Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Söz published 3 days ago an article with the title “Turkey Can Occupy Europe in 3 Days.” Even though this scandalous claim is just a naive boast that doesn’t reflect any official position or claim of the Turkish army, but is a witness to the cold war that has been brewing between Turkey and Western Europe, especially Germany, for the last months.
The article is filled with absurd claims such as “Turkey could conquer Germany in an afternoon and France in an hour, if the Turks would have the courage to fight.” The newspaper bases its argument on the apparent absence of Europeans’ will to fight for their country – Gallup published on the same day a poll that showed that only a very small percentage of Europeans are prepared to fight for their country, including 18% of the Germans and less than a quarter of the French and Brits.
It has to be said that these declarations are not very far from the dubious claims and provocations of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A few weeks ago he called Europe “a continent that is rotting in every way possible.” After a series of terse statements of the EU against Turkey with regard to its human rights situation, Erdoğan said that Europe is “the center of national-socialism.”
Whereas in Turkey Erdoğan is turning every day more into a dictator, its foreign policy in recent years has shown a turn toward chauvinism and a return to the praise of the former Ottoman Empire. According Foreign Policy, Erdoğan has on two occasions publicly expressed his discontent with the Treaty of Lausanne, which determined the current borders of Turkey, leaving the country with a relatively small territory.
This sentiment is openly expressed by the pro-Erdoğan media in Turkey. The clearest example of this type of propaganda is the circulation of the map of Great Turkey shown above, which includes Syrian, Iraqi, and Greek territories.