Turkish-Greek Relations & Battle Over the Eastern Mediterranean | Ryan Gingeras


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In Episode 259 of Hidden Forces, Demetri Kofinas speaks with Ryan Gingeras, a professor in the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School and an expert on Turkish, Balkan, and Middle East history. Gingeras has authored six books on Turkish history and culture, including his forthcoming, “The Last Days of the Ottoman Empire,” which is scheduled for release by Penguin in October 2022.

In recent years, Turkey has become an X-factor of sorts in global politics. Its president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has attracted the ire of liberal-minded politicians and his transactional political style has raised questions about Turkey’s dependability as a NATO ally and about its long-term commitment to the rules-based international order. This is obviously a concern for the United States and NATO, but there is perhaps no country for whom Turkey’s long-term orientation Westward carries more existential importance than Greece, which has been on the receiving end of escalating Turkish provocations and territorial violations of its internationally recognized maritime borders and airspace. This comes during a time when Turkish cooperation within NATO itself has become a bargaining chip of sorts that Ankara has used to further its own strategic objectives, as seen most recently in negations over Finish and Swedish membership.

This conversation has two primary objectives. The first is to give you an understanding of the historical, political, and geostrategic forces responsible for driving Turkish foreign policy today, including the intellectual foundations for its more assertive, revanchist, and perhaps even expansionist ambitions—concepts and doctrines such as “strategic depth” and Mavi Vatan or “Blue Homeland,” which inform and explain much of Turkey’s policy in the broader Middle East, Africa, and the Aegean. The second objective is to expose you to how the Middle East, Europe, and North Africa could evolve territorially in a world without NATO or where the post-WWII liberal international order continues to degrade or comes apart entirely. While this has more immediate implications for Greece, it also risks altering the larger territorial landscape of Eurasia in ways that most people would have found unimaginable at the beginning of the 21st century. What this could mean for citizens in these territories, for the politicians responsible for making policy within the various countries affected, and for investors and businesses looking to put capital to work in them cannot be understated.

You can access the full episode, transcript, and intelligence report to this week’s conversation by going directly to the episode page at HiddenForces.io and clicking on "premium extras." All subscribers gain access to our premium feed, which can be easily added to your favorite podcast application.

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Episode Recorded on 07/05/2022

327 episodes