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Turkey tries to torpedo NATO’s Operational Plan: serious objections or bargain chips?

Good old Turkish tactic. While all parties concerned are eager to see the NATO operation in the eastern Aegean Sea launching its mission, Turkey seems to put some obstacles in the operation plan of the North Atlantic Alliance.

Ankara insists on a series of issues and refuses to cooperate in one of the key aspects of the NATO operation in the region.

According to Greek daily “TA NEA”, during the meeting of the NATO Military Committee assigned to workout the operational plan last Friday, the Turkish representative was negative on the return of refugees boats back to Turkey, even of those rescued by the NATO-ships in Turkish territorial waters..

 “I can not implement these things, I do not have such instructions,” the Turkish representative reportedly told the other members of the Alliance.

Two weeks ago, when the NATO operation was agreed upon a request of Turkey and Germany, Ankara had confirmed that it was willing to take back all refugees coming from the Turkish coast and captured in Turkish and international waters. It was not clear whether it would accept also refugees captured in Greek territorial waters: Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos had initially claimed that but had revised it later.

Another point where Turkey also raises objections is that NATO ships should not operate in areas that should have been demilitarized. These areas would be the sea areas around the Greek islands of the Eastern Aegean. Such a proposal by Ankara would limit the operation of NATO ships only within international waters and would therefore torpedo the whole NATO Mission.

Turkey’s objections have been reportedly confirmed by the Greek Foreign Ministry.

The Turkish representative apparently declined to answer the question “What will happen with these boats and the refugees?” – But this is not the point.

Turkey’s political and military leadership has thousands years of experience in bargain and delays of negotiations.

So I suppose, Ankara would need to see the 3 billion euro in cash first, as promised by the European Union, and then reconsider….? I may be wrong. or right.

PS I “see” before me: NATO ships capturing refugees boats in international waters and not knowing what to do with them.

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  1. This was obviously a likely outcome from the very outset. Just as the broken agreement with Greece about not closing the northern borders was obviously going to fail. The European Union has no capacity to solve even small problems, let alone the massive one of war refugees from the Middle East. No country wants to make a contribution, and try to make Greece a scapegoat for its large coastline. I have even seen stupid Hungarians and other Balkan types asserting that Greece should be punished for having too many islands.
    With this popular mentality and political incompetence Europe is finished. I don’t even mean just the EU, but all European countries. Unless some intelligent and powerful political leadership emerges — and I don’t mean bitter and miserable old men in wheelchairs, or useless party bureaucrats who cannot change a lightbulb — then there is really very little hope. If we are really lucky, maybe another Hitler will emerge (grim smile).

  2. Giaourti Giaourtaki

    Just handle it the normal way, it’s very easy: Evacuate them to the countries the ships belong to, one can use Turkish airports for this as Turkish airports will need lots of passengers, because no tourist likes to visit Turkey being part of Daesh or Daesh part of Turkey. To avoid such situations democratic, “humanitarian” countries have to be even more normal and open their embassies and consulates in Minor Asia and Middle East, so that refugees can get registered there.
    Turkey and Greece already have a relocation appointment, since years never implemented by Turkey.

  3. Hmm….so NATO enters the Aegean with Plan A. But one little finger of NATO pretends to be independent of the hand. So the four other fingers play along and act “shocked”. And oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, it turns out the hand cannot do what it came to do because of its pinkie finger. “Oh No!” says the hand, “We’re forced by our pinkie to have Plan B!”