Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Greek Prime Minister says he is ready to "welcome" the Turkish army

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, September 13th 2022 à 14:50 | Read 249 times

The Greek Prime Minister has been confirmed the support of the French President in his conflict with Turkey (photo: Video clip of the Greek government)
The Greek Prime Minister has been confirmed the support of the French President in his conflict with Turkey (photo: Video clip of the Greek government)
GREECE / TURKEY. Visiting Paris to meet with Emmanuel Macron, Kyriákos Mitsotákis mentioned in his speech the war in Ukraine and the common position with France. "We fought on the side of freedom, on the side of international law. Not only because the inviolability of borders and all European values are put to the test there, but also because in the 21st century, an accomplished authoritarian despotism must not be legalized under any circumstances," stressed the Greek Prime Minister.

In front of the French president, he continued in an alarmist way, speaking of this conflict as "a precedent that could easily be imitated tomorrow by any local malaise in other regions of our planet. Moreover, my country is well aware of the neighboring threats, which is why I will share with President Macron some thoughts on Turkey's continued provocative position in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean."

The Greek Prime Minister said in Paris, that his "response to this aggression is preparation". He conveniently recalled that "the first French Rafale are already flying in the Greek sky and that the first two Belharra frigates are already under construction in the shipyards of Lorient. But our shield is not only our weapons, it is also our strong alliances. But above all, we have the strength of legitimacy and our arguments".

Athens enjoys the support of France in this turbulent period of relations between Greece and Turkey, whose president said he was ready to recover the Aegean islands, very close to its coast.

"Doors closed to challenge, but windows open to dialogue"

Saturday, September 3, 2022, Recep Tayyip Erdogan had launched a threatening message to the Greek government. "Your occupation of the islands does not bind us in any way. When the time comes, we will do what is necessary. We can arrive suddenly at night," said the Turkish president. Emmanuel Macron immediately denounced "provocations and unacceptable remarks questioning the sovereignty of Greece. The French President warned that he would not "let any disorder settle, especially in the eastern Mediterranean.

In Paris, Kyriákos Mitsotákis was therefore able to retort with the strength of the common view with France on this issue. "We are waiting for those who threaten to come suddenly one night in our islands. We wait for them in the light of day to see clearly who is right and has the real power on his side". He added, "our position remains active: we keep our doors closed to challenges, but always keep the window open to dialogue and discussions. Greece is not only a force of deterrence, it is above all a force of cooperation".

On Monday, September 12, 2022, Hulusi Akar called for caution from the Greek government. "Learn from history and do not embark on new adventures. You have seen in history that these provocations are not in your favor, do not repeat the same thing," warned the Turkish Minister of Defense and reference in particular to the taking of Izmir in September 1922 already mentioned by his president. Hulusi Akar however assured that his country "continued its efforts to solve all the differences with Greece by peaceful and diplomatic means and treated the actions of Athens with patience".

The age-old crisis between the two countries has been escalating for two years. It has flared up again after the discovery of natural gas in the eastern Mediterranean and the difficulty of conducting explorations due to disputed maritime borders. In the summer of 2020 and in October 2020, after the arrival of a Turkish seismic exploration ship, the Oruç Reis, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, Turkey had been severely rebuked and sanctioned by the European Union. The delimitation of air borders is also the subject of recurring friction as well as the status of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus and especially its Turkish-speaking population.

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