5 minutes

Turkey and the Red Lines

Abdullah Al-Qamzi


August 16, 2020

If you follow the news of Turkey in the last two months only, it will be shocked by its hostile policy towards its neighbors. It has penetrated Iraq and Syria, and there are quarrels against Cyprus and Greece, and the transfer of mercenaries and weapons to Libya. Last June, Turkey launched a military operation against Iraqi Kurdistan, claiming to neutralize the PKK militia, but there was no evidence that the party had attacked Ankara in recent weeks.

It seems that Turkey wants to occupy its army with operations only in order to occupy it, and this has been observed in its policy in recent years. If we go back four years, we will find that it invaded northern Syria with Operation Euphrates Shield. In January 2018, it invaded Afrin, displaced 160,000 Kurds and destroyed the city.

In 2019, Turkey also invaded Tal Abyad in northern Syria, and immediately after that it began to intervene in Libya, Idlib and northern Iraq, and finally the crisis with European countries in the Mediterranean, and the attack on Iraq last week.

Turkey began sending drones and mercenaries to Libya in December 2019, which prompted Egypt to warn Turkey and address it by drawing a red line in Sirte and Jufrah last June.

If we go back a little bit before the red line, we find that Turkey invaded Idlib in February and March and pressed Russia to obtain a new agreement to acquire S-400 missiles for air defense systems.

Then Turkey turned to Iraq and bombed its north, then turned the Hagia Sophia Museum into a mosque. At the same time, Turkey claimed its demands in the Mediterranean, which angered France, Greece and Egypt, and pushed Athens and Cairo to sign an agreement on August 6 to protect their interests in the face of Turkish ambitions. While France announced that it would deploy two combat aircraft and a warship in the eastern Mediterranean, in what appears to be the French Red Line.

But now, after signing the Athens and Cairo agreement, Turkey wants to send geological survey ships to "put the facts on the ground." Then it claimed that Greece does not respond to Turkish calls for dialogue, and therefore Turkey will do what it likes in the Mediterranean!

The statement angered Athens, which said it would not accept the NATO release, and demanded the intervention of European countries to stop the Turkish provocations, which reached the point of sending Turkey a ship exploring for gas and oil to the coast of the Greek island of Kastelorizo.

Sending a research ship accompanied by a naval force to Greek coasts is intended to cover up Turkey's economic crisis rather than a military naval confrontation against Greece.

In Arabic: Ankara's record reflects its use of mercenaries in Libya and rebel factions in northern Syria, and bombing those it is unlikely to respond to, such as the Kurdistan Workers Party in northern Iraq. When Egypt confronted Turkey in Libya and Russia confronted Turkey in Syria, Ankara stopped, and it appears that the policy of red lines is the most effective solution to stop Ankara's expansion.


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