Nov 23 2017

Greece can act as intermediary for `isolated' Turkey

Greece is in the position to act as an intermediary between Turkey and the West, Costas Iordanidis wrote in the Greek newspaper Ekathimerini.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is very keen to make an official visit to Athens at a time when his country is becoming isolated, Iordanidis wrote.

Athens’s role should be to operate as an intermediary. Because you have to be naive to believe that the U.S. and the Europeans have simply crossed out our neighbour.

Nothing spectacular will come out of Erdoğan’s visit, but the two sides should aim to de-escalate any tensions and end the provocative behaviour of “certain circles” in Ankara, he said.

Iordanidis pointed to a trip to the northern Greek region of Western Thrace this month by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu, in which he met a barred ethnic Turkish youth organisation and called for equal treatment of minority Turks there.

 

Over-the-top statements are not uncommon, but they should be interpreted more as a sign of weakness, and not self-confidence … This is not a call for a policy of appeasement toward Ankara, which could only end in disaster. Dialogue and efforts to diffuse tensions through diplomatic means is imperative, particularly between neighbouring states – even in Turkey’s case.