In the continued conflict in the eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey, the language of force has become noticeable. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and in obvious violation of international conventions, keeps the provocations in the Mediterranean searching of gas, and this pushed Athens to develop and promote its military and defense capabilities in the eastern Mediterranean preparing for a confrontation with Ankara and to cease the intransigence of Turkey.
Developing military capabilities
Athens has started to activate plans to improve its defense abilities in the country by buying many combat planes, helicopters, and frigates, and also new weapons systems, in the presence of tensions with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean because of the illegal gas exploration.
On his part, Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, decided to develop the military abilities of Greece during the annual State of the Economy speech. He affirmed that Athens would get 18 new French Rafale fighter jets to substitute its old Mirage 2000 fighters, and it would purchase four navy helicopters and four new frigates, as four more frigates are being renewed. Whereas, French Defense Minister, Florence Parly, praised the announcement Greek prime minister about the purchase of 18 Rafale aircraft, affirming that this reinforces the relationship between the Greek and French armed forces and will permit them to strengthen their practical and strategic partnership. She also said that a deal will be signed in the coming months.
Turkish threats unhelpful
Otherwise, after that Turkey carried out live ammunition activities between its southern coast and northern Cyprus, Mitsotakis confirmed that Ankara is currently creating the provocations in the Aegean Sea and threatening peace in the entire Mediterranean. He also reported that the Greek armed forces have been needing funding in recent years during the economic decline, however, he emphasized that the time has come to strengthen the armed forces as a legacy of the country’s security. Athens make more pressure to the European Union for imposing sanctions on Turkey if Ankara doesn’t remove its exploration ship, Oruc Reis, from the eastern Mediterranean region, which Greece alleges belongs to its continental shelf.
For the first time in weeks after Ankara declared in July that the vessel had been sent to search for oil and gas in Greek waters, the ship has returned to the port of Antalya in southern Turkey.
Thereby, Mitsotakis confirmed that the withdrawal of the Turkish exploration vessel from the eastern Mediterranean is a positive step for Greek-Turkish ties, and he wishes for more positive steps in the future.