sea.
Sözcü newspaper, which although it is not considered pro-government, is known for its incendiary articles and rhetoric against Greece. The Turkish “grey zone” propaganda however misses the point that Turkey faces one of the strongest armies in Europe and NATO.
The dangerous assumption of autocrats like the Turkish president is based on the ‘strong men theory’ to make territorial claims by force will be accepted by the liberal democracies. This could lead to a miscalculation by the Turkish leadership as seen in the Ukraine. The Greek army leadership warned of mistakes could lead to an accident in the Aegean.
The reaction by NATO and the EU states to face the Russian war of aggression against the Ukraine serves as a warning to both, the inspiring aggressor and the Greek army remaining on high alert. The climate in Europe has changed and so has the willingness to defend the state rule order in Europe.
Under the title: “Outrageous provocation by Greece opposite Halicarnassus, they began to place flags on every reef”, the publication states that it causes reactions in Turkey: “Greece’s campaign to plant flags, near the Imia rocks, off its coast Halicarnassus, on the rocks near the island of Pserimos”.
The newspaper provocatively writes that Greece “colonised” Pserimos, building a village of 300 inhabitants: “on an island where there was absolutely no settlement and not a single nail can be driven in according to the Treaty of Lausanne, while subsequently placing a military unit”.
The article is accompanied by photos from the local news site Kalymnos with Greek flags on the uninhabited island. The Greek defense ministry is relatively clear on the protection of sovereign Greek territory and upgrades the airforce, navy and recruits more professional soldiers into its ranks.
The former secretary general of the Ministry of Defence, Ümit Yalım, spoke to the newspaper, who spoke of a “Greek provocation” and described Pserimos as “Turkish territory”.
As Yalım stated: “The island of Pserimos is already ours, these rocks are also ours, Greece should never be allowed to place flags and observatories there, the Turkish Foreign Ministry should immediately issue a note,” obviously meaning to go protest Greece.
It should be noted that Pserimos was the target of Turkish media and at the beginning of June, when Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the island, directly questioned the right of Greek officials to be on islands and islets that Turkey does not recognise Greek sovereignty over.