Turkey once again makes a mockery of Greek sovereignty

by omouggos

German Defense Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen (image from protothema.gr)

I have already posted about the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras being forbidden to refuel his plane on the island of Rhodes due to Turkish protestations.[1] Well, it looks like this effective curtailment of Greek sovereignty was not an isolated incident.

It is being reported that the German Defense Minister Ursula Gertrud von der Leyen intended to visit the Greek island of Lesbos to survey the migrant situation there, but was denied permission by Turkey to land her helicopter on the island.[2] The Turks claim that Lesbos is a demilitarized zone, and for some reason that precludes a Defense Minister from a follow NATO country from visiting it.

Furthermore, Turkey refused to grant permission for a German warship, the Bonn, to enter its territorial waters. So Turkey will not allow a fellow NATO warship to enter its own water’s, seems like quite the friendly alliance. Now the spokesperson of von der Leyen claims that “no scheduled visit was canceled” to Lesbos by the Defense Minister, however this is probably just an attempt to sweep under the rug an embarrassing situation.[3]

This incident once again shows the weakness of Greece as a legitimate sovereign nation, as a foreign country (Turkey) is dictating were officials are allowed to go within Greece. The Greek government seems incapable or unwilling to enforce its own territorial sovereignty. It also shows the weakness of the German government vis-à-vis Turkey, who seem to be docile to Turkish demands.

It also indicates the absurdity of having Turkey as a member of NATO. Turkey commonly violates the sovereignty of fellow NATO partner Greece, either through recurring airspace violations or the unilateral declaration of demilitarized zones within Greek territory. They also will not allow a fellow NATO warship from entering their territorial waters.

And if a war breaks out between Turkey and Russia, which is a real possibility, it is these very nations, Greece and Germany, who will be called upon by Turkey for military assistance via the NATO alliance. Thus Greeks and Germans could be fighting and dying on behalf of Turkey.

Hopefully such a twisted scenario never comes to fruition and hopefully both Greece and Germany will come to their senses and stand up to Turkey’s haughtiness.

O Mouggos


[1] See my post For all practical purposes Greece is no longer a sovereign nation

[2] http://en.protothema.gr/greece-to-deal-with-turkish-provocations-and-fyroms-threats/ , http://greece.greekreporter.com/2016/03/02/turkey-bans-german-defense-minister-from-landing-on-greek-island/

[3] http://en.protothema.gr/germany-if-defense-min-wanted-to-visit-nato-mission-she-would-not-need-turkish-permission/