We knew from the start that relations with Ankara would not be normal as Turkish provocations over the last year functioned as a negotiating card and leverage to achieve its objectives.
Although we were aware of the damage that Turkey’s behaviour was causing to bilateral relations, EU-Turkey relations, and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean, we had not imagined the enormous monetary cost and its substantial impact on the Greek economy.
The undeclared war with Turkey cost Greece dearly. During the 100 day crisis involving Ankara’s oil and gas research vessel «Oruc Reis» the Greek Navy was deployed to constantly monitor the Aegean.
Moreover, for one month the Evros Greek-Turkish border region posed a threat as Turkey pushed thousands of migrants there, forcing Greece to bolster border security in order to prevent their illegal entry into the country.
The total defence costs reached 100mn euros and caused economic bleeding to the economy, which was just beginning to regain trust.
Turkey was well aware of the cost to Greece of being on constant military alert and hoped that this would break Athens’ resistance and force it to retreat from its longstanding rejection of Ankara’s claims.
In other words, Turkey is now for the first time using the economy as leverage to pressure Greece.
Its strategy demonstrates clearly that it will do anything to avoid a dialogue on equal terms, which it pretends to seek.
This state of affairs mandates that Greece further intensify its diplomatic blitz with the goal of resolving the dispute as soon as possible.