During an analysis on CNN Turk regarding the Greek-Turkish relations and the role of the US and NATO, a retired Turkish military officer claimed that in a possible conflict scenario all Greek islands could pass into Turkish hands overnight.
The number of Turkish “pundits” and military “analysts” appearing on Turkish television is on a steady rise, often putting forward theories that further raise tensions with Greece. The issue becomes more serious, however, when such extremist views are hosted and broadcast on major television networks, such as CNN Turk.
A recent case in point is the provocative analysis made by a retired Turkish army officer named Eray Güçüler, who teaches at universities and held in high esteem considered by security experts in Turkey, during a television broadcast.
Güçüler attacked the US for its strong military presence in the region of Thrace and especially in Alexandroupolis, which he described as “important” for Turkey. He stated: “Alexandroupolis is very significant. Alexandroupoli in July 1920, when the Greek army invaded Turkey, was a place used as the main transportation point. In this sense, it is a very convenient point. The establishment of a land and naval base in Alexandroupolis is not coincidental.”
Laying out his theory of the “encirclement” of Turkey by the USA, Güçüler went so far as to argue that American weapons in Alexandroupolis may in the future be directed against Turkey, adding that Greece had refused to surrender the 8 officers accused of involvement in the failed 2016 coup by order of Washington.
Although Güçüler expressed concern about the US presence in Thrace and the close Athens-Washington military cooperation, he provocatively stated that he did not consider them a threat to Turkey, which could “occupy” the Aegean islands in a night. “Now if you ask me if I perceive this as a conventional threat against Turkey, no, I do not see it. Because to get into something like that, eh how to say it, there is a Turkish proverb. “You go for something better and you lose what you have because in one night all the islands will pass to the Turkish side,” he stressed.