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After Netherlands and Germany, Greece?

33 11 1
The war of words between Ankara and Western Europe during the past weeks has shifted our attention from another longer war of words: that between Ankara and Athens, with its latest phase having started with the case of the eight Turkish officers accused of taking part in the attempted coup of July 15, 2016, who escaped to Greece.

The decision by the Greek Supreme Court not to extradite the officers to Turkey by accepting their claim that they may not get a fair trial in their country caused extreme irritation in Ankara and was followed by intense exchanges between the ministries of defense and foreign affairs of both countries. This was followed by a “tour de force” by the Turkish top brass around the Imia/Kardak rocks on the 21st anniversary of the Greek-Turkish standoff at the end of January.

This latest standoff between Greece and Turkey has only added to the ongoing uncertainty, if not agony, in Greece over the frequent threats by the Turkish government that it may cancel the EU-Turkey deal on the migrant issue. Greece, being the first stop of almost 1 million people who headed for the rest of Europe last year, is trapped in the middle. Even after the EU-Ankara agreement, Greece has been struggling to implement its part of the agreement but poor infrastructure and bad management has shown that it has not always been able to live up to its task.

Many in Greece are fearing that Ankara’s anger toward Western Europe is just an interval before it turns its attention again toward their country.

That said, there has been recently a preoccupation by Greek analysts and academics on whether this is the time to think seriously about revising the main Greek foreign policy principles toward Turkey and perhaps think of some fresh ideas.

The supporters of extreme conspiracies are predicting an imminent war between the two countries, around June, to coincide with the scheduled start of natural gas extraction operations around Cyprus.

Others are worried more about the inherent ideological mismatch of the present Greek government as well as its serious domestic problems after two years in power.

Everything is going extremely slowly. Alexis Tsipras’ had hoped that by now, the country’s creditors would have completed their review of........

© Hürriyet Daily News