A harsh and difficult reality for Hellenism and Greece is taking shape, day by day: Turkish revisionist policy unfolds and is implemented in the wider region, with Greece already self-trapped in a one-sided defensive position vis-a-vis the Turkish agenda that is vaguely international and closer to military options.
Turkey maintains a presence in Syria, albeit in a more limited role than it wanted, due to the reaction of a locus of resistance. Greece still refuses to restore diplomatic relations with Syria and to "thaw" its relations with Iran (by the way, the Greek prime minister has not withdrawn his statement supporting the assassination of General Soleimani).
Turkey is advancing its forces in Libya, while Greece remains committed to the role of an observer, ignoring the many ways in which it must send the message to Turkey that Libya will become a catastrophic “quagmire” for its ambitions.
President Erdogan talks systematically with the American and Russian presidents as a difficult but necessary interlocutor and ally.
Greece has a relationship with the former is that of tutelage, while with the latter it no longer has, in practice, even rudimentary relations. Greece demands EU sanctions against Turkey (for the future, of course, citing the need for honesty) and receives widespread denials, with Germany leading this.
Secret meeting with a pro-Turkish agenda
In this environment, the Greek Prime Minister therefore considered it a good idea, on the one hand to hasten the telephone conversation with the Turkish President and on the other hand to send in a secret, tripartite meeting, his closest diplomatic advisor. In a meeting firstly secret, secondly with an undisclosed, or even insufficiently defined, agenda, and therefore Turkish (with ie Cypriot and Greek sovereign rights on the "menu"), thirdly without guarantees about this secrecy and fourthly under the supervision of the most pro-Turkish EU country .
As should be expected, Turkey has repeatedly denuded Greece, both by publicizing the tripartite meeting and by announcing new drilling. The Greek government is now in a hurry to save the pretexts, thanks to the media that received gifts from the infamous "Petsas package". The Greek government is exuding fear, by highlighting in various ways that it does not mean its willingness to fight for the sovereignty of the country and for the protection of Hellenism.
This subjugation goes hand-in-hand with with the unthinkable statements by Cypriot president Anastasiades, regarding the defensive capabilities of the Republic of Cyprus, which turn the latter into a state – when all is said and done – without sovereignty. Greece is paying for the unilateralism of its alliances, the patronage of Germany and the USA, the 10 years of memoranda, the fantasizing of its protection by the EU, NATO, Israel, or even France - lately.
Turkey is aware of the above and has managed to completely divert the object of its secret or potential dialogue: instead of discussing mutual recourse to international justice on EEZ issues alone, Turkey imposes a moratorium on the suspension of the exercise of rights of the Republic of Cyprus (which it annuls in practice, without a credible reply).
You do not always have to talk
All this at the same time that Turkey is exercising, undisturbed, all the rights it considers it has. At the same time, it is constantly adding new issues, which concern not only the sovereign rights of Greece but also the narrow concept of sovereignty. And just as naively the Greek side chooses under guardianship, secret negotiations which render it even more vulnerable to such pressures and in practice legitimize the Turkish agenda.
There are times when, contrary to what the Greek Foreign Ministry claims, it is better not to talk to the other side. Let them look again at the attitude of George Papandreou the elder, at the urging of Andreas, towards President Johnson in relation to the Cyprus issue. These are the times when the other side has to understand that it is pushing things towards escalation.
An escalation that it is not really seeking. Periods during which one has to become unpredictable! But unpredictability must be combined with the rapid reorientation of Greek foreign policy in general, which we have talked about in previous articles.
A basic but important element of such a reorientation is to not accept any role by Germany, as it failed to guard the secrecy of the tripartite meeting, which in any case was a bad choice. Even at the last minute, the Greek government must understand that with its naive and dangerous, submissive moves, it puts Hellenism at greater risk of conflict and defeat.
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