Current Affairs


September 12, 2020
1.1. Much like Pakistan and China, Turkey is the rogue state in Europe’s underbelly.
1.2. The fascist Erdogan who rules Turkey has been speaking and acting like a war mongering bully, priding the Turks and himself as the descendants of the dead and gone Ottoman Empire.
1.3. The bully attacked and annexed and captured 37% of the landmass of the weak Greek speaking Cyprus in 1974.
1.3.1. It calls this annexed region as “Turkey Cyprus Independent Republic”, while the UN and the whole world, except some rogue states calls it Cyprus under the illegal occupation of Turkey.
1.3.2. For many years now, the UN Peacekeeping force has been preventing further annexation of Cyprus by the wanton Turks.
1.4. Ironically, both Greece and Turkey are members of the world’s most powerful military alliance, NATO, led by the U.S.
1.4.1. Turkey must have been booted out of NATO long back but that has not happened yet.
1.5. The EU has been rejecting the rogue state’s efforts to join the EU, of which Greece is a member.
2.1. Greece and Turkey are separated by the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea—pl see map attached.
2.2. In 1982, the UN General Assembly adopted the UNCLOS which created the “Law of the Sea”.
2.2.1. It came into force in June 1994 and has been ratified and acceded to by 168 countries so far, including Greece BUT NOT TURKEY.
2.2.2.The main features of this Law are:–
(i) Territorial Waters
The territory of a coastal country extends up to 12 nautical miles (22 kilometres; 14 miles) from the baseline. Here the coastal state is free to set laws, regulate use, and use any resource.
(ii) Contiguous Zones
Beyond the 12-nautical-mile (22 km) limit, there is a further 12 nautical miles (22 km) from the territorial sea baseline limit, the contiguous zone, in which a state can continue to enforce laws in four specific areas: customs, taxation, immigration, and pollution. This makes the contiguous zone a hot pursuit area.
(iii) Exclusive Economic Zones
These extend 200 nautical miles (370 kilometres; 230 miles) from the baseline. Within this area, the coastal nation has sole exploitation rights over all natural resources, including Oil and Gas.
(iv) Continental Shelf
The continental shelf is defined as the natural prolongation of the land territory to the continental margin’s outer edge, or 200 nautical miles (370 km) from the coastal state’s baseline, whichever is greater. A state’s continental shelf may exceed 200 nautical miles (370 km) until the natural prolongation ends.
Coastal states have the right to harvest mineral and non-living material in the subsoil of its continental shelf, to the exclusion of others.
3.1. As said above, Greece and Turkey are separated by the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean Sea—pl see map attached.
3.2. For weeks now, the rogue state has been carrying out oil and gas exploration and drilling operations in the CONTINENTAL SHELF belonging to Cyprus and Greece.
3.3. This has pushed both the nations, the aggressor Turkey and the aggressed Greece on to the brink of a war in the Mediterranean Sea.
3.4. A decision by the US and Israel to drop Turkey as their preferred route for a gas pipeline to Europe in favour of a route via Greece as a major motive behind Turkey’s recent “provocations”, if at all Turkey needed any provocation.
3.5. Erdogan wants a share of this project and refuses to be isolated. His provocative acts, including the culturally insulting Hagia Sophia decision and his illegal EEZ Memorandum with the Saraj Government in Libya, fall under the same strategy.
3.6. Concerns are mounting in the region after Turkish seismic research vessel Oruc Reis was sent to a disputed area of the Mediterranean close to the Greek island of Megitsi, as part of a search for natural oil and gas resources which both countries claim rights to.
3.7. Turkey has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean and argues that it should enjoy commensurate rights to any gas and oil that is discovered. But Greece owns a scattering of islands that lie just a few miles off the Turkish coast, so Athens claims that its continental shelf extends into Turkey’s coastal waters.
3.8. The picture has been further complicated by a deal Turkey made last year with Libya to carve out a large part of the Mediterranean as their self-proclaimed joint area of interest. Greece reciprocated in early August by concluding a rival accord with Egypt.
4.1. France beefed up its military presence in the east Mediterranean in response to heightened tensions between Turkey and Greece.
4.2. France yesterday confirmed it was taking part in joint military exercises with Greek forces in the eastern Mediterranean, having deployed two fighter jets and a warship.
4.3. In a series of tweets in late August, Mr Macron said: “The situation in the eastern Mediterranean is worrying.
4.4. As Germany tries to mediate, four of its fellow E.U. members, France, Greece, Cyprus and Italy, are engaged in military exercises involving ships and planes off the Cypriot coast. Their purpose, they say, is to deter Turkey from further energy exploration in disputed waters, something it has been doing for several weeks with vessels guarded by warships and jet fighters.
5.1. Can you beat it? Greece has a squadron of the world’s most coveted (by India too but the U.S. has so far not obliged us!) and feared and the only 5th Generation stealth fighter jets in the world—24 US made F-35 fighter jets!
5.2. Turkey, as an undeserving NATO member had also wanted 100 of these fighter planes but after Erdogan started hobnobbing with Russia for buying the S 400 anti-missile defence system, America booted him out of his wish.
5.3.Levent Özgül, a Turkish defence analyst for Blue Melange Consultancy, has also said Greece’s acquisition of the F-35s “will be the most important milestone and capability jump for Greece and the Hellenic Air Force.”
5.4.What is Turkey’s loss is now Greece’s gain.
5.5.The F 35 fighters give any air force the ability to penetrate deep in enemy territory and take down radar and antiaircraft installations like the S-400. As the eastern Mediterranean is a large area, the F-35 advanced electronic suite, radar and sensors, in combination to its small radar control system, gives the F-35 air superiority against their adversaries.
5.6.The artificial intelligence control system combined with advanced sensors gives the F-35 pilot nonparallel situational awareness. This situational awareness allows the pilot to see and coordinate enemy and friendly assets in a way never seen before in the battlefield. Target acquisition sharing and engagement enables the F-35 to see, plan and attack before its enemies even know it is there!
5.7.The other mission that the F-35 is designed to do well is deep penetration within surface to air missile (SAM) protected areas. The scenario is like this: an F-35 flies undetected deep inside enemy territory and disables the radars of the SAM sites. Thus opening a corridor for the F-16s, drones and others to enter through, in combination with the F-16 Viper upgrade and it will be the final blow to Ankara’s plans!
5.8.With the French-origin, Dassault Rafale fighter jets in Greece’s arsenal, the Alexander Sitnikov, Russian defence analyst and journalist stated that the victory “leans” towards Athens (Greece) in a dog fight with Turkey.
5.9.“With Stealth F-35s, Rafale jets & upgraded F-16s, Greece looks to STUN Turkey in aerial combat”, he continues.
5.10. And with the active support from one of the most awesome military powers in the world, France, Erdogan’s Turkey will lose the war in straight sets in Tennis, 6-0; 6-0; 6-0!
5.11. And Erdo knows this only too well!
Ramdas Iyer
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