In a video, lasting almost ten minutes, the French “L’ Express” presents the… cinematic scenario of a war between Greece and Turkey, with the president of the neighboring country, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, invading Imia on the morning of February 17, 2027.
In the video, journalists and military officers give their views on Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s plans and what France’s position will be in the event of a Greece-Turkey war, based on the military assistance agreement signed by Athens and Paris.
“The French army is working on it and preparing,” the video says. The admiral e.a. Pascal Auxerre, current director of the Mediterranean Institute for Advanced Strategic Studies (FMES), explains the Turkish mentality in the video, looking back at the Ottoman Empire and the Asia Minor Catastrophe, stating that Ankara wanted to expand as much as it could “in an area where for 3,000 years from Greeks lived in Homer’s time”.
Here is a map that explains the position of Imia, stating that since 1946 and the annexation of the Dodecanese they belong to Greece. As mentioned, the Imias are decisive for Greece’s EEZ in the region and Admiral Oser points out that if the status of the Imias changes, it will create new balances. “Turkey has understood that there is a strategic, economic and political issue concerning the sea,” he emphasizes.
The journalist of “L’ Express”, Clément Danyez, explains how Erdogan “tools” foreign policy to “win points” inside Turkey, a tactic particularly popular with the Turkish president. Here is a look back at what happened in Imia in 1996, however, the most interesting is the graphic depiction of the scenario for 2027 and the probable Turkish invasion of a Greek island.
According to the French newspaper’s video, on the morning of February 17, 2027, the invasion will begin. Under the protection of two frigates and an attack submarine, the ship TSG Anadolu approaches Imia carrying 1,000 elite members of Turkey’s special forces. About 50 Greek soldiers are arrested and on the highest point of the two islands, the Turkish flag is raised. Greece attempts an immediate response, but loses five patrol boats and 10 fighter jets.
In Athens, radio stations announce the death of 28 soldiers and public opinion is upset by the Turkish provocation. On social media and Twitter, the hashtag #Imia is trending globally and a video of Recep Tayyip Erdogan shouting “Turkey has taken back what belongs to her” instantly goes viral.
Admiral Auxerre states that in the first phase France cannot bypass the Greek Armed Forces, which will come face to face with the counterparts of the neighboring country. Journalist Clément Daniez claims that “Greece has been preparing to face the Turks for decades». “Greece will defend in the name of the Law, its sovereignty and sovereign rights”, is an earlier statement by the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Dendias, included in the video.
The journalist of “L’Express” explains how for this reason, Greece spends large sums on armaments programs while at the same time concluding important military agreements with other countries in recent years. Like the one with the USA, within NATO, but also with France. Special reference is made to the purchase of Rafale and Belh@rra frigates. “Greece will not hesitate to respond if there is a threat to its territories”, he emphasizes. “Greece and Turkey are in NATO, it is not easy to join one or the other country. In such a case, Greece should turn to the EU. There is an article that talks about solidarity between the partners if there is a military threat”, he adds.
The most important point, however, is Clement Daniez’s reference to the Greece-France agreement of 2021. “With this agreement signed, France can be directly involved on the side of Greece,” he clarifies.
“Coalition of States for aid operation in Greece”
Returning to the field, according to the French scenario, air and naval battles continue in the Aegean. Greece is trying to recover Imia while both sides are counting losses. Greece still mourns 40 while Turkey 14. Three days after the invasion of Turkey, Emmanuel Macron addresses the French citizens. In it he announces that the French army will conduct an aid operation to Greece, in a coalition of states including Germany, the United Kingdom and Italy.
The next day, reinforcements from European countries arrive on the field. France is sending two frigates, a nuclear submarine, two Mistral helicopters, an aircraft carrier and a C130. The French surround the Turkish troops. According to Admiral Osser, such a scenario resembles what happened recently in Ukraine.
“Landing of French forces in Imia and Erdogan’s defeat”
The scenario then foresees the landing of French forces in Imia and fierce battles with the Turkish army. The French manage to take control, but many soldiers are killed, about 80. The French journalist reports that these will be the results of the agreement signed by Paris and Athens. Loss of human life, destruction of ships and aircraft.
At the conclusion of the scenario, Greece and France together push the Turks back to the shores of the neighboring country but the losses are heavy. 120 French and 130 Greeks die, as do 250 Turkish soldiers. The military failure will lead Erdogan to resign, Yilmaz succeeds him and in his first speech he distances himself from the West and promises a rapprochement with Russia.