Greece is trying to strike a balance between two distinct approaches dealing with Turkey.
On the one hand, there is United States’ “carrot and stick” tactic, heavily leaning on the stick lately, as it senses that Turkey continues what Washington sees as public relations operations, with little substance.
On the other, many European countries are hesitant in confronting Turkey. This has a lot to do with political developments, some at least involving sizeable Turkish communities, in several European countries (France, Germany, Italy, Spain). Spain, particularly, but also Germany, also have deep economic ties with Turkey.
Athens has chosen to remain discreet towards Turkey’s effort to drive a wedge between it and its European Union partners, presenting Greece as a problematic country that inflames regional relations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has tried this line in his recent phone call with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and also in an effort to court Egypt.
Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar followed the same line on Saturday, when he accused Greece of seeking to cancel Turkey’s 2019 maritime demarcation accord with Libya in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Certain countries, especially Greece, have undertaken some provocative moves against the current Libyan government over the deal,” Akar said in an address to Turkish special forces.
Greece, along with other countries, disputes the legality of the agreement.
(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)