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Raw, Anti-Historical, Blackmail

The recent statements of Turkish officials are reminiscent of the statements of the 1974 Cyprus invasion. These are completely unacceptable, inflammatory statements which are not heard anywhere else from official lips, with the exception of Russia regarding Ukraine and China in the context of its threats to Taiwan.

The Turkish Foreign Minister stated a couple days ago: “If Athens does not demilitarize the islands of the Eastern Aegean, we will start the debate on their sovereignty.”

Here you go: What kind of discussion, with whom, and to what issues of sovereignty is he referring?

The islands of the Eastern Aegean belong to Greece. They have been inhabited by Greeks for thousands of years. What is the man talking about?

Do you feel the same way I do? That a brutal game of extortion is being attempted against Greece?

And if the Turks are now attempting, with the islands armed, this brutal blackmail, can one not easily predict what will happen in the unlikely event that Greece demilitarizes them?

The announcement of the Security Council and the statements of the Turkish officials lately have led the Greek-Turkish relationship to a level of crisis. Almost one level before complete rupture.

The question is, why now? Maybe because they want to have the summer season in front of them.

Maybe because they consider Greece still weak, but must act because Athens is rushing to arm itself?

Were you not impressed by Erdogan’s recent disparaging statement that Greece owes 500 billion euros to its allies? Even if this number is correct – I do not think it is – can he tell us how much his country owes?

Or maybe now with the war in Ukraine, the Turks think that the West – are you paying attention to the attitude of the Germans – cannot deal with two crises at the same time, and the fox sees there are not enough guards at the henhouse.

Of course no one can answer these questions.

What is certain however, is that the Turks are exacerbating the situation. That they follow a purely hostile strategy towards Greece. With unpredictable consequences.


Ambassador Chas. Freeman, a good friend, old colleague, and one of the foremost experts on China today in the United States, has written and lectured repeatedly on the depth of our ignorance about China.

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