Greece on high alert after Erdogan threats

Armed forces in preparatory mode after Turkish leader comments about opening border to migrants

Greece on high alert after Erdogan threats

Greece’s armed forces in their entirety have been placed on high alert across the country following the recent threatening statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about opening the border and new refugee flows. 

The decision was taken Friday during an extraordinary meeting convened by the head of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA), Konstantinos Floros, with the participation of the heads of all General Army Command (GES), Hellenic Navy General Staff (GEN) and the Hellenic Air Force (GEA). 

Specifically, it was decided that precautionary measures be taken, with particular emphasis placed on increasing surveillance of the country’s land and sea borders, and on the immediate reporting by border units of incidents relating to increased illegal migratory flows.

The decisions were taken in full coordination with the chiefs of the Hellenic Police (ELAS) and the Hellenic Coast Guard. The decision to increase the level of readiness follows the direct threats issued by Erdogan on Thursday, when he said Greece would “suffer” if he opened the borders so that migrants can enter the country from Turkey, while also slamming Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for being “ungrateful” on the issue, saying that Turkey hosts 5 million refugees.

He also derided the presence of US forces in the northern Greek port of Alexandroupoli, saying that Washington “chose the wrong neighbor” and that “all of Greece has been turned into an American base.”

Ankara’s involvement as a transit point for migrants and refugees transferred to the Polish-Belarus border has also been deemed problematic.

Meanwhile, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) has, among other things, advocated an even larger US military presence in Greece to fill US gaps in the Eastern Mediterranean.

In a JINSA study titled “At the Center of the Crossroads: A New US Strategy for the East Med,” the authors analyze the situation in the region and make a series of proposals, in which Greece is treated as almost the most natural solution for strengthening American positions.

Greece, it noted, offers alternatives in case a possible collapse of US-Turkish relations leads to a US withdrawal from Turkey – a possibility for which the US urgently needs to develop an emergency plan.

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