Only Trump can rein in Erdoğan – Greek daily


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan respects only force, meaning the only world leader who can influence him is his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, said Tom Ellis, the chief editor of Greek daily Kathimerini’s English edition.

Greece is seeking U.S. backing in its ongoing disputes with Turkey over the rights to areas with potentially vast hydrocarbon reserves in the eastern Mediterranean, and Trump could be its best chance at hemming in the Turkish leader, Ellis said.

Erdoğan has shown no hesitation to ruffle neighbours’ feathers with his foreign policy, but as Trump is the leader of the world’s most powerful economy, Erdoğan may fear that the US United States could crush the Turkish economy as it has threatened to do so in the past.

Greek Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis went to visit Trump on Jan. 7 to discuss his country’s dispute with Turkey, which sparked outrage in Athens when it signed a maritime borders deal with Libya that marked out a large swathe of the eastern Mediterranean as Turkey’s.

The deal claimed areas of the sea close to Cyprus and the Greek islands of Cyprus and Rhodes and could disrupt a Greek-Cypriot-Israeli deal to build a pipeline linking gas fields near Cyprus to Italy.