In the back of the minds of Greek government officials is always the hot episode. And to what extent Erdogan is now following a “Russian strategy”.
By Antonis Anzoletou
Is political game or political necessity forcing Tayyip Erdogan to take his rhetoric with Greece to extremes? Analyzing the movements of the unpredictable president, it is now clear that he tends towards the second.
The polls will be held no later than June, and around 84 million Turks will be asked to decide whether they want to continue to have the same person at the helm of their country.
It seems that he is almost 20 points away from the opposition coalition and is looking for every way to reduce the gap.
The problem, however, is this: Election time is getting closer, but at the same time, it’s not that close. There are still eight months until the screens are erected and the question is how much and in what way he will escalate his movements in the next long period.
At the back of the mind of Greek government officials is always the hot episode. And to what extent Erdogan is now following a “Russian strategy”.
THE Turkish president he has to do something very difficult. To convince his nationalist audience to forget the economic hardship they experience every day and rally around the flag.
Inflation is running high, analysts are predicting that the Turkish lira will fall by up to 20% in the coming period and Turkey’s economic situation will worsen.
And if Erdogan cannot change this reality, it is clear that he seeks to overturn the agenda and speak to the feelings of his compatriots.
Even to stir up public opinion against Greece.
The latest major escalation move was to put Greece as a key issue on the National Security Council.
“Greece is militarizing the islands and has expansionist ambitions,” he claims, with the West watching and wondering. Whether he wants to blackmail the USA, to finally get the F-16s, or indeed to proceed with some more aggressive action, what is certain is that his movements are worrying.
Since he has taken his incendiary rhetoric to the highest level, for the tones to drop again something must have intervened.
The effort to get the demilitarization of the Greek islands to the Security Council may be part of Erdogan’s plans.
Unless the internationalization of the specific Turkish narrative is probably easier to do through an episode, which Ankara would try to exploit.
Sustained aggressive rhetoric is not something the Turkish president is used to. He usually followed the tactics of “cold and hot” in his relations with Greece. The threat of the refugee is always on the table and the Greek authorities have shown that they are at the highest level of preparedness.
It is clear that Ankara is also anticipating the reaction of the West, so far the neighbors do not appear to be happy, neither from the USA, nor from the EU.
It is estimated that this was the main objective of Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to New York and the UN General Assembly.
And in the end he reportedly left empty-handed.
In any case, his intentions will be seen to a great extent during his presence in Prague, on October 6, at the informal EU Summit.
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