x

Society

Former Minister Pangalos Says Turks Good Only Dead

February 13, 2018

ATHENS – Former Greek foreign minister Theodoros Pangalos, who was known as an outspoken loose cannon for the former PASOK Socialists, stoked growing fires between Greece and Turkey when he said “the only good Turk is a dead Turk” on a radio show.

Pangalos, who has gone after a range of targets in his career, including Germany, was speaking on SKAI radio after a Turkish patrol boat rammed a Greek Coast Guard vessel near the disputed rocky islet of Imia where the two countries almost went to war in 1996 and as tension in the Aegean is ramping up.

During the interview, Pangalos argued that Greece faced a “huge” problem with Turkey. “The enemy is relentless and will not be overcome, regardless of how much good faith we show,” he said.

“The only good Turk is a dead Turk. I believe this because I have not come across a good Turk. They lack basic appreciation. The Turk does not have a sense for justice,” he said, partially echoing comments from Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras he’s having problems dealing with what he called an “aggressive” Turkey.

Pangalos was Greece’s foreign chief from 1996-99 and had said during his tenure that Germany, now the biggest lender in three international bailouts of 326 billion euros ($402.46 billion), was “a giant with bestial force and a child’s brain” and accused Turkey of “dragging its bloodied boots across the carpets of Europe.”

He sparked a backlash in 2010, when he claimed that there was shared responsibility between politicians and citizens for the Greek crisis. “We ate it [the money] all together,” he said at the time.

In 2013, he claimed Greece had been eavesdropping on US ambassadors in Athens and Ankara in the late 1990s.

This comes as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who came to Athens in December, 2017 in a bid to cool tensions and meet Tsipras, instead fired a warning to Greece, Cyprus and international companies exploring for gas in the Mediterranean not to “step out of line” and encroach on Turkey’s rights even though Turkey doesn’t recognize Cyprus, the Law of the Seas and wants a share of any energy finds off Cyprus, where it has unlawfully occupied the northern third since a 1974 invasion.

Turkey opposes the oil drilling, saying it disregards the rights of breakaway Turkish Cypriots. Many in Turkey also accuse Greece of laying claims on uninhabited islets near Turkey’s Aegean coastline.

“Opportunistic attempts concerning gas exploration off Cyprus and concerning Aegean islets are not escaping our attentions,” Erdogan said. “We are warning those who step out of line with miscalculations in Cyprus and the Aegean,” he added.

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

RELATED

ATHENS – A Greek Internet protection group said a police program that would scan people's faces and fingerprints goes against international human rights and is an invasion of privacy that could worsen discrimination.

Top Stories

Politics

ANKARA - Turkey's swiveling between offering diplomacy or gunboats and demands that Greece take troops off its islands near Turkey's coast is roiling the waters between the countries and plans to hunt for energy.

United States

NEW YORK – Grammy-nominated artist Eric Alexandrakis announced his latest release due out on February 1, titled Good Girls Never Waltz With Me, another new genre-bending addition to his critically acclaimed TERRA series of releases.

General News

ATHENS – Five members of the World Hellenic Interparliamentary Association (WHIA), with Rhode Island State Senator Leonidas Raptakis as head of the group, visited Evros on January 12-13.

Video

Despite Huge Volcano Blast, Tonga Avoids Widespread Disaster

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — The blast from the volcano could be heard in Alaska, and the waves crossed the ocean to cause an oil spill and two drownings in Peru.