Former education minister and Syriza MP Nikos Filis has said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ decision not to call Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to end the captivity of the two Greek officers is correct.
Filis has declared over the last days that the two officers’ captivity is a serious matter, but that it is not the biggest issue in Greek-Turkish relations.
“The issue is crucial, and Greek authorities should do whatever is possible so that the officers can return to their families immediately, but it is not the most important issue,” Filis told SKAI news in Athens.
“The most important issue is the escalation on Turkey’s part.”
“Tsipras is right not to call Erdogan, because if there is a telephone call that does not produce a solution, there will be a major crisis. It must first be prepared at lower levels,” Filis said.
The remark was viewed as a response to New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who called the PM to task for not contacting the Turkish president.
“Through its initiatives, the Greek government is trying to deprive Erdogan of any pretext for creating artificial tensions. These issues can be resolved diplomatically,” Filis said.
A former editor-in-chief of the Syriza-linked left-wing daily Avgi, Filis also offered advice to journalists covering the story.
“The media should offer the necessary information and its significance, without excesses. National issues are reported on in a manner rife with emotional charge. Without logical arguments we are led to retreats and defeats,” Filis said.
“The foreign minister of Cyprus yesterday underlined that artificial tension must not be created in the region. This is what Erdogan wants, in order to cancel the oil and gas exploration in Cyprus’ EEZ,” the former minister said.
“Turkey’s threats are not real. We must utilise our alliances, and close open fronts with other states such as FYROM, because Turkey exploits everything,” he concluded.