Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis pursues a two-pronged policy towards Turkey.
On the one hand, it is carrying out a move to impose the maximalist Greek demands on Ankara with fait accompli in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
As seen in the most recent examples of the radar locking of Turkish planes in NATO missions and the continued arming of Lesbos and Samos with armored vehicles in violation of international law…
On the other hand, he talks about the idea of reconciliation, as he did in his speech at the 77th UN General Assembly.
He highlights the rhetoric that “Greece does not pose a threat to Turkey, it is a neighbor, not an enemy”.
Thus, it pursues a policy of harassing and provoking its neighbors, and tries to portray Turkey as an “aggressor” by complaining to the US and EU institutions.
There is a serious greed and miscalculation underlying this effort.
The main reason that has bothered Athens in recent years is that Turkey has taken its international power to a higher league.
Turkey’s expanding military presence from Syria, Iraq, Libya to Karabakh and President Erdogan’s rising mediation leadership during the Russia-Ukraine war are eye-catching.
The normalization policy of Turkey with countries (such as Israel, UAE and Saudi Arabia) with which Turkey was at odds for a while also neutralized Athens’ attitude of isolating Ankara.
Nowadays, Greece sees the cooperation it has developed with the USA and France and the support it receives from the EU as an opportunity to harass Turkey.
Washington also supports the Mitsotakis government’s policy to balance Turkey’s influence in the region and to establish itself more strongly in the Western Balkans and Southeast Europe.
France, which is not satisfied with competing with Turkey in many fields, especially in Africa, displays a similar approach.
The result is that the Mitsotakis government turns to provocative actions in very serious vital issues such as the territorial waters and militarization of the islands in the Aegean.
As President Erdogan’s warnings and the TRNC emphasis in the UN show, Turkey does not intend to take a step back from its vital interests in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus.
Moreover, no power can and cannot make concessions on these national issues.
Conflicts in an exceptional sea like the Aegean cannot be resolved by fait accompli.
On the contrary, it can be managed with multifaceted cooperation, economic integration and good neighborliness.
However, the recent Turkish-Greek tension, initiated by Mitsotakis, with an anti-Turkey effort in the US Congress, by pushing Erdogan’s extended hand, is establishing a new climate.
In this climate, it is not surprising that the Greek public is concerned about Turkey.
For many years, the concern/fear of Turkey has been at the center of Greek politics.
However, despite the Greek perception in the War of Independence, the Turkish public did not see Greece as a serious threat until recently.
This campaign, carried out by the Mitsotakis government, backed by the USA, France and the EU, has started to cause serious concerns in the eyes of the Turkish people.
Saying “we are not a threat” in words does not cover up the discomfort of being hostile with action.
Mitsotakis recalls feelings of enmity, not neighborliness, before our 2023 elections, which will take place as we enter the second century of the Republic.
No politician in Turkey can remain ignorant of this.
“What Greece is doing” is gradually turning into a nationalist arena where the opposition and the government criticize each other.
It is not surprising that this issue will flare up further in the future of the campaigns.