On a battlefield, more power than firepower is attitude. And the gray temples of the Turkish pilots are perhaps the best indication of our own superiority.
The new data that begins to be created in the Aegean with the entry of the Rafale and the F16 Viper into service (and later the F35) have caused irritation and disturbance in political and military circles in Turkey.
The country’s officials know that the balance is changing, and Greece acquires many and important new capabilities in the airagainst which they cannot oppose many things, beyond their own superiority in drones and the numerical but not qualitative sizes of their air force.
But there is another reason why the Turkish staffs are on hot coals. And he is related to the situation prevailing in their Air Force and specifically to the significant lack of experienced pilots.
After the “coup” against Erdogan, started a pogrom against Turkish air force pilots, which had been considered a den of Gulenists.
The problem that arose was significant, something that was also found from the Greek side, with our own pilots reporting that in recent years, especially in the Oruc Reis crisis in 2020, they have been meeting Turkish operators with “grey hair” in the air. Which means Erdogan and his staff have brought back ex-military or civil aviation pilots to operate the F16s.
Information states that more than 600 pilots who had been prosecuted as Gulenists have been gradually recalled to service. Also, the Turkish Ministry of Defense requested that the 15-year limit for mandatory service of pilots be extended to 21, so as to reduce the shortage of combat pilots.
These pilots had already left for political companies, however there is now a 6 year license suspension penalty if they don’t return to the F16. Indeed, according to Turkish reports, many of them resorted to the courts, but they were not justified and now they are looking for ways to take positions in foreign airlines.
One of the issues that make pilots not want to return to the Turkish Air Force is and the very low salary, under 4,000 dollars, at a time when their salaries in civil aviation are more than double. The staff looked for various solutions, among them and loan pilots from countries such as Pakistanbut this did not proceed due to American backlash.
The government incentivizes pilots by promising salary increase in the air force but also a re-employment contract with Turkish Airlines after the end of the term. But the pilots are not convinced, even more so when they have to leave their lives in the big cities and find themselves in the scattered military bases around the country.
The point is that Turkey’s air force has many fronts open (Syria, Kurds, Iraq) as a result of which she has a great disintegration of her powers.
This greatly facilitates the Greek side, which after joining the Rafale, it will have a much easier task in the Aegean. All that remains is to find the answer in Bayraktar. And this should be done as soon as possible.
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