By Antonis Anzoletou

Turkey’s position is closely monitored by the Greek side. The US F-16 program has put Tayyip Erdoğan back in the “game” as he wants something to “sell” to his audience ahead of the upcoming municipal elections. His fear is not to appear completely lost, as after the Rafal Greece is moving forward dynamically with the acquisition of F-35s as well. The Turkish president has many fronts open with the US. The aircraft it will acquire should not be used for violations against the Greek side, while for Washington the Turkish attacks against the Kurds in Syria, as well as the support provided to Azerbaijan against Nagorno-Karabakh, are a red flag.

The Turkish president’s threats have not worked. If she didn’t say yes for Sweden’s accession to NATO, the F-16 is estimated that he would not see even with the “binoculars”. It is recalled that Ankara had “complied” on this specific issue after Anthony Blinken’s visit to Istanbul and immediately afterwards to Crete where he met Kyriakos Mitsotakis. What is the message that passed to Turkey from the negotiation of the last months? How nothing can be done if the Greek side “puts its feet up”.

He knows all this Erdogan and is clearly weighing his next moves. He does not lack friends in the West, nor the influence he has and can wield. It is the only Muslim country that is a member of NATO and can handle difficult situations in the region. Always guided by his own interest, of course, as he does in relation to Moscow. Turkey has never changed its position in relation to the sanctions on Russia, but the purchase of the S-400 is under great pressure not to renounce it. As for Hamas, it still disagrees with the dominant position of the West that it is a terrorist organization.

Erdogan, with his long stay in power, has shaped his own rules in the country’s foreign policy. This does not mean that Turkey’s divergence from the West will be maintained or last beyond the cycle of its own governance. It is supposed, after all, that this is his last term and then he will leave the palace in Anchor. In this context, the Greek side is clearly looking to take advantage of the calm that exists with Turkey since last year’s deadly earthquakes and then in Antalya, the dependence they have on the USA, but also the relations between Athens and Washington that are at the best possible level. Greece and Turkey are complementary links in this perimeter zone. What is Greece’s advantage in the triangle with the USA? How he has always been a reliable ally and consistent interlocutor with the governments on the other side of the Atlantic. The equidistant policy is easily interpreted as Washington always needed both countries on its side.