What does Erdoğan’s strange turn to French armaments mean for Greece?

The Turkish president, as a true tactician, changes his attitude, abandons the Russian S-400s and instead of asking for weapons systems from the US, he puts a “wedge” in one of his sworn enemies, Emmanuel Macron, and asks for Franco-Italian weapons systems – What will the French do? and Italians?

Unbelievable and yet… Turkish. Erdoğan spoke by phone with his French counterpart and the SAMP/T weapon system of the Franco-Italian consortium Eurosam, a European analogue of the Russian S-400 Triumf system, was central to the discussion. It is now clear that Tayyip Erdoğan is building bridges, or rather trying to destroy bridges, in the well-known “Greece-France alliance” agreement.

The Turkish president realizes that the confrontation with the Americans is leading nowhere and is trying to restore his relations with European leaders and arms manufacturers. It is no coincidence that recently he had acquired very close relations with the resigned British Prime Minister Boris Johnson in an effort to acquire the so-called Eurofighter Typhoons.

What will Macron do?

He is now attempting the same thing with the French president in order to procure the SAMP/T weapon system of the Franco-Italian consortium Eurosam and to decommission the S-400 which brought him into complete rupture with the USA. Tayyip Erdoğan’s action, if it goes ahead, confuses the political game in Europe quite a bit. Practically, until now both the French and the Italians refuse to give access to the source codes of the anti-aircraft-missile SAMP/T to the Turks. In fact, no one wants to give them such expertise. In the past they had some discussions with the Chinese, but that did not go ahead.

What will the Italians do?

It will be interesting to see how both the French and the Italians react. Regarding the latter, we should not miss the fact that our neighbors the Italians are selling helicopter know-how to the Turks. It is worth pointing out that the prospect of an Italy without Mario Draghi and his own reading of the region’s geostrategic reality will make things even more difficult. Accordingly, the attitude of Emmanuel Macron should also concern us, since if – hopelessly – an arms purchase and sale by France goes ahead with Turkey, the Greek-French agreement will automatically be thrown into the air, as well as the purchases that Athens has made from Paris.

Even if France uses as an excuse the fact that in this way it will be able to pressure and control Turkey’s attitude towards the E.U. Even if the change of behavior of Turkey in bilateral relations will be set as a condition for the promotion of this armament cooperation, things will not be easy for our country which in recent years has spent huge sums to fortify our national defense and has concluded vast geopolitical alliances.

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