Ankara, seeing that a wider game on the geopolitical chessboard is underway (eg in Afghanistan, in the Indo-Pacific region), is trying to advance its strategy.
Turkey returns to the slippery road of challenges, raising its tones again and setting fires. With these moves, Ankara wants to bring the Turkish-Libyan memorandum back to the forefront, for which Athens has made it clear that it is illegal.
At the same time, however, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan seeks to appear on the international stage as a proponent of dialogue and the times mentioned in a dangerous meeting in New York with Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. But an appointment that did not confirm Athens, as the two leaders have different plans on the other side of the Atlantic.
At this stage, Ankara, seeing that a wider game on the geopolitical chessboard is underway (eg in Afghanistan, in the Indo-Pacific area) is trying to advance its strategy. In order to achieve this, it tries – without result, however – to blame the Greek side for the tension in the region, while at the same time seeking to close fronts that it has opened (for example, the effort to reach out to Egypt continues).
The calm summer gives way to a tense autumn, as can be seen from the latest moves of Ankara, which – under the pretext of the Turkish-Libyan memorandum – increases the tension in the region. This was evident from the harassment of the research ship Nautical Geo, which has been trying for the last 24 hours to conduct research in an area east of Crete. The Maltese-flagged ship is of French interest and will investigate the possible course of the East Med pipeline.
What the Greek side says
The Greek side notes that this continuing Turkish stance is completely prohibitive. In fact, the Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Dendia, instructed the Greek Embassy in Ankara to carry out an intense protest against the Turkish harassment against the research ship Nautical Geo, as well as the publication of an irregular Navtex.
However, the assessment in Athens is that these are not fragmentary movements of Ankara but are part of a more general plan to be created in the Eastern Mediterranean. In fact, Turkey wants to build bridges of communication in Egypt and not to ease the tension in their relations.
It is characteristic that the neighboring country plans to extradite to Cairo 24 Egyptian opposition members of the “Muslim Brotherhood”. On the part of the Greek government, with a flurry of diplomatic initiatives, it wants to launch a “counterattack” and report on Ankara’s provocative behavior.
As already mentioned, the Prime Minister will travel to New York on the 22nd of the month and will have made a circle of contacts, while then he will be in France for the exhibition “Paris-Athens: Birth of Modern Greece” at the Louvre Museum. In fact, in the French capital he is expected to have drafted Emanuel Macron, who was presented on Friday in Athens for the EUMED Summit (of the Mediterranean states).
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias will be in New York to participate in the High Level Week of the 76th UN General Assembly.
On the other side of the Atlantic the minister will have a significant circle of contacts. It is reported that a quadripartite meeting is scheduled for the 24th of the month with the Foreign Ministers of Israel and Cyprus, as well as the US Undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland. A day when a tripartite meeting will take place with the Foreign Ministers of the Republic of Cyprus and Egypt.
However, Athens’ diplomatic alliances are causing great irritation in Ankara. This was also evident from Mr. Erdogan’s statements following the political declaration of the nine leaders who attended the EUMED Mediterranean Summit.
In the declaration, among others, the “nine” call on all countries in the region to respect the sovereignty and sovereign rights of the EU member states.
At the same time, they emphasize that the delimitation of maritime zones must be done by peaceful means and in accordance with the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
The issue was raised yesterday by Mr. Erdogan, who noted that “unwanted statements were made at this meeting of the nine, while the Turkish side went so far as to accuse the countries that signed the declaration of bias.