A lot of hopes has been pinned on the supposed rise of the “New Ottoman Empire” under the guidance of the megalomaniac Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
It’s understandable that many Muslims in the world who mistakenly feel that they are the only ones persecuted and oppressed by the West would cling to the idea of the “Great White Hope”, an idea expertly cultivated by the mini-Sultan.
Erdoğan does not miss an opportunity to make references to past “Glorious National Victories”, to the size of the modern Turkish military, to the advanced weapons it has purchased from both the East and West or to those produced locally, but……
Let’s examine Turkey’s “glorious victories”:
Erdoğan keeps reminding the Greeks that the Turks threw them in the sea in 1922, which is true. What is not true, as some honest Turkish historians admit, is that the Turks threw the Greek army into the sea, but the sizable Greek minority that lived in the Ottoman Empire at the time. The fact is, the advancing Greek army had reached as far as the outskirts of Ankara by the time the “Great Powers” of the time exercised political pressure on Greece to withdraw its forces from what we today know as Turkey. The Greek politicians, who were no better than the spineless ones we have now, complied.
The Greek army left Smyrna (today’s Izmir) and it was not until the next day that Turkish scouts discovered that Asia Minor was no longer defended by the Greeks and the Turkish hordes moved in and systematically murdered every Greek civilian, woman or child they found. Many Greeks attempted to board British and French ships, but the crews watched the massacre of Smyrna apathetically; many were pushed back into the water by these Western Allies and drowned. Few managed to get on board some of these ships; one of which was my grandmother who at the age of twelve was the sole survivor of her family of six.
Then we have that other “great victory” of the Turks at Afrin in Syria where they faced a small, lightly armed group of Kurds abandoned by all. Despite the vast superiority in both numbers and equipment, the Turkish army and its thousands of proxy terrorists found it very difficult to finally capture that small region.
Perhaps the “greatest national victory” of the Turkish military is that over the tiny island of Cyprus that possesses neither an air force nor a navy and only has a small National Guard force that consists of 18-year-old conscripts. The invasion of Cyprus by Turkey was made possible by the betrayal to the island by the CIA-backed military junta in Greece at the time who provided the pretext for that tragedy. The Greek military that controlled the Cypriot National Guard issued orders for the defenders of the island to abandon their positions in the north, something that allowed the Turks free access to the island.
The only opposition the Turks faced was from those few units that disobeyed the treasonous orders issued by their “superiors”. Even so, the Turkish military took a lot more casualties than the renegade Greek units that opposed them. But the Turks made up for the deficit by murdering captured civilians in cold blood, the youngest of which a three-month-old infant. Dozens of Turkish planes were shot down and in a spectacular display of Turkish military incompetence, the Turkish air force sunk one and seriously damaged two of their own destroyers which, despite the markings with Turkish flags and desperate radio calls in Turkish, they mistook them for Greek vessels.
Turkey is NOT a great military power, despite its numbers and hardware. The Turks are neither smart military strategists nor brave soldiers. Their tank crews had to be chained to their vehicles to prevent them from running away and they ended up perishing with them in Cyprus. Their pilots are the laughing stock of NATO and a constant source of amusement for the Greek pilots, officially the best in NATO, who are called upon to face them every day. Only yesterday the Turks attempted 67 violations of Greek airspace, 16 of which ended up in engagements, ALL of which were won by the Greeks.
The Greeks who know the Turks, perhaps better than anyone else, are not afraid of them. What the Greeks are more afraid of is their own treasonous politicians and those who profess to be their “friends, partners and allies.”
The Greeks know how to win wars, unfortunately, they have never managed to win the peace.