Jun 28 2018

Erdoğan ‘very important’ in Europe, Greek PM says

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has become a key political figure, but is also unpredictable, said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“I believe president Erdoğan is a very important personality in the European political arena,” Tsipras said in an interview with Bloomberg Television.  He “is a very important personality, but sometimes unpredictable.”

Tsipras, who said he had spoken with Erdoğan after the latter’s victory in presidential elections on Sunday, said an example of Erdoğan’s unpredictable nature was the continued incarceration of two Greek soldiers in a Turkish jail. The men, who accidentally crossed the border into Turkey in bad weather, were being held without charge for 3.5 months, Tsipras said, adding that he raised the issue during his conversation with the Turkish leader.

Political and military tensions between Turkey and Greece have escalated over the past six months after Erdoğan called for the re-negotiation of borders that separate the two countries.

Greece has lately become a “critical geopolitical force in the region” and “a force of responsibility” which will continue, Tsipras said.