Greek military and diplomatic initiatives carry the risk of creating further tension in the Aegean, if Greece pushes Turkey to bigger security dilemmas.
Greece has been arming itself aggressively in recent years, attempting to add F-35 fighter jets to its inventory of Rafale fighters, Belharra frigates and corvettes. In 2021, Athens spent 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) on military equipment, quintupling its spending compared to the previous year. By next year, the Greeks will increase their military budget sevenfold anew.
Merkel’s last 16 years in office will be recorded in history as one of the most active periods in Turkish-German relations. Erdoğan and Merkel’s efforts to act as two rational actors on the axis of mutual interests became the main driving forces of this 16-year dynamism.
Due to the current uncertain trajectory of Greek military modernization, this paper discusses the strategic logic that guides its armament and diplomatic activism rather than a measurement of the emerging balance of power. In line with its compellence strategy, Greece wants to command the Aegean Sea and to deny the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to Turkey.
New opportunities will emerge for Turkey and Greece if they can diplomatically resolve their problems. However, both sides, especially the Greek and the Greek Cypriots, were conditioned to be confrontational in their discourse with Turkey.