Recent Turkish Naval Harassment of Greece and Cyprus
Turkey has resumed its naval harassment of another NATO ally of the United States, Greece, in an attempt to force concessions in a territorial dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean. Continued Turkish bellicosity is likely to continue so long as President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan believes there is no price to pay for it. To encourage a diplomatic solution, and forestall the possibility of escalation, the United States should condemn Turkish actions, work with other NATO partners to apply coordinated political and, if necessary, economic pressure on Turkey to encourage good-faith negotiations, strengthen its deterrent posture in the Eastern Mediterranean, and expand security cooperation with Greece and other partners safely navigating these critical waters.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias’s visit Washington on October 14 is an opportunity for the United States to signal its commitment to ensuring stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. The United States and Greece are expected to sign a Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) that could enable the U.S. military to deploy at a new naval base on the island of Crete and an air and sea base on Skyros Island in the Aegean Sea.
JINSA Staff Contributors
Ari Cicurel – Senior Policy Analyst
Blaise Misztal – Vice President for Policy