Former Turkish admiral accuses the US of planning to invade Turkey
A former Turkish admiral known for his expansionist claims against Greece now said the United States planned to invade Turkey after excluding it from NATO.
In an interview with Turkey’s largest selling newspaper Sozcu which was published covering half of the front page, the ultranationalist Cihat Yayci said the reason behind the armament of the Greek islands in the Aegean Sea was this plan.
The former navy chief of staff was known to be the creator of the “blue homeland” doctrine which reflects Ankara’s maritime claims in the eastern Mediterranean, especially the large deposits of natural gas off the coast of the island of Cyprus.
He later resigned from the post after being demoted by President Tayyip Erdogan.
“Vehicles [that the US] sent to Lesbos and Samos break the islands’ non-military status. The US donated these armored vehicles and this shows why they came and what preparations are made for. Turkey should no longer deceive itself. They want to draw Turkey into a war” Yayci said.
“This a rematch of the Megali Idea, that failed in 1922. Let's remember that the Italians and Greeks invaded our lands via these islands. They can do the same today too,” Yayci said.
Turkey says despite the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and the 1947 Treaty of Paris that require Greece’s eastern Aegean islands to remain demilitarized, Athens has armed 16 out of the 23 islands, in violation of international law. In response to Turkish claims, Greece says the restrictions no longer apply.
Erdogan last month said “Greece occupies the islands” and “"When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. As we say, all of a sudden, we can come overnight."
Yayci also recalled the US decision to lift defense trade restrictions for Cyprus and said that was another move by the US to “encircle Turkey.”
Yayci also argued that the defense agreement between the US and Greece that was renewed last October also strained Turkey.