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Editorial

Erdogan’s Great Idea

I agree with those who argue that Erdogan's gangsterism in the Eastern Mediterranean is intended to arouse the nationalist sentiments of the Turks – which is not so difficult when it comes to Greece – and to divert their attention from the serious economic problems facing his country.

Among the top financial problems is the sharp devaluation of the Turkish lira, which is increasing the cost of living for all and endangering his country's businesses that have been borrowing in foreign currency.

The above theory has been put forward by, among others, Jack Ewing in his article in the New York Times a few days ago, as "a train wreck in slow motion.”

Although the issue of the economy may be the most serious internal problem in Turkey, it is not the only one. Hundreds of thousands of Turks remain in prison on charges of plotting a coup against Erdogan. And, Turkey has more journalists in prison than any other country.

There is, therefore, in my opinion, a great deal of truth in the theory that Erdogan uses the crisis with Greece to disorient the public opinion of his country.

However, this does not explain the full cause of the crisis it is creating with Greece and the unprecedented rhetoric against it.

For years, Erdogan has made it clear that he considers "the drinker" Ataturk a criminal who agreed to leave “their” islands to Greece, except for Imbros and Tenedos, in the Treaty of Sevres.

He does not accept that they are so close to his country, and that they are not theirs/Turkish.

When he speaks, as he did for the 98th anniversary commemorating the Asia Minor Catastrophe for us, but the triumph/victory for them, of the "Blue Homeland,” it reminds us of our Great Idea, which we abandoned. "He envisions the conquest of Greek islands where hundreds of thousands of Greeks live," according to another New York Times journalist, Steven Erlanger.

And Erlanger also reveals a point that supports this view: Erdogan even sets as a condition for talks with Greece the negotiation of our islands.

Of course, Kyriakos Mitsotakis refuses to allow such a thing and limits the talks to the "continental shelf and energy issues.”

It goes without saying that there will be no Greek prime minister who will grant islands or any territory to Turkey or anyone else.

But the fact that Erdogan has the unmitigated audacity to talk about such a thing shows the magnitude of the problem before us – which I repeat, is not only related to the ongoing economic crisis and that everyone predicts that now with the coronavirus crisis will worsen – but that he already believes in his own Great Idea.

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