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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Turkey seeks hot episode with Greece by posting illegal search and rescue map, formally calling for partition of the Aegean

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Having taken courage from the European Union, which does not stop petting Ankara, as well as from the phobic attitude held by the Greek government, Recep Tayyip Erdogan again dreams of “Blue Homelands” and, taking advantage of the procrastination of Brussels (we were told twice: “we meet in December about that”), seems determined to use the space until then to put his plan into practice.

So yesterday Turkey “distributed” the Aegean, claiming that it has the right to search and rescue in half of the Aegean and throughout the region from Crete to Cyprus. A move that in practice shaped the terms of the dialogue it seeks with Greece, beyond and outside the framework. A strong supporter of this “line”, Turkish Transport Minister Adil Karaismailoglu did not miss the opportunity to post on his twitter account a related map, in which he appears to have “marked” the entire aforementioned maritime area. “Greetings to Fatih, Yavuz and Kunduz. In our Blue Country, the search and rescue area has been expanded in a way that includes the areas where our research ships carry out work. The new search and rescue plan is welcome!” the Turkish transport minister said defiantly.

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According to geopolitical analysts, it is now clear that Erdogan is prepared to go all the way, and unlike in previous months, a hot episode. does not seem unlikely. All this, and until last night both Brussels – and especially Berlin – and Washington were silent.

Earlier on Saturday, the Turkish president had given another show from the drilling “Yavuz” in the Black Sea. Wearing the crew’s uniform, he announced that a $405 billion deposit of natural gas had been discovered in the area, a much larger quantity than originally estimated. Regarding the eastern Mediterranean, he said Turkey was “determined to defend its interests” and once again attacked the EU, saying that “the end of blocking will come because it is not behaving fairly”.

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On the same wavelength, a statement from the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented on the conclusions of the European Council which concluded on Friday: “Threatening language against Turkey cannot work. […] Instead of promoting the dialogue of compromise and the unconditionally positive agenda, the continuation of the rhetoric of sanctions by the EU shows how far from honesty and how unconstructive the objectives and language they use is.”

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