x

Politics

Turkey Says Greek Defense Chief Undermining Quake Diplomacy

February 24, 2023

ANKARA – A break in tensions between the countries after a deadly earthquake in Turkey that saw Greece respond with humanitarian aid is being upset by Greece’s Defense Minister  Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Turkey’s pro-government newspaper said.

The Daily Sabah, essentially a mouthpiece for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who threatened and invasion before the earthquake struck and led to a temporary rapprochement, complained about what Panagiotopoulos told Greece’s state-run broadcaster ERT.

https://www.dailysabah.com/politics/diplomacy/greece-sends-mixed-messages-about-dialogue-with-turkiye

“Our ongoing aid efforts to Türkiye should be a humanitarian duty. We don’t have any other agenda,” Panagiotopoulos told the network, which the newspaper took as an indication that so-called Earthquake Diplomacy is already easing.

It said Panagiotopoulos’ comment showed he was less optimistic that relations would get better between the countries after Erdogan also demanded Greece take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast.

While the earthquake aftermath got Erdogan talking again to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after breaking off communications with him, the newspaper said that “Greece’s ambitious re-armament program remains a pricking issue between the neighbors.”

That was in reference to Greece buying French-made Rafale fighter jets an warships and making a mutual defense pact with that country and building foreign alliances against Turkish provocations.

Greece also wants to buy US-made F-35 fighter jets denied Turkey after Erdogan approved purchase of Russian-made S-400 missile defenses that could be used against Greece and undercuts the security of NATO.

In response, Turkey got a promise from US President Joe Biden to buy more F-16 fighter jets and upgrade the Turkish Air Force but Mitsotakis, in a May 2022 address to the US Congress, asked lawmakers to veto it.

Erdogan is also upset that Greece renewed a military cooperation deal with the United States that will see an expanded military presence, including bases, in Greece and a buildup of the port of Alexandroupoli near Turkey’s border.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Turkey in the wake of the quake and the atmosphere was warm with Turkey’s defense chief Mevlut Cavusoglu who had often been belligerent toward Greece previously.

“Despite both countries gearing up for general elections, which limits the prospects of making long-term progress, it’s possible to restart negotiations on confidence-building measures or explanatory talks,” Dendias told Greece’s SKAI TV.

“For me, the main task right now is not finding solutions but protecting the positive climate,” the Greek diplomat noted, adding that he hopes the aftermath of the earthquake won’t see the tensions renewed.

RELATED

ATHENS - The politically volatile European Parliament elections, a time during which no candidate wants to make waves, has led to Greece temporarily setting aside development of wind farm projects that had been viewed as essential to developing sustainable sources.

Top Stories

Columnists

A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.

Video

If an uninformed person had attended the Mitsotakis-Erdogan press conference a few days ago in Ankara, s/he could have come to the conclusion that the meeting was planned in order to discuss whether Hamas is a terrorist or a patriotic organization.

As part of a club documentary offering an inside view of his final days at Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp was asked by the filmmakers to stand alone on The Kop one afternoon and gaze out around Anfield.

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — In 2018, Chad McGehee opened Side Hustle Brews and Spirits, an Abu Dhabi-branded brewery and distillery with funky camels on its cans and playful names familiar to anyone living in the United Arab Emirates.

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Israel strongly denied charges of genocide on Friday, telling the United Nations’ top court it was doing everything it could to protect the civilian population during its military operation in Gaza.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.