Greek-Turkish relations have reached a critical level. What dates can become the day of the start of hostilities between countries, the journalist asks Efsin Babis Agrolampos.
“From now on, we have nothing to discuss with Greece,” Erdogan said during his statements in Prague, suggesting that the implementation of his threats is only a matter of time. Ankara is signaling this diplomatically on all fronts, despite containment statements from the US and EU.
Between the end of October and the end of November, the President of Turkey has four dates that are considered significant. On October 29, the Day of the Proclamation of the Republic of Turkey, T. Erdogan will present a “new Turkish vision”. On November 8, he expects the Biden administration to weaken in the midterm elections. On November 15, he will travel to the occupied territories, where steps are planned for recognition, and on November 27, he is scheduled to visit Libya to conclude memorandums of understanding on EEZ and gas.
Athens has succeeded in internationalizing the Turkish issue and is seeking to strengthen the partnership to contain Ankara’s plans. Of critical importance is the position of Egypt, where N. Dendias will go tomorrow for negotiations with S. Sukri. Cairo does not have an EEZ agreement with Ankara, and a 2020 delimitation with Athens has excluded a place that Turkey can claim on the basis of maritime law – east of the 28th meridian. Cyprus should also be part of the settlement. The question is whether Egypt will insist on a four-way settlement format.
The second issue is the EuroAsia Interconnector project, which will connect Cyprus with Israel and Crete, and in the future, Egypt, with European networks and will run along the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. The question is how Ankara will react to the start of work (in a week), as the network will pass through the zone self-proclaimed Turkish-Cypriot memorandum.
The next question is when and where Turkey will start exploration and drilling in the Libyan EEZ (which illegally includes most of the potential Greek EEZ south of Crete). Prime Minister A. Dbeiba, defending the memorandum of understanding with Ankara from criticism, said that work on gas will begin in the near future due to the needs of the EU. If the Greek EEZ becomes a target, Athens’ diplomatic options include expanding the territorial waters in Crete to 12 nautical miles, in line with international maritime law, which has immediate effect and will change the Turkish-Libyan delimitation. Any move by Ankara in the eastern Aegean, accompanied by provocations on the islands, will lead to a crisis of military confrontation and trouble in the ranks of NATO.
Before that, the last EU forces to contain Turkish plans will be tested at the next summit on October 20-21, where the Turkish problem will be on the agenda, and sanctions will be discussed.