Guns ‘n Roses Diplomacy for Greece and Turkey: Trading Blows Too

ATHENS — Greece and Turkey continue to alternate diplomatic offers and harsh rhetoric and are now reportedly trying to ease the tension in their dispute over seas and sovereignty.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and high-ranking officials have repeatedly cajoled, warned and threatened Greece into claiming the waters around the Greek islands with energy-seeking plans.

But they also offered to negotiate – on their own terms – which prompted Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to say he was ready to talk but also to fight if that were to happen, as relations are strained and raise fears. an accidental conflict.

Turkey has upped the ante by sending more fighter jets into Greek airspace after Greece put on a show by sending the first French-made Rafale jets bought when building an arsenal above of the Acropolis.

Erdogan and Turkish officials were particularly angered by Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou citing the genocide of Pontian Greeks a century earlier that Turkey said did not take place.

But with Erdogan now saying he still wants Turkey to join the European Union – a bid that has been going on since 2005 and has worsened under his authoritarian government – ​​he is also reaching out with kinder, softer talk.

But he has also at times reverted to the language of gunboat diplomacy, confusing Greek officials about how to handle volatility and whether he means what he says before changing it.

Trying to cool jets between the countries, the Joint Greek-Turkish Economic Committee is meeting on Jan. 24 in Athens under the leadership of Deputy Foreign Minister Kostas Frangogiannis and Turkish Deputy Trade Minister Mustafa Tuzcu, Kathimerini said.

There are also plans to try for a 64and series of exploratory talks – the last two recent ones ended in inconsequential chatter that got nowhere quickly – after the first 61 talks also failed.

There are also plans, according to the newspaper, to attempt political dialogue again at higher levels, the General Secretariat of Foreign Ministers, although this has also failed on several occasions.

But there is no going back to the so-called confidence-building measures which have brought no confidence in themselves, between defense ministries or with NATO, which has declared that it does not want to participate in the unrest between the countries. .

Greece believes that Turkey is presenting a false facade and not a real face and is just putting on a show to try to convince the international community of the sincerity of the negotiations, the newspaper added.

While speaking of sweet talk, it was noted that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused Greece of sponsoring terrorists and kept adding fuel to the fire with inflammatory remarks .

Still, the Joint Greek-Turkish Economic Committee will be completed with the signing of a protocol by Frangogiannis and Tuzcu, according to the report, without adding what it would be or have any significance.

The reactivation of the joint committee is one of the 25 points of the so-called positive agenda established between Frangogiannis and Turkish Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal which began 22 years ago, in the year 2000.

Sharon P. Juarez