Sep 07 2019

Erdoğan ups the ante as Greece’s nightmare neighbour - Kathimerini

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has proven himself to be a neighbour from hell with his repeated interventions in his neighbours’ affairs, laying claim to others’ territory and rights, and now proclaiming Turkey’s right to acquire nuclear weapons, said Greek newspaper Kathimerini. 

The Turkish president on Wednesday said it was unacceptable for nuclear-armed states to forbid Ankara from obtaining its own nuclear weapons, falling short of stating whether Ankara had plans to obtain them.

While Turkey’s strongman is not the world’s only autocratic and dangerous leader, it said, he is the one who constitutes the greatest direct threat to neighbouring Greece.

Tensions have been soaring between Greece and Turkey for some time in the eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Sea over territorial waters and Ankara’s drilling for hydrocarbons off the divided island of Cyprus, respectively. 

Erdoğan’s recent declaration of Turkey’s right to nuclear weapons could be part of his ‘’practice of raising the rhetoric so as to project the image of the tireless defender of the nation and of Islam,’’ the article said. 

Such a move is part of a plan to draw voters’ attention from the fact that the opposition runs Turkey’s largest cities, that Moscow and Washington are curbing Turkish ambitions in Syria, and that country’s economy is in a downward spiral, it added.

The Turkish president, by threatening to push Syrian refugees toward Europe and speaking of nuclear weapons, is flexing his muscles, according to Kathimerini. 

Analysts maintain that Turkey is quickly drifting away from the West and into the arms of Russia, becoming the latter’s wedge in the NATO alliance.

Turkey’s plan to reach for nuclear arms - at a time when Russia is providing the know-how for the construction of the Akkuyu nuclear reactor in southern Turkey - coincides with borders gaining increased significance for Greece and Europe, the article concluded. 

http://www.ekathimerini.com/244278/opinion/ekathimerini/comment/the-neighbor-from-hell