Aggressive Turkey: Just past the war?

Turkey and Greece are said to have narrowly missed war last week. Chancellor Merkel prevented the worst, they say – but why doesn’t she talk about it? And what is the EU and its “geopolitical commission” doing in this critical situation?

At the insistence of the Greek government, Merkel is said to have stopped the Turkish Sultan Erdogan from attacking in the Aegean Sea, Greek media reports. Erdogan had intended to use military force to secure the access of a drilling ship to a suspected gas field off the Greek island of Kastellorizo.

If this is true, it would be a great achievement on the part of the chancellor and current EU presidency to have stopped Erdogan. Unfortunately, Merkel has neither confirmed nor denied the report. The EU in Brussels is also silent – as so often when things get serious.

The “geopolitical commission” could not even manage to comment on Erdogan’s provocative appearance in the Hagia Sophia – which has been turned into a mosque. Neither the head of the commission, von der Leyen, nor foreign representative Borrell made any comment.

All that is known of Borrell is that he wants Merkel to reach a comprehensive agreement with Turkey. This German-Turkish agreement should also settle the dispute over gas drilling, Borrell said in an interview.

This leads me to suspect that Merkel has already initiated secret negotiations with Erdogan. She may have threatened to break off the talks if Erdogan uses force.

But there is another disturbing aspect. France has openly sided with Greece and Cyprus, demanding sanctions and even promising military assistance.

Erdogan has, however, declared President Macron’s solidarity declarations and warnings “null and void”. Does the Sultan only accept Merkel as a partner in dialogue? Is war and peace now decided in the Chancellery, in secret and without EU involvement?

And is the German EU presidency bouncing the legitimate demands of Greece and France just so as not to disturb the appeasement? That would almost be even more worrying than the recent escalation in the Aegean…

Translated with (free version). The original post (in German) is here