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  • Editorial: Mr. Tsipras’ first and great responsibility

    It is obvious that Turkey is pressuring Greece, in an intensive and organised manner, to sit at the bargaining table with unfavourable terms, and to conduct negotiations that will be to Ankara’s benefit.

    ΤοΒΗΜΑ Team
    Editorial: Mr. Tsipras’ first and great responsibility | tovima.gr

    The complications in Greek-Turkish relations are obvious, and need no further confirmation.

    After the capture of the two Greek army officers at Evros, we are witnessing ever more intense Turkish demands in the Aegean and Cyprus.

    There is a plethora of provocations, and incidents disputing Greek sovereignty in the Aegean are daily.

    Most recently, Ankara appears to be using the pressure of migrant flows, which it controlled until the EU-Turkey summit in Varna, Bulgaria, loosening the supervision of its coasts and giving a nod to human traffickers to act.

    It is obvious that Turkey is pressuring Greece, in an intensive and organised manner, to sit at the bargaining table with unfavourable terms, and to conduct negotiations that will be to Ankara’s benefit.

    Despite all the bullying, Ankara is not in the best position. Right now, the crisis in Syria is worsening, and President Trump’s announced involvement of Americans and Israelis casts doubts on Turkey’s aspirations at its northeastern borders.

    The efforts to distance the Kurds from its borders, as well as attempts to block the creation of a Kurdish state on Turkey’s soft underbelly, do not appear to be succeeding.

    As time passes, the joint US-Israeli plan to create a Kurdish buffer between Tehran and Damascus is becoming apparent.
    The Americans want to protect Israel from Iran, and for this reason they seek to cut off any channel of direct communications between the Arabs and Iran.

    For its part, Ankara is motivated by entirely different aims, which place it on a course of confrontation with Washington. The direct opposition explains US reservations over providing Ankara with super-advanced F-35 fighter jets, and American reactions to Turkey’s planned procurement of Russian S-400 missiles.

    A decades’ long alliance between Turkey and the US is at risk of being destroyed.

    The opportunistic alliance that Erdogan is trying to set up with Putin and the Iranians, in order to transcend the cost of rupturing traditional ties with the US, is insufficient, and appears absolutely fragile.

    From this perspective, the remarks of Russian Ambassador to Athens Andrey Maslov, who wanted to alleviate Greek concerns over Turkey’s order of S-400s from Moscow, are of interest. He said that the particular weapons system does not constitute a threat to Greece, and that a clash between Greece and Turkey is inconceivable.

    It is known that the Russians want Greece as an alternative gateway to Europe, and as a potential ally in the wider region, which is why the ambassador hastened to comment.

    In other words, this is an era of revisionism, and the obvious does not suffice to explain the present or determine the future.

    Turkey, despite Erdogan’s expansionism, is not in its halcyon days. On the contrary, it is in danger of being harmed by the many, conflicting plans of its leadership. That may be what makes it particularly dangerous.

    Still, Athens can hold its ground against Turkey. Greece has the forces and the allies to make it through the complications, as long as it maintains stability in its choices and unity domestically.

    National unity at this time is the basic condition and prerequisite for addressing Turkish aggressiveness.
    Ensuring unity is Mr. Tsipras’ first and great responsibility.

    All the other divisive tactics and power plays are worth nothing in the current national and geopolitical circumstances.

    International