ATHENS – Greece’s answer to Turkey continuing to send F-16 fighters jets into Greek air space will be to file a demarche – a diplomatic complaint with Turkey every time although they will likely be ignored as they had been before.
Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias ordered the move to document how many ties Turkey is violating Greek airspace that Turkey also claims as its own, with NATO refusing to intervene although both are members.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is no longer talking to Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and allegedy broke off communications between the countries – but both defense ministers have talked.
And now, said Kathimerini, contacts are made between the Greek Embassy in Ankara and Greece’s Defense Ministry to try to thwart the airspace violations and draw more international attention to them.
Turkey has declared a Blue Homeland doctrine claiming areas and waters in and around Greece and its islands, Greece countering with maps showing its sovereignty over them, rejected by Turkey.
With the European Union – to which Greece belongs and Turkey has been trying to join since 2005 – giving Greece only tepid backing, Mitsotakis’ government is taking stronger initiatives on its own.
Sources not named told the paper that Greece’s campaign will include other unspecified diplomatic approaches although that technique has failed to move Erdogan who has stepped up belligerence as his popularity is waning ahead of 2023 elections coming there.
Instead of reacting to his incendiary comments, Greece is instead talking to its allies about what Turkey is doing, Mitsotakis having built more agreements with countries, including a mutual defense pact with France.
Greece is gaining advantage geopolitically with its growing importance as an energy hub, the newspaper noted, especially the northern port of Alexandroupoli near Turkey, where the US military presence is growing.
Visiting Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto expressed his country’s intention to Dendias of joining the states seeking natural gas that will arrive at the floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) at Alexandroupoli.
The initial planning includes Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and in the long run Ukraine, while for Hungary there have been discussions at the EU level, the report added, giving Greece more clout.