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Editorial

Did you want to sink a Greek warship?

The historian of the current Greek-Turkish crisis will reveal many unknown aspects of what is happening today.

One of these aspects was revealed by the German newspaper, Die Welt, which the Greek government representative described as "authoritative." According to the report published, Erdogan asked for the sinking of a Greek warship or the shooting down of a plane. Apparently, his generals "refused" because they needed more preparation to carry out such a task.

But this does not tell us enough. In principle, one does not ‘deny’ Erdogan of anything he wants. The generals probably ‘persuaded’ him to wait.

But this does not seem to stand as an explanation after they deployed an entire fleet to protect their research vessel and thus, logically, were prepared for war.

However, the real issue lies elsewhere. The question is, who really stopped Erdogan, and where did the information that he had ordered a "hot episode against Greece" come from?

There is no credible information about this, but there are various elements we can look at to help gain some insight.

It is likely that this information came to the attention of the German government, prompting the urgent mediation role pursued by Merkel and her Foreign Minister.

It seems that Erdogan was persuaded, possibly helped by the hesitation of his generals, not to proceed in instigating a hot episode, by the promise of the Germans that negotiations would begin soon.

However, after the agreement between Greece and Egypt, it seems that Erdogan was so outraged that German intervention alone was no longer enough. Trump had to intervene, as he did.

Here we must note something else: A careful study of Erdogan's statements reveals that although they are outrageous, insulting, and demeaning to Greece, they do show a hesitation, a disposition to bark –  but not to bite. They show a disposition to try to frighten us into negotiations, where they would rather fight with words than start a war.

Now, as for the question of how the information was obtained and why it was leaked, the explanation is more difficult. Was it to reveal his intentions, and how close we were to war? Or was it to expose him?

The third, but not the least, point to be emphasized is that Erdogan may have been surprised by the Greek Prime Minister's firm position and determination.

He was probably expecting a frightened or submissive reaction and found the exact opposite.

And probably because of this strong position, the allies also realized that the Eastern Mediterranean region could easily blow up if they did not intervene.

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