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Editorial

Greece, Turkey and Regional Power

For years Greece has been oft-overlooked – considered a not-serious yet beautiful country. Turkey next door, however, was considered a strategic partner that connected East and West. This was a role that Turkey tried to fill historically from the times of Byzantium and through to the Ottoman era. This was a false impression put out by the Turks as they tried to steadily erode the Christian world and impose Islam on the West and bring it closer to the East while feigning western values. Obvious to any person living today, something similar is being played out in current affairs, but the difference is that while Ottoman diplomats were often subtle the Erdogan regime is not.

Clearly stated as national policy for Turkey is the ‘Blue Homeland’ initiative whereby Erdogan, disillusioned, much like Vladimir Putin of Russia, over the loss of past national grandeurs, wants to revive the Ottoman Empire and threatens nearly all of its neighbors with threats of land and sea seizures. Greece over the last three years possesses for the first time in a long time a government that makes it a nation to be reckoned with on the continental and global stages alike. This is not the opinion of a biased Greek person but a fact that was readily displayed when the Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently addressed a joint session of Congress and was hosted at Blair House. President Erdogan has serious problems over in Turkey: inflation is more than 70% and he has a tough re-election campaign next spring. Therefore, Erdogan wants the populace to think of just about anything other than their declining quality of life. Greece is now in a position, after upgrading the air force, the navy, and other defensive infrastructure components, not only to push back on outrageous and incendiary rhetoric, but to actually be in a position to do something about it. If Turkey believes that the world will continue to tolerate one-sided threats by a regional dictator, they’ve got another thing coming.

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