Instability in Turkey to intensify U.S.-Greek military cooperation - WSJ

The United States is considering to expand its operations in Greece, including using more air and naval bases here, amid escalating tensions between the United States and Turkey, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. 

Turkey’s purchase of Russian S-400 missile systems despite the objections of its NATO allies and diverging interests of the two countries in Syria, as Turkey aims weakening Kurdish forces in Syria for its national security priorities, while the United States backs Kurdish militia in the fight against the Islamic State, are among the many reasons behind the souring relations between two strategic allies. 

Turkey and Greece are also at odds over Turkish citizens fleeing to Greece and seeking asylum after a coup attempt in 2016, as well as over natural gas explorations off Cyrpus, which Turkey claims undermining the rights of the Turkish Cypriots living in the northern part of the island.

Since 2015, Turkish authorities have imposed  restrictions to the kind of operations the U.S. can conduct out of Incirlik base in southern Turkey, which is a critical facility in the U.S. fight against the Islamic state and United States has shifted its resources to places like Qatar as a response, the WSJ said. 

While Greece offers a number of advantages, official resources stated that the increased use of Greek resources was not intended to replace U.S. operations in İncirlik. 

“Our bilateral relationship with Greece is not in any way intended to be at the expense of Turkey,” the WSJ quoted Marine Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as saying.

Greece is “deeply worried” about Turkey the U.S. official said, adding that Greece recognises an instability in Turkey also observed by the United States.