CLOSE
Loading...
28° Nicosia,
22 August, 2019
 
Home  /  Comment  /  Opinion

Turkey is waiting for its next opportunity

Greek-Turkish relations in the forefront

Alexis Papachelas

Alexis Papachelas

Both the current administration and the next will be called upon to manage Greek-Turkish relations at their most critical phase since the invasion of Cyprus in 1974.

What is developing before our eyes is a systematic strategy engineered by Turkey to bring into question the status quo in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean regions. All evidence points to a climax in tensions next autumn.

Turkey always waits for the right opportunity to promote its claims. In 1955, there was a power vacuum in Athens and Greece was on a collision course with Britain.

In 1964, Ankara tried to take advantage of an unstable political situation in Greece but it was thwarted by the United States. In 1967, Turkey took advantage of the junta’s inexperience and isolation and got what it wanted in the withdrawal of Greek troops from Cyprus.

In 1974 they had the perfect opportunity and they pounced on it. In 1996, they openly raised the issue of “gray zones” in the Aegean Sea, knowing full well they had before them a new government that did not control anything and was deeply divided.

Turks are patient. They build up their arguments and their claims while waiting for the next opportunity. The aim is to drag Greece to the negotiating table under unfavorable conditions.

It is quite likely that Ankara will attempt to cause a crisis and, through it, to force a debate on all the issues that it wants to raise.

It sees the instability and political weakness of the government. The international climate is also blurry and unclear. The military asymmetry in some areas is quite worrying. A positive element is that Greece, like Cyprus, has powerful allies. It remains to be seen, however, just how solid and effective these allies would be in the event of a crisis.

The only good thing is that the channels of communication between the government and the opposition are currently open and working. So far, Greek-Turkish relations have not been dragged into the fierce political confrontation.

Opinion: Latest Articles

Greece 2021

Greece 2021

No individual, party or group should try to hijack an event that belongs to all Greeks
Athanasios Ellis
 |  OPINION
With courage and moderation

With courage and moderation

But how will we now close the accounts of the past and stop arguing about what happened 44 or 75 years ago?
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
The ‘public interest'

The ‘public interest'

A proliferation of legislation and bureaucracy, and employees who say “no” to everything
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Andreas Paraschos adds it all up, from summer 1974 to the establishment of today

The extent of betrayal

Connecting the dots between yesterday’s amnesty and today’s immunity from prosecution
Andreas Paraschos
 |  OPINION
A wise verdict

A wise verdict

The electoral outcome also showed that New Democracy now has two battles on its hands
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
Winds of War

Winds of War

They say that history repeats itself as a farce
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
The Trump factor

The Trump factor

There has been much ado around Greek-Turkish relations, a result of sensationalism and ignorance about the substance of ...
Alexis Papachelas
 |  OPINION
X