The Turks attempted to bring the doctrine of the “Blue Homeland” and legitimize the occupied territories through the back door in a multinational exercise in the Mediterranean. Thanks to the timely reaction of GEETHA, they broke their faces.
These days, the well-known aeronautical exercise NIRHIIS 22 is taking place in the area west and south-west of Crete, under the coordination and control of GEETHA, like all exercises of this type, which are indeed national, but with the invitation of friends and allies to take part in these become multinational-inter-alliance, that is why their international term is INVITEX.
So this year at the start of the planning and preparation of INVITEX “NIRIIS-22”, in addition to the Greek aeronautical forces and other friendly and allied states (with ships from Israel, USA, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and with observers from Albania, Egypt, Bulgaria, UAE, USA, Israel, Cyprus, Saudi Arabia), NATO was also invited to participate with its Permanent Naval Forces in the Mediterranean, the SNMG 2 and the SNMCMG 2 (naval strike units i.e. mine hunters) .
The well-known meetings for setting up the exercise (preliminary, main, final) were held, with the coordination of GEETHA and with the presence of all participants, everything was set up and we arrived at para five… Gathering place where else? In the most precious base of the Mediterranean, in Souda. “The necklace of the Mediterranean” as the former ambassador and current US Secretary of State, Jeffrey Pyatt, described it.
At enikos.gr we have written many times about the importance that the Hellenic Armed Forces attach to Souda – and to Crete in general – and about the role and decisions of their Chief regarding the new infrastructure and forces that he has decided to deploy in Crete (naval station where half of our fleet or Mediterranean Fleet as it is expected to be called, new Air Force base, helicopters, airborne units, etc. will be permanently chartered.
So, in Souda, at what is internationally called the “pre-sail conference” and while everything and everyone was ready to start… the Turkish captains of the ships with which (our good neighbors) participated in the NATO forces appeared, 3 in number, (1 frigate and 2 minesweepers) and according to Turkey’s constant tactic, especially recently, which boils down to “highlighting a problem in every NATO activity, in order to spoil it”, they discovered (then) that the exercise has been invited and is also participating Cyprus with an observer officer.
So glorious field for the Turks… as if they were ready for a long time (or were they?), and what did they do?
They demanded from NATO and indeed at a very high level, the NATO Naval Commander (MARCOM) and the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SHAPE) that Cyprus withdraw from the exercise immediately!
Reasons; The well-known graphics of the Turks, who do not recognize Cyprus, but unfortunately still find listening ears in NATO…
Listening ears initially seemed to adopt the Turkish gibberish, especially MARCOM (British gar…). But SHAPE (SACEUR) also started thinking about it. As soon as it was noticed by our Staff Officers in these HQs, but also in SNMG2 and SNMCMG2, it was immediately reported to GEETHA.
The Chief, General Konstantinos Floros was informed and the direction was to inform the NATO authorities at the highest level that if what the Turks requested happened, which was beyond all logic, ethics, allied practice and mentality, and of course in complete violation of international law and UN resolutions, then Greece’s displeasure would be strongly felt in the Alliance and not Greece’s responsibility, but NATO’s, given that the Turkish attitude was leniently unacceptable and outrageous, both from the point of view of NATO and international legitimacy.
Also carried was the strong recommendation to require that the exercise involving the Alliance forces be carried out as planned, otherwise the consequences of our subsequent interventions would be very serious for those involved.
After many hours of contacts until late Monday night, it was finally decided by the Alliance Authorities that the NATO forces will remain and take part in the exercise normally and according to the plans.
Ice cold for the Turks (who among us, all these years were otherwise ordinary and something like this two years ago was “easy” for them, they “passed” it easily and painlessly for them…).
And what did the… masters of the Mediterranean, which according to their words and maps are also… half of the world? They took their bags and left in anger… even though they had the obligation of the Commander of the NATO Mine Warfare Ships (SNMCMG2)… even though the Alliance also relied on their own means, especially at this time, to carry out NATO’s mission as best as possible in the Mediterranean, in the middle of Russia’s war against Ukraine… even if they knew that they would create a solvable problem in the alliance, of which they are now the second most numerous and powerful forces, as they like to argue from time to time!!!
What NATO finally adopted the Greek position, that it is not possible in the 21st century to exclude states and powers that want to contribute to the Alliance or cooperate with it, because Turkey does not like it!!!
This serious episode brought to light today by enikos.gr should be of great concern to Europe and especially the Alliance.
There are already voices (both within the Alliance, but also in other powerful centers) that say that Turkey is blatantly and shamelessly exploiting NATO to promote its unacceptable and flagrantly transgressive policies (at best) and that many, many times, it seems to serve opposing and countervailing interests to the Alliance, constantly bringing obstacles and constantly creating friction in the South-East wing of NATO, at the behest of “others” (at worst).
But this must be strengthened and reach even the head of the Alliance, Gens Stoltenberg, who insists on keeping the strict line of equal distances and the practices of “Pontius Pilate”.
And this does not go unnoticed by anyone anymore… how could it be, it is so obvious!!!
However, since there is no unresolved problem, it was decided by the Alliance, that the command of SNMCMG 2 (from which the Turkish Commander resigned slightly, apparently obeying the orders of Ankara) will be taken over by the American Commander of SNMG 2 and the exercise will be conducted normally with all other friends, partners and allies.
The vigilance, the standing orders to be aware of everything taking place at all echelons of the Alliance on the part of the Greek officers serving in NATO positions and the alert and quick reflexes of the competent officers and operators of GEETHA, defined, demanded and finally ensured once more the demonstration of neutrality by NATO. Something which, as the “residents of Jerusalem” and those dealing with NATO know, was not, nor is it a given… Until recently, several times NATO used to observe several times painful “equal” distances.
Something seems to be changing in the Alliance and this is obviously due to us and our multi-dimensional political and military diplomacy over the last three years.
But we dare to write that the Turks seem to have managed to piss them all off… or at least they are trying very hard to do so!