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The difference with 1974

Reader comment on item: Will Turkey and Greece Clash over a Tiny Island?

Submitted by Dave (United States), Sep 16, 2020 at 21:38

The Turkish invasion of Cyprus took place under very different circumstances. Greece was then ruled by an unpopular military junta which had tried to annex Cyprus. Even after the regime was replaced by a democratic one, the damage was done, so Turkey exploited the situation by grabbing 37 percent of the island. At that time, Turkey was a NATO member, and was more pro-Western and secular than most of the other Muslim states in the region, so it made some sense to cut Turkey some slack.
Now, things are very different. Turkey is undemocratic, Islamist and anti-Western, in sharp contrast to Greece and even with many of the other Muslim states. Turkey now poses a strategic threat in her dalliance with Iran, China, Russia, and groups like Hezbollah, ISIS and Hamas. Her NATO membership, and the recent State Department allowances for her aggression in Syria and Iraq, may be the last gasps of wishful thinking and bureaucratic inertia.
It is very probable that Turkey and her allies coordinate more violent activities to undermine pro-Western regimes in Cyprus, Greece, the Gulf and beyond if they perceive weakness. Given the Trump administration's desire to disengage, and the liberal opposition's desire to appease, it may fall to the emerging moderate coalition in the region to stave off impending disaster. If China and Russia get sucked in, we may see another world war where the West and our free way of life, are in play. It's time to sound the alarm.


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