Turkey developed a plan for a possible invasion of Greece named after an 11th century Turkish military commander, Nordic Monitor reported citing secret documents.
The documents were part of a PowerPoint presentation that was supposedly planned by the Turkish general staff for internal planning review.
Also included in the same document were plans to invade Armenia, the operation in this case being titled “TSK Altay Harekât Planlama Direktifi,” which was dated August 15, 2000.
The documents were exchanged by top general staff commanders via a secure internal email system, the news portal reported. They appear to have been accidentally leaked in a court case file in Ankara that prosecutor Serdar Coşkun submitted to the court as part of an investigation into the failed military coup against Turkish PresidentErdogan in July 2016, which some analysts see as a "black flag" orchestrated by erdogan to precipitate purges.
All of the general staff's emails from the two months preceding the coup were seized by the prosecution.
The general staff had panicked over the possible leaking of the classified documents and urged the court to allow the documents to be screened before being presented. It appears, however, that the prosecutors ignored these concerns, the Nordic Monitor reported.
However, while the plans were named in the document, any specific details were omitted, likely being classified and therefore not shared through the network.
It is believed that the plans were prepared as a contingency regarding developments in Syria, in order to maintain offensive and deterrence capabilities on the Western front while moving troops, according to Nordic Monitor.
The inspiration for the operation's name, Çaka Bey, better known as Chaka Bey and Tzachas, was a Seljuk Turk military commander and ruler of an independent state based in modern day Izmir. Chaka Bey was originally a commander in the service of the Byzantine Empire, but rebelled and began seizing power through conquest. At one point, he even declared himself Byzantine emperor.
Chaka Bey is a much revered figure in Turkey, with the Turkish Naval Command listing him as the first Turkish admiral and founder of the first modern Turkish navy; there is even a statue of him in their museum in Istanbul, the Nordic Monitor reported.
The revelations also come in the wake of renewed anti-Greek rhetoric on the part of the Erdoğan regime, which according to the report it has been scaling up since 2013, giving the example of a March 2019 announcement publicly supporting calls to convert the Hagia Sophia from a museum back into a mosque – which they announced as a response to US President Donald Trump's recognition of Israeli sovereignty of the Golan Heights and east Jerusalem.
The decision sparked backlash from Greece, with the building having had a long history as a Greek Orthodox cathedral before being converted into a mosque following Ottoman conquest of the city. It was converted into a museum in 1935.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias criticized Erdoğan's remarks at the time, saying: "Any questioning of this status is not just an insult to the sentiments of Christians, it is an insult to the international community and international law," according the Middle East Eye.
They also come amid Turkey's attempts to increase its sphere of influence in the region, including its involvement in conflicts in Syria and Libya.