Each time Erdoagn pushed the envelope a bit further because he knew that although Greece was complaining strongly the EU would not significantly change its posture.
If Donald Trump is defeated in next week’s US presidential elections Ankara may well escalate its provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean in order to instigate a military incident.
To justify his military intervention on many fronts Erdogan says that he is is guided by the Ottoman past, but he is in fact reviving the catastrophic, expansionist Nazi theory of lebensraum.
'It is my firm hope that the underlying disputes between two allies can now be addressed purely though negotiations in the spirit of allied solidarity and international law,” Nato's chief said.
In a break with US diplomatic custom that if a Secretary of State visits Greece he or she will also visit Turkey and vice versa, Pompeo decided to visit only Greece, a move viewed as a stern message to Ankara,
'We have the issue of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean which is not the affair of Greece and Cyprus alone but an EU issue,' Michel said
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has repeatedly declared that dialogue is inconceivable before Turkey withdraws its forces from the area. He clearly ruled out the concept of diplomacy at gunpoint.
In addition MED7 leaders urged Greece and Turkey to dialogue. The seven leaders led by Emmanuel Macron are not prepared to accept Turkish hegemony in the Mediterranean.
The strategy of pursuing closer ties with France was vindicated in 1979 when French president Valerie Giscard D’Estaing passionately supported Greece’s accession to the European Economic Community (EEC)
As accustomed as one may be to such actions by Turkey, they still offer a foretaste of what may happen if the limits are surpassed.
In a tweet on the 27 conversation Trump’s spokesman John Deere said, 'President Trump also highlighted the importance of Turkey and Greece resolving their disagreements in the eastern Mediterranean.'
Erdogan is standing by his pledge to provide military support to the government of Tripoli which is internationally recognised but controls only the capital.
The leader of Turkey loses no opportunity to display his aggressiveness. Yesterday he spoke about grey zones in the Aegean (Greek islands whose sovereignty Ankara disputes) and accused Greece and its allies of trying to block Turkey’s access to the sea. He announced that he will bolster Ankara’s military support for the government of Libya. Athens responds to this intransigence with the Agreement of the Four in which it is joined by Israel, Egypt, and Cyprus for the construction of the EastMed pipeline. Greece is also taking initiatives in the Middle East such as the foreign minister’s trip to Libya and Egypt yesterday. Along with these moves the government must not forget that Turkey will remain our neighbour. Hence, channels of communication must remain open not in order to make bilateral agreements on issues (mainly of sovereignty) that divide the countries and which Athens has always considered non-negotiable, but rather to make it possible for Greece and Turkey to eventually go to the International Court of Justice to resolve issues that the two sides have agreed to in advance. There are many obstacles in such a course. The Greek political class fears the political cost that reviving this issue will have. The Turkish political class, which theoretically does not rule out such an eventuality in fact places so many preconditions that make such a solution prohibitive. That does not mean that diplomacy must resign itself to the current situation and problems. A military clash would be disastrous for both countries. Greece is also taking initiatives in the Middle East such as the foreign minister’s trip to Libya and Egypt yesterday.
Setting aside Ankara’s bellicose behaviour and territorial claims in Cyprus’ maritime zone and the Aegean, Akar maintained that Turkey supports 'good neighbourly relations, international law and mutual respect'.
The US, Russia, France, Cyprus, Israel, and most recently Italy have all underlined that the Turkey-Libya MOU is a serious threat to regional stabilit,
The Greek readout indicated that both leaders agreed on the need to deepen exceptionally good bilateral relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first foreign leader to call and congratulate Mitsotakis, even before the final results were in.
'Greece is a sovereign country that is in a position to defend its sovereign rights. There is no scenario under which a [Turkish drilling ship] will drill in the Greek continental shelf because that will be blocked.'
The US Ambassador said the US, EU 'share a perspective on developments in the waters off of Cyprus... and in avoiding any further provocative actions by Turkey'.
'Our country steadfastly follows a policy that is based on respect for international law. Obviously that does not mean giving in to pressure. We steadfastly fend off every effort at revisionism and we insist on resolving disputes through dialogue.'
In a lengthy statement, the Defence Department clearly articulated US interests and power in the region and the crucial nature of the US-Greece military alliance.
Turkey may consider that this period is opportune for it to impose its views on the delimitation of Greece’s territorial waters and continental shelf.
The government and the opposition, trapped in a ruthless political clash just ten days before the European Parliament election, are downplaying or even ignoring Turkey’s evolving and escalating hostility in the region. With constant manoeuvres, Erdogan is disputing the status quo in the Eastern Mediterranean and seeking an opportunity to advance what he views as his interests. He has pressed forward with gas exploration in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic zone with a rather tepid international response. He formalised his claims by summoning the diplomats of neighbouring countries, including Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece. He is pressing on with huge military exercises and loses no opportunity to violate Greek airspace. If one factors in the tensions in the broader region – with attacks on ships and the open conflict between the US and Iran – it is clear that the situation is becoming explosive. The Greek government’s statements of condemnation obviously do not address the issue, nor does a merely formal alignment of the government and the opposition suffice to confront Ankara’s provocations. Unfortunately, domestic political polarisation does not permit the hammering out of a unified national line that can address current threats and provide a long-term national strategy. Pressured by domestic economic problems and his party’s loss of the Istanbul mayoralty, Erdogan is seeking a way out of his impasse abroad so as to rally his domestic political base. Erdogan is unpredictable and volatile and thus there is a danger that he might provoke a crisis that could easily spin out of control. There is enough military firepower gathered in the Eastern Mediterranean to pose the risk of triggering an explosion at any moment. The leader of the American superpower is also unstable and unpredictable enough to provoke a crisis in the region in order to flex his muscle. Meanwhile, the fact that the European Union is almost paralysed and unable at the moment to take bold decisions further complicates the situation. In Greece, the necessary national understanding is being undermined by the frenzied electoral campaign. The prime minister, who should have taken the initiative to rally political forces so as to forge a national strategy, is preoccupied with his struggle to cling to power at all costs. The result is that Greece is drifting and monitoring events as a bystander instead of seeking alliances and fending off designs and provocations. Though there is absolutely no room for complacency, we are preoccupied with polarising domestic clashes instead of seeking the basis for an understanding at least on national issues that have bedeviled us for decades. The government and the opposition, trapped in a ruthless political clash just ten days before the European Parliament election, are downplaying or even ignoring Turkey’s evolving and escalating hostility in the region.
It was announced in Nicosia that Sergey Lavrov intends to visit the island at an undetermined time, even as Moscow’s Ambassador to Athens expressed fears over the escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The S-400s radars have a range of up to 570—600kms. They can detect bombers at a distance of 570kms and F-16 Fighters with a 400km range.
The discovery of huge gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean and Ankara’s hostile stance towards drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ by companies including ExxonMobil has pushed Washington to shift stance.
'Despite our good will we shall do whatever is necessary to defend our rights and just positions and we shall respond,' Akar, the former chairman of Turkey’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, said.
Erdogan constantly cultivates the sense of a quest for lost Ottoman grandeur and at the same time he disputes Turkey’s traditional ties with the West.
'The Aegean is a sacred place for Greece. No one can carve it up and distribute it by saying this is within or outside its limits,' Efthimios Lekkas said, denouncing Tsironis’ statement
Foreign diplomats – including US Ambassador Pyatt - have expressed concerns over a military “accident” due to the large concentration of firepower, heightened tensions in the region.
Erdogan says Ankara is determined to defend its 'rights' on Cyprus, in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the Aegean.