Merkel gives: the mother of all conflicts is between Erdogan and Greece

respects The Drift of Turkey in a political order, the liberal and democratic principles, abuse of trusts in European capitals to reject. Heavier the fact weigh

Merkel gives: the mother of all conflicts is between Erdogan and Greece

respects The Drift of Turkey in a political order, the liberal and democratic principles, abuse of trusts in European capitals to reject. Heavier the fact weighs in at, presumably, that the President Erdogan pushes the Europeans always foreign and security policy in front of the head, be it in the refugee issue, the situation in Syria or in Libya, and increasingly in the Mediterranean policy. In all of these areas, Ankara, therefore, comes as opponents rather than cooperative Partner. In a number of important strategic questions are worlds apart, the points of view.

Erdogan has never made a secret of the fact that for him the influence of Turkey ends at the country's borders. Ankara operates an aggressive foreign policy, with the aim of, as the order of power in the Region and to establish beyond. Experts point to a great power airs and graces, and make references to the Ottoman Empire. In an Interview the long-time German Ambassador in Ankara, Martin Erdmann, talks of "neo-Ottoman fantasies". Even if this terminology is controversial, there is Consensus in the assessment that Turkey's Erdogan in the choice of its foreign policy means squeamish.

About the guest author

Dr. Ronald Meinardus headed the office of the Friedrich-Naumann-Foundation for freedom in Istanbul. Prior to that, he was head of the regional office for South Asia of the Foundation. Twitter: @Meinardus

"Three and a half wars, the Turkey", writes the weekly paper "The time" with reference to Ankara's military policy in Iraq, in Syria and in Libya. "Half the war is a confrontation with the Greeks." In a European perspective, this line of Conflict has a special significance, it is in a member country. EU leaders have stressed in recent months that Greece's borders are the external borders of the Union.

Here the fun stops, you might say casually. Or to strive to have the picture of the downward spiral, once again, The end point of this spiral is reached for Europe, if Ankara makes the borders of Greece is in question or violated.

This uniqueness demonstrated by the community in February of this year, when Ankara opened in the Wake of the military developments in Syria, the land border to Greece for refugees, and there was then in the thrazischen border region of war-like siege scenes. Politically, the action was an own goal for President Erdogan: Rarely is the diplomatic isolation of Turkey in Europe was as clear as it was then. A similar political Isolation of Ankara, is now in the Turkish-Greek dispute over the Maritime sovereign rights.

Disputed territorial borders in the sea

the trigger for the new tensions, the announcement of Turkey sending a seismic research ship to explore the seabed off the Greek island of Kastellorizo is. In essence, it is not in dispute that goes back many decades, that Turkey recognises the Greek Islands have a continental shelf, as provided for in international law of the sea.

To the displeasure of the government in Ankara, the EU has in the disputed territorial Position of the question clearly referred to: "We are determined to protect the external borders of the European Union and support the sovereignty of Greece to the forces," said EU foreign envoy Josep Borrell at the end of June. While then in Greece the fear of a military confrontation with Turkey, grew up, did not stop the EU in rhetoric: Brussels and Berlin started a co-ordinated diplomatic mediation.

The threat of an escalation in Europe's Southeast flank was a serious test for the still young German presidency of the Council. From today's point of view, one can say that Berlin has mastered the test successfully. While Josep Borrell traveled to Ankara, flew the German foreign Minister Heiko Maas to Athens.

Both had the same message: first of all: international law must be complied with. Secondly, progress in the relations between the EU and Turkey are "only possible if Ankara's provocations in the Eastern Mediterranean is the sea", the German foreign Minister. This was a strong Signal to the addresses of the Turks. The appeal went hand in hand with the invitation to the parties to the dispute to engage in an open and honest dialogue.

in Order to help the estranged neighbors on the jumps, took place in mid-July at the Initiative of the Merkel government in Berlin of secret talks between leading representatives of Greece and Turkey. An indiscretion of the Turkish led Minister of foreign Affairs, the secret channel was known. Nevertheless, the Berlin Initiative led to the desired result: The Turkish government, the research ship pulled back a velvet military-cher accompaniment from the disputed sea areas.

a Little later, Ibrahim Kalin, the spokesman of the Turkish Präsideten announced: "We are ready to discuss all issues, without preconditions, with Greece." The Athens foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said the new tongue in Ankara: "I hope that the atmosphere is improved, so that I can meet with the Turkish foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, whom I consider as my friend."

Cyprus is the "mother of all conflicts"

Germany's diplomatic success, however, success is a part and, in the best case – at the beginning of a new Dialogue between Turkey and Greece. Because hardly was peace and quiet on the Turkish-Greek Front, which turns out, was the message that Ankara will seek in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus for Gas, for new tensions. Like Greece, the Republic of Cyprus is a full member of the European Union. Unlike in the case of Greece, Ankara does not recognise, but the Greek-dominated government in Nicosia.

In the Cyprus question, it is about much more than Gas and oil in the adjacent sea areas. The unresolved conflict on he is since 1974 divided island in the Mediterranean is, so to speak, the "mother of all conflicts" between Turkey and Greece. In one point it is on both sides agreed. Without compensation in the Cyprus question, a permanent and fundamental balance between Greeks and Turks is difficult to imagine. A half-century of conflict on the island of Aphrodite, as Cyprus is also known. Countless attempts at a solution are run into the sand.

It was a success would be if the German presidency manages to prevent a new escalation of the conflict in connection with the dispute over the delimitation of the Maritime zones of Influence in the perimeter of the island.

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Updated Date: 06 August 2020, 10:26

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