Who is concerned about Turkey’s military capability in Greece?

According to Vassilis Nedos, due to the historical “enmity” between the two countries, there has always been mutual distrust and skepticism towards each other. So, exaggerated nationalist rhetoric in the Greek or Turkish media is something that the media uses to lure their audience with “strong” nationalist views. This is also something Dr Gursoy pointed out, who said: “The content of these videos (Greek media footage circulating in Turkey) appeals to general Greek nationalist sentiments, which still have some level of presence in society, but in my experience, media coverage that borders on xenophobia does not appear in this crude form on mainstream broadcasts.

These nationalist sentiments seem to be more popular in Greece – at least towards Turkey – than in Turkey in recent years until today. However, videos composed by Greek media with Turkish subtitles on Turkish media channels started to attract negative attention from Turks.

After watching these videos, Vassilis Nedos confirmed that this type of interest in the development of the Turkish defense industry is not something new – it is repeated all the time and is sometimes exaggerated. He also added that due to the economic downturn in the Greek economy, the Greek military cannot improve its arsenal as much as Turkey, while Turkey not only improves its own capacity by purchasing equipment from abroad. , but also produces its own weapons. This, according to Vassilios Nedos, is the reason for the concern of the Greek public: “The Greek public asks why Turkey is extending its army. He commented that this question is quite understandable for a society with a neighboring country of 80 million people on its eastern border, which is getting stronger economically and militarily every year.

Greek media in general pay more attention to what is happening in Turkey than Turkish media do to Greece. There is an almost asymmetrical focus between the two countries.

According to Dr. Yaprak Gursoy, for both historical and geographical reasons, Turkey poses the most significant threat to Greece. She said that “While Turkey views its southern borders as equally (if not more) dangerous, for Greece, Turkey poses the main security threat. As such, there is still interest in Turkish military capability compared to the Greek armed forces. This understanding is fundamental and would not change overnight.

Vassilis Nedos also argued that Turkey’s planned “Blue Motherland” military exercise also had negative effects on the Greek public, increasing their concerns. Dr Gursoy said Greek fears, combined with unresolved disputes in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus, have always raised the perception of the threat. She added that “over the last two years the situation seems to have worsened mainly because of the pilots who took part in the failed coup attempt and fled to Greece as a result of it, as well as the presence of the right-wing ANEL and its nationalist leader Kammenos in the coalition government until recently.

The most important disputes between Greece and Turkey are the maritime borders of the Aegean Sea, which remain unclear due to the Treaty of Lausanne, the long-standing Cyprus issue, which has always been an obstacle for Turkey, but is now becoming a problem for both sides of the eastern Mediterranean, where international maritime boundaries are unclear. Finally, and related to this last problem, the “fair” distribution of recently discovered gas sources in the eastern Mediterranean, according to international maritime law, has just added a new dimension to existing and ongoing conflicts.

At a time when power relations in the region and the world are rapidly changing, it seems that both sides need to solve their problems with a new way of thinking. Otherwise, even if the two societies are close to each other, such “tensions” will increase between the two neighboring states.