Lately we have seen that, thanks in large part to the active German presidency, Greece's efforts to impose sanctions and an arms embargo on Turkey have been halted. Athens's move to suspend the EU-Turkey Customs Union will probably have the same fate. The protagonist is Germany, which is advancing pro-Turkish initiatives in other areas as well.
The German Foreign Ministry is funding thousands of euros in research proposals on Turkey, provided they prove that "Turkey is important for Europe's prosperity"! The call is made through the German Centre for Applied Turkey Studies (CATS) co-funded by the German Foreign Ministry and the Stiftung Mercator.
It is noted that CATS organically belongs to the German Institute for International and Security Affairs, the largest think tank in Europe based in Brussels, which cooperates mainly with the German government, but also NATO. CATS accepts proposals - it pays up to 50,000 euros - which "are based on the assumption that Turkey is important for the security and prosperity of Europe, the Middle East, the Caucasus, and North Africa."
In other words, there is a clause in favor of Turkey from the beginning, at a time when the Erdogan regime is not only breaking a record for anti-democratic activities, but also threatening war with two EU member states and engaging in wars by sending mercenary jihadists. In other words, scientific research on the real field of developments is not encouraged, but only "studies" with a preordained pro-Turkish conclusion! In other words, they are looking to find formulas for "normalizing" the monster by covering it with an academic cloak.
Collaboration with Greeks
Among the institutions collaborating with CATS and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs are the Greek think tanks ELIAMEP and IDIS, which have been paid in various ways by Greek taxpayers. The center pays for studies and academic articles that present a specific picture of Greek-Turkish relations. For example, while Greece is threatened and demands the suspension of the Turkey-EU Customs Union, a Berlin-funded "study" by Greeks promotes the upgrading of the Turkey-EU Customs Union!
In institutions, which are linked to foreign governments and which skillfully support the Turkish expansionist positions against Hellenism, it is possible to see publications in which it is stated that the Turks "landed" - not invaded - in Cyprus, or that the purchase of the S-300 purchase by Cyprus was a product of "unpatriotic hypernationalism". IDIS is participating in a program, the description of which officials say aims to discuss "from the perspective of the EU, Turkey, and Greece - a mid-sized EU member - bordering Turkey."
It is supposed that all EU countries are equal, but from the beginning it must be emphasized that next to Turkey lies a "small" and "weak" Greece. How far from serving Turkish positions and therefore interests are Greek non-governmental "independent" institutions, which, as mentioned above, are also funded by the Greek state? And of course they also pull whatever strings to undertake well-paid studies from foreign institutions funded by the German state and Deutsche Bank.
Teachers in the service of intelligece agencies
Obviously, research is not something that can be criticized, even if it contradicts everyone's approaches. However, research conducted by specific centers and has a predetermined conclusion is propaganda and not research. When this constitutes propaganda against one's own country, then the problem is very big.
The above German proclamation raises the issue of the offerings provided by academics to bodies affiliated with foreign governments, which have their own expediencies often diverging, if not anti-diametric from the Greek interests. In the case we are talking about, it is essentially the soft power arm of German foreign policy with domestic scientistsamong its collaborators!
It is a well-known process with much history behind it. It was a disaster in the US Congress in the 1970s when it was revealed that the CIA was recruiting academics from universities to exploit them. Through their research, writings, and books, they form, especially in young people, perceptions, "specially" constructed to fit the specifications of the financiers.
Today the intelligence agencies do not stop sending their people to conferences or recruiting academics. The result is exactly what Professor Joseph Nye said in an interview with Kathimerini in 2005: "If I can make you want what I want, then I do not have to force you to do what you do not want." Nye had no problem getting involved with the CIA as you can see in his article.
At a 2017 event on the Cyprus issue at IDIS, listening to the speakers supporting the Annan Plan, I remember a student commenting on the Cyprus issue: "Well, since we do not have the power, what can we do?" That is the logic of CATS. This is what the American academics Stephen Krasner, Peter Katzenstein, and Robert Keohane meant when they said that "stronger states can manage to change the representations, on the basis of which ideological beliefs are limited to less powerful states [...] The purpose was not just to advance specific goals, but to change the way in which specific societies view their interests. "
Thousands of Greek scientists
Thousands of Greek and Greek Cypriot scientists, in the last two decades, have accepted such positions. Taking into account the great difficulties faced by young scientists in Greece to advance within academia, but also the difficulties of vocational rehabilitation, funding from such institutions is a temptation, since they are also a means of networking.
Criticism of institutions, of course, requires caution to avoid generalizations and demonization. Collaborating with a foreign institution does not necessarily mean the scientific cancellation of a researcher. There are areas or issues that go beyond the controlled agenda or in any case are not necessarily linked to foreign policy.
Years ago, an Italian associate of ELIAMEP, whose studies were paid for by the Greek state, had complained that ELIAMEP studies "remain untapped on ministry shelves". I do not know if this scientist still has a complaint? The normalization of the monster, however, has already begun through the monstrosity of academic functions.
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