By Rami Dabbas
Rami Dabbas is a freelance Journalist and Correspondent of Israel
Today Magazine in 5 languages.
There is a state of anticipation in Europe and the countries of the region due to
the raging conflict in the eastern Mediterranean over gas and oil rights.
The recent escalation between Turkey and Greece, which has
reached a dangerous stage, is fueled by a deeper dispute
over the maritime borders, and a centuries-old historical conflict
between Athens and Ankara.
As usual, Erdogan began to promote inside Turkey that the eastern
Mediterranean conflict is ideological, religious in essence, and that as a
“protector of Muslims,” he must “preserve their wealth in the three
seas,” as he indicated in a speech. This is cause for speculation as to why Erdogan embarked on the path of transforming the Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque once again, and the sight of the Imam carrying the sword up to the
pulpit seemed a sure call to inflame hatred and revive enmities,
especially with the Greeks.
Erdogan is behaving as if the eastern Mediterranean
countries are his proprietorially, as he seeks to restore them. He
believes that there are divisions in European positions between the
political position led by French President Emmanuel Macron, who
considered the Mediterranean as purely European influence, and the position of NATO, that does not want wars in regions. Britain is closer to neutrality thus far, and as it seeks a final exit from the European Union, it does not bind itself to neither the European Union nor the French position towards Turkey, while everyone agrees that the Turkish moves constitute a danger that
should not be tolerated.
As for the United States, it has lifted the US arms embargo on Greek
Cyprus, which is an indication of Washington’s alignment with the
Greek and Cypriot positions. But the Erdogan regime strives to seize
any opportunity not only to expand in the Mediterranean, but also to
weaken Western institutions, whether the European Union or NATO,
and sow divisions among their members.
Certainly, a comprehensive confrontation between any two NATO
member states seems impossible, and it is not allowed to erupt. Neither
the concerned parties want it nor does the international community.
What Western countries realize is that the Turkish regime is playing
a dangerous game that threatens Europe’s security and geopolitical
influence by weakening the European Union and NATO, and
fueling the division among their members. The Turkish regime is trying
to deal with Western countries in a “divide and conquer” manner, and
believes that it is capable of deepening differences within both the
European Union and NATO, and that by doing so, it will work to
strengthen Turkey and the rise of its star as a regional power. In
addition, Turkey believes that the agreement it concluded with the
Libyan Government of National Accord represents a spearhead to achieve its expansion goals in North Africa and also gather around it all
of its Islamist supporters, not only in Libya, but also in Tunisia and
Therefore, Erdogan crossed all red lines after entering the territorial
waters of Cyprus and Greece, and tampering with the eastern
Mediterranean and Libya, thus threatening European sovereignty. I
think it is time to wave the thick European stick in the face of Turkey,
because it is the only way to stop Erdogan’s ambitions and misdeeds in
the eastern and southern Mediterranean.