By Antonis Anzoletou

There are no great expectations for the December 7th appointment. Next Thursday it will be six years since the episodic visit of 2017 when the Turkish president came to Athens determined, at a time when many issues in the wider region were open, to make his own claims as compelling as possible. The calm climate that has been consolidated since the deadly earthquakes in Antalya and after does not foresee how it will “lash out” again against the Greek side. His statements yesterday, after all, were in a very good atmosphere. There are no violations in the air and much more at sea. He will not meet with the President of the Republic because it is not an official visit and he will not spend the night in Athens. No one forgets his statements at the Presidential Palace in front of Prokopis Pavlopoulos, but also of Alexis Tsipras at the Maximos Palace regarding the Treaty of Lausanne and the minority of Thrace.

The government is carefully monitoring the developments, as the presence of the Turkish president in Berlin only in “calm waters” did not move. According to his words, Erdogan is serving his last term and for sure wishes to leave a very strong imprint. And if in the back of his mind is not to give up even worse. The joint statements he had with Olaf Solz reminded the most optimistic diplomatic circles that he remains unpredictable. He constantly wants to promote the role of the protector of the Muslim world, in this case the Palestinians. Here is the big difference between the two countries at the moment, as Ankara defends Hamas by constantly launching attacks against Israel. Certainly his visit to Greece does not have many similarities with that of Germany. In Berlin, the leader of Turkey had one more reason to show his displeasure because of the Eurofighter. The consortium (Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Spain) that manufactures them will hardly give the green light to acquire them. The F-35 ban and the lingering F-16 angst are causing undisguised irritation.

Will he go to Thrace? It is a question that always concerns when the Turkish president comes to Greece. So far no such request has been submitted. However, his reference to a “Turkish minority” or any provocative implication cannot be ruled out. The recent statements of Hakan Fidan, who will be among the ministers accompanying him, show that everything is possible. The other important issue that will be on the agenda – and it is particularly topical due to the developments in the Middle East – will be immigration, which the Turkish president uses whenever he deems it appropriate.

In general, the Supreme Cooperation Council will seek to signal the mutual will for cooperation for the benefit of the two countries. An extension of the military-level calm will be a very big gain from the meeting. It takes place after the completion of the first cycle of the road map of contacts that was agreed between the foreign ministers of the two countries. In any case, it is important to continue the political consultations between the two Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Alexandra Papadopoulou and Burak Aksapar.