January 6th – Greece v Turkey


Armstrong Economics Blog/Greece Re-Posted Jan 11, 2022 by Martin Armstrong

Another January 6th, 2022 important geopolitical event was the rising tension between Turkey and Greece. There has been an arms race between the two which escalated going into the end of 2021. Turkey intensified the arms race when it asked Biden to buy 40 F-16 fighter jets to upgrade its Air Force. The move coincides with the recent deal struck by Greece to acquire France Rafale jets and frigates. These two nations hate each other since when Xerces invaded Greece and was defeated and then Alexander the Great conquered Babylon. The tensions go back thousands of years but then Turkey became Muslim and now the clash remains also between Christianity and Islam.

In 1453, the Ottoman Turks captured the Byzantine capital of Constantinople ending the Roman Empire for good. That completed their conquest of this once mighty empire and today we call what was Anatolia Turkey. That established the Ottoman Empire. For the next 400 years, Greece was ruled by the Turks, but Greece always resented their occupation given the history back to Xerxes and Alexander the Great. There were many failed uprisings against Turkish rule over the centuries.

In fact, it took just 28 years for the Greeks to stage their first revolt in 1481. The first uprising took place on the Mani peninsula in 1481, when Korkodeilos Kladas and the fierce Mani fighters rose up against the Ottomans. In 1711, the all-powerful Tsar of Russia, Peter the Great, issued a proclamation calling upon the Greek people to revolt. In truth, the Greeks took up arms against the Ottomans 123 separate times before 1821 and the great war.

It was 1821 when the Greeks launched a rebellion that would develop into the Greek War of Independence. With the help of Britain, France, and Russia, the Greeks gained their independence from the Turks in 1832. However, the new Greek nation only included a relatively small part of European Greek lands. There remained a large Greek population in mainland Turkey, former Anatolia from ancient times. This fact led Greece to constantly seek to re-take more land from the Ottoman Turks. Multiple wars between Greece and Turkey unfolded, and local Greek rebellions with the support of the Greek government were becoming the norm.

Greek Epirus Revolt of 1854, in which Greek military officers aided the rebels in the Ottoman province of Epirus. This was also part of the larger Crimean War, and the Turks defeated these rebels. The Greek population of the large island of Crete launched many revolts against Turkish rule. There were the Greek Cretan Revolts of 1841, 1858, 1866-1868, 1875-1878, and 1889. All were defeated by the Turks.

A new revolt on Crete broke out in 1896 which led to the Second Greco-Turkish War which is also called the “Thirty Days’ War” of 1897. The Ottoman army re-organized with the help of German advisors. That enabled them to easily defeat the unprepared Greek military. Greece had to surrender some border areas in the peace treaty and were forced to pay heavy reparations to the Turks.

Nevertheless, there was the Cretan revolt, which continued until 1898. That at least forced the Turks to remove their military from the island and set up an autonomous Cretan State, which, while still under Ottoman rule, but was nominally self-governing.

Next came the First Balkan War (October, 1912-May 30, 1913), in which Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro all combined forces to defeat the Turks. They almost conquered all of the Ottoman Empire’s remaining lands in Europe. This is when Crete became officially part of Greece ending the Third Greco-Turkish War.

This was followed by the Fourth Greco-Turkish War (1921-1922) which defeated the Ottoman Empire in World War One. Greek troops participated in the Allied occupation of large parts of Ottoman Turkey. This is when with the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, Greece launched a full invasion of Turkey. The goal was to re-establish all the former Greek-speaking lands into the modern Green nation.

51.6 years later, the tension rose again this time forming the Greek-Turkish Conflict Over Cyprus in 1974. This became a full-scale war between Greece and Turkey. In 1974, the island-nation of Cyprus was engulfed in conflict when a coup overthrew the government with the goal of joining Cyprus with its Greek majority population with Greece. Turkey invaded northern Cyprus and set up a separate Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a “nation” that only Turkey recognizes.

Tensions began to rise with the 2020.05 turning point on the Economic Confidence Model. These tensions are at their highest since 1974 and it looks like war is inevitable once again. Turkish President Erdogan’s re-conversion of the Hagia Sophia to a place of Muslim worship enraged many Greeks, which only exacerbated the economic competition for the oil and gas in the seabed near Cyprus. As the Greek and Turkish militaries face off at sea and in the air on a routine basis.

Here we also have a convergence of many cycles. The next 51.6-year cycle from 1974 events brings us directly to the period of rising risk of international war starting in 2025-2027 time period. This insane climate change policy that is deliberately driving up fuel prices around the world is crushing the third world and there people have far less risk in the face of war compared to the developed industrial nations.

The problem we have is as the economy turns down because of this absurd COVID nonsense that has wiped out tourism, a major income source for Greece and Turkey, hotels are closing and people are unemployed. This increases the tensions for war.

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