Erdogan continues the verbal (at least) war against Greece. And not only does he continue, but almost every day he energizes it more and more. What else is left to say? What other threat is left to launch?
But it is not just words. If it was just that, then it might have been OK. He has continued testing Greek sovereignty since August 10 – with a short break when Merkel intervened and the Greek-Turkish talks started in Berlin. During that brief hiatus, he withdrew his 32 warships for a while, but sent them out again after Greece concluded an agreement with Egypt, which Erdogan considered a breach of an understanding he had with Greece.
The other day, during a ceremony commemorating the Ottoman victory over the… Byzantine Empire, in the 11th century, Erdogan said the following: "We do not covet anyone's lands, sovereignty, interests, but we will not give in to what is ours," and advised Greece "to avoid mistakes that will pave the way for its destruction."
It is clear, therefore, based on the above statement and others that he considers "his" the area of the continental shelf in which he conducts research. But when did it become his? Since when does violence or the threat of violence create a right?
And what will happen tomorrow when he does the same in the south of Crete?
Will this area become "his" too?
The situation has reached the point of no return. The statement of the German Foreign Minister a few days ago is indicative: A “spark,” he said, could lead to ignition in the area.
So what should Greece do?
Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his speech in Parliament yesterday took a big, nationally dignified step: he announced a new doctrine in the country's foreign policy.
Greece, he said, is abandoning the "passive" policy it has been pursuing for years. It was a policy that struggled not to provoke Turkey, reassuring it that "[Greece] [is] not claiming" anything. And we saw where that brought us.
Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that Greece is extending its territorial waters in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles (it was 6 before).
It is an important step. Greece has been hesitant to do so for years.
And there are several measures that Greece can take. And it should.
In his speech yesterday, Mitsotakis also stated that "our position is very clear and can be summarized in six words: When the challenges stop, talks begin."
No one is against the talks.
But is this what Erdogan wants?