Turkey should never have been in NATO. And once it became an Islamist tyranny under Erdogan, it should never have remained in the NATO henhouse. But here it is and Erdogan is getting more aggressive about trying to reclaim the Ottoman Empire.
He’s dispatching Jihadis from Syria to protect the Islamist regime in Libya. And he’s using his backing of the Libyan regime to lay claim to Greek territory.
Meanwhile the French, of all people, are stepping up.
Greece’s prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has welcomed a decision by France to dispatch war frigates to the eastern Mediterranean as a standoff with Turkey over regional energy reserves intensifies.
With tensions between Athens and Ankara causing growing international alarm, Mitsotakis described the vessels as “guarantors of peace”.
“The only way to end differences in the eastern Mediterranean is through international justice,” he told reporters after holding talks in Paris with the French president, Emmanuel Macron. “Greece and France are pursuing a new framework of strategic defence.”
Mitsotakis was in the French capital on a visit aimed at rallying EU support at a time when hostile relations with Turkey have eclipsed all other issues on the agenda of his near seven-month-old government.
The EU is generally speaking useless. But the French are, at least on paper, the most aggressive of the remaining crew. And, unlike Germany, they’re less intimidated by Erdogan’s threats to flood their country with Syrian migrants.
That said, counting on the French is a bad bet. The question is how far both sides are willing to push things.
The prospect of a military confrontation between two NATO members, one closely aligned with Hamas and Russia, ought to make it obvious how absurd NATO has become.
And how little room Turkey has in any alliance with anyone except Qatar, Hamas, and Iran.