Erdogans new provocations

The Turkish Sultan Erdogan continues to provoke. After he declared the refugee deal “dead” in February, he now wants to drill for gas off the coast of Crete. Greece is ringing the alarm bell – and will take the dispute to the next EU summit.

“I have received a letter from the Greek head of government,” said EU High Rep Borrell. He said the EU would seek a common response and talk about Turkey at the next summit (on 19 June).

There are enough reasons – not only because of the oil and gas drilling that Erdogan wants to extend from Cyprus to Greece.

There is also trouble in Libya, where the Sultan is refusing a ceasefire – despite the agreements in Berlin.

The dispute over the refugees has also not yet been resolved. Turkey has stopped carting migrants to the EU’s external border to Greece and using them for its blackmail strategy. But it still wants money from the EU.

According to a German media report, the EU is now ready to provide an additional 485 million euros – on top of the 6 billion euros that Chancellor Merkel promised the Sultan in 2016. However, this has not yet been confirmed in Brussels.

Rather, one can assume that the money will be used as a bargaining chip to buy good behaviour – or at least to keep Erdogan from open provocation. Because it is still not possible to bring oneself to impose sanctions.

Cyprus and, more recently, Greece are calling for a tougher stance against Erdogan. But Germany is on the brakes. Chancellor Merkel happens to take over the EU presidency on July 1 – and will then be allowed to work towards a solution…

P.S. Greece and Italy have signed a treaty on maritime borders in the Mediterranean. This is a clear signal to Erdogan, writes “Kathimerini”.

Previously, the Sultan had signed a similar treaty with Libya – but nobody recognizes it. The deal is intended to secure Turkish claims to ownership in the southern Mediterranean and to make sea drillings possible – even off the Greek coast…

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