Following his talks with Tayyip Erdogan, PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis reminded us that with Turkey «there were, are, and always will be difficulties».
The degree of difficulty fluctuates. The PM’s phrase sums up the nature of Greece’s diachronic relationship with Turkey but it also makes clear that Athens’ objective is to establish a modus vivendi.
Yet when one goes from theory to the reality on the ground, one cannot but wonder how that aim can be achieved when Turkey is attempting to to create in a totally arbitrary manner a corridor in the Mediterranean with a map that obliterates the Greek islands of Rhodes, Karpathos, and Crete, based on the specious argument – which clearly violates international law – that islands in general have no Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
That begs the question of what room there is for co-existence or even for basic communication.
One answer is almost as old as Western Civilisation – Si vis pacem, para bellum – which is to say if you desire peace prepare for war.
However, as much as one considers that stance to be necessary given the danger of a Greek-Turkish clash in the Mediterranean it is not enough.
A comprehensive answer would add that Greece has the diplomatic tools and international alliances that help calm the waters of the Medterranean.
One must not forget that this arbitrary corridor exposes the full extent of what Greece characterises as «Turkish provocations», which few in the international community were fully aware of until now.
Now they know.
That knowledge cannot but play a role in drawing Ankara into the establishment of a modus vivendi in which international law and history will be respected.