Tensions escalated after a Turkish vessel rammed a Greek coast guard boat:
The situation around the Imia islets was stable on Thursday following an escalation in tensions on Monday night after a Turkish vessel rammed a Hellenic Coast Guard boat.
However, despite the agreement between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Turkish counterpart Binali Yildirim to de-escalate tension, Turkish forces remained in the vicinity on Thursday.
A Turkish gunboat and smaller Turkish Coast Guard vessels arrived in an area east of Imia Thursday morning, while the Hellenic Coast Guard was stationed at the nearby islet of Kalolimnos. (source)
In response, Turkish President Erdogan responded by immediately ordering the militarization of Cavus, an island very close to Greek territory:
The platform transported the excavator to the islet of Tsavous and started digging this morning – In the enclosure where thermal cameras will be mentioned – Work will be completed in three weeks
Since today, the Turks have worked for the construction of a military prison on the island of Tsavous, opposite Imia.
The Turkish newspaper Cumhuriyet in its electronic version publishes photos from Gümüşlük Beach, where the works have started.
In particular, as described in the captions of the photographs, according to the exclusive report of Cumhuriyet, a camp is being built on the island of Cavus.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated regarding the incident in Imia: “The Greeks were unfortunately surprised once again. The Greek ships come and go at Imia. From the beginning, we had told the Greeks not to do such things. They will put us in…trouble. Of course, our Armed Forces did their duty again last night”. (source)
To get a perspective for where Tsavous/Cavus is, here are a series of maps showing the proximity between the Island with Turkey and Greece. Cavus is indicated by the arrow mark. In the third photo, the circles islands are Imia/Kardak, which are in the possession of Greece:
A closeup of the islands show that they are uninhabited: nobody lives on them:
However, the photos definately show military construction taking place on the island:
This is a huge development, and is a sign of the remilitarization of Turkey taking place as we speak.
While people may not think of Turkey as a naval power, once upon a time Turkey had the world’s most powerful navy whose presence was felt all throughout the Mediterranean Sea all the way to the Indian Ocean. Many of the battles between Christians and Muslims during the 16th century took place not just on land, but on the seas between Catholic military forces in the Holy League and Knights of Malta as they faced off against the Turks.
The other major issue here, as the article notes, is that Turkey attacked a Greek vessel, and Erdogan did so much as just to “shrug it off” and blame the Greeks.
It is possible this “attack” may have been set up or provoked. Nobody knows the exact details. What we do know is that a Turkish military vessel and a Greek vessel had an incident, and in response Erdogan has not said any words of apology, but has responded by establishing a military presence in an area dangerously close to Greek territory.
According to Militaire.gr, Greece has harshly criticized Turkey, saying that Greece is “neither Iraq nor Syria,” and that Erdogan is acting like a madman:
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, in an interview with the Alpha Motor Show, took the baton from the Panhellenic Socialist Movement Panos Kammenos and sent a loud message to Turkey responding to a question about the embankment of the Coast Guard vessel:
“Turkey will not do it again … Why does it know that we are neither Syria nor Iraq. We have very good defense and we will react “.
Nikos Kotzias described the adviser as Bouloud, an adviser to Erdogan who likened Greece to a fly and Turkey to a giant. “He is a fool. Being an adviser to Erdogan does not make him smart … He has not seen an elephant run by watching a mouse … ”
For the reactions of the West: “He lives in a metaphysical state, being convinced that Turkey is something very good that we should not miss it. I am not saying that the West must lose Turkey, but it is not the things the West sees “. (source)
Islands such as these, which are uninhabited and for the most part left alone, are ideal targets to start projecting Turkish influence into, which is exactly what Erdogan is doing. He is attempting to revive the “Ottoman dream” that was destroyed after the First World War, and this is just one step of the process.
Watch for more attempts by Turkey to make territorial claims over islands such as these. Additionally, look for Turkey to instigate or use “false flag” attacks to further her claims, especially against Greece. Turkey understands Balkan politics well, and she will not hesitate to use her knowledge or enlist the intellectual and material support of her Teutonic ally in her quest for empire.