Why Europe Should Worry About Turkey

Credible reports have been emerging since Recep Tayyip Erodgan became the president of Turkey. With Turkey’s recent friendship with Azerbaijan, we have noticed that these countries are becoming more of a worry for Europe based on their past actions.


Let’s examine why Europe should worry about Turkey and Azerbaijan:


The first reason being that Turkey has sent mercenaries to different countries they perceive as a threat or want some gain out of (in terms of land and natural supply). An example of this is that Turkey has assisted Azerbaijan by hiring Syrian mercenaries, sending them weapons, and ordering them to fight for the Azerbaijani military against Armenia.


Syrian Mercenaries flying to Baku, Azerbaijan from Ankara, Turkey



In an even more current situation, Turkey is sending mercenaries to aid Pakistan in Kashmir in their fight against India. According to the commander of the SNA militia "Sulayman Shah Brigades", Muhammed Abu Amsha, the Turkish government is willing to pay $2,000 for Syrian mercenaries to fight for Pakistan.

Turkey is also reported to hire mercenaries to be sent as assistance for their conflict with Greece. If this is currently being done to parts of Europe now, what makes us think that Turkey will not try to conquer major countries in Europe, such as France and Germany?

To dive a bit deeper, Turkey already has not had a great relationship with Europe and their leaders:



For example, Turkey is known to meddle with the political situations of France and Germany. In addition, Turkish President Erdogan, has claimed that Turks who lived in Europe only hold allegiance to Turkey.

Additionally, Erdogan has been threatening French President Emmanuel Macron on his criticisms of Turkish foreign policy: “The person in charge of France has lost his way. He goes on about Erdogan while in bed and while awake. Look at yourself first and where you’re going. I said yesterday in Kayseri, he is a case and he really must be examined.” and threatened France with a ban of foreign goods. Erdogan also mentioned that Turks were “targets for uncovering rising racism in Europe.” and attempting to convince Europe that “fascism is not in our book, it is in your book. Nazism happened in your countries.

Another European country that Turkey has targeted is The Netherlands. Three years ago, Erdogan did call the Dutch government  “Nazi remnants and fascists” because they were not allowing the Foreign Minister of Turkey to land his plane in the Netherlands. Here are the direct quotes from Erdogan: “You can stop our foreign minister's plane all you want, let's see how your planes will come to Turkey from now on,” and “They do not know politics or international diplomacy... these Nazi remnants, they are fascists.” 

A policy fellow, Gustav Gressel even mentioned that European countries should worry about Turkey and Azerbaijan by their actions in the 2020 Nagorno Karabakh war.

Here is why: Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s drones were designed to detect small, slow drones, which some countries in Europe don’t have. A lot of the European drone systems (man-portable air-defence systems) have a small probability of detecting these small drones or other weapons that Azerbaijan has used, such as munitions.

A lot of the armies in medium and smaller sized European countries do not have a strong air-defence system (armour that is capable of plot-fusion or a sensor-fusion that has high resolution) that can help protect them against countries such as Azerbaijan.

The only countries that have a chance against Azerbaijan’s drones are Germany and France, since they acquire base-protection assets and anti-drone jammers (that are short-range).

With all of this being said, Turkey’s issues with the European Union (EU) has increased the risk of a war that includes European countries:



After asking for help in Syria and being denied by the EU in early 2020, Erdogan threatened them by saying that he will send refugees their way. By saying this statement, Erdogan hinted that he will cause another European migrant crisis like the one that happened in 2015. The 2015 European migrant crisis is an event where millions of migrants (mainly from Syria) went to Europe, and the EU struggled with influx (for example financial burdens) in their countries and had trouble relocating these people. In addition, wealthier EU countries were more hesitant to accept these migrants, which caused chaos for the refugees. Therefore, in a 2016 agreement, Turkey promised to relocate the migrants to safe countries in exchange for the EU to provide them with funds of 6.6 billion Euros ($7.2 billion).






Soon after (in February 2020), Erdogan gave the green light for migrants to resettle in the Greek border, which caused a series of reactions from leaders of EU countries:

First off, Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, said that Turkey’s actions were “unacceptable,” EU Migration Commissioner Margaritis Schinas mentioned that no one should take a chance to “blackmail or intimidate the EU,” and lastly, Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borissov describes Turkey’s recent actions of sending migrants to Europe as “a real threat”.

Another example of why Turkey is increasing the risk of war is because during the end of Summer 2020, Turkey threatened war with Greece after Greece expanded maritime borders, shortly after, the EU threatened Turkey with sanctions because of their involvement in the Greek islands. A day after the EU threatened Turkey with sanctions, Turkey’s Foreign Affairs Minister released this statement: In the Aegean, Greece cannot extend its borders to 12 miles. This is a cause of war (casus belli). We are not going to allow Greece to extend its territorial waters from 6 to 12 miles. I am being pretty clear.” Erdogan also mentioned that the countries opposing his exploration in the Greek islands will “pay a high price.” As he stated this, he insulted some of the countries who are members of the EU: “Do Greek and French people accept what can happen to them because of their greedy and incompetent leaders?