Turkey-Greece war would focus on Cyprus, former Greek general says

Turkey would target Cyprus in a war with Greece because it will lose to Athens in any military confrontation, Greek City Times cited retired Lieutenant General Andreas Pentaras as saying.

In a conflict with Greece, Turkey would try target Cyprus because it is the weak link and to try to achieve gains during any subsequent negotiations, Greek City Times cited Pentaras as saying. 

Political and military tensions between Greece and Turkey have intensified in recent years, exacerbated by the Syrian refugee crisis, disputes over common borders, Turkish violations of Greek airspace, and Turkey’s regional ambitions which now involve drilling for hydrocarbons off Cyprus.

Turkey signed a memorandum of understanding with Libya last year to redefine the country’s maritime borders and increase its territorial waters, which overlap with internationally-recognised waters of Cyprus and several Greek islands. Greece and Cyprus say the agreement is illegal.

Cyprus has been split between a Greek-Cypriot administration in the south, recognised internationally, and a breakaway Turkish-Cypriot government in the north recognised only by Turkey since 1974.

Ankara says the breakaway Turkish-Cypriot enclave in the north of the island has a right to a share in the island’s hydrocarbon reserves.