Dec 08 2017

Erdoğan's tongue didn't slip on Lausanne

It is difficult to understand why President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan turned a visit to Greece from a public relations exercise into a mini crisis with Athens, the least problematic of Turkey’s neighbors and EU partners, writes Thanos Dokos, director-general of the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy.

Erdoğan, who called for renegotiation of the Launsanne Treaty of 1923, a cornerstone of Greek-Turkish relations, may have suffered a slip of the tongue or one of his usual outbursts, without a hidden agenda, but this is probably wishful thinking, Thanos writes in an op-ed for Ekathimerini.

Erdoğan would have realized that the Greek government would be compelled to respond, but now Intensive damage limitation is needed, particularly during his trip to Thrace on Friday, Thanos said.

It is hoped that during his visit to Thrace, President Erdoğan will be as careful in his statements as he was in his visit to the area as prime minister in 2004. In any case, public dialogues and statements about sensitive issues is a practice that should be avoided, as the results are seldom positive.