A section of the German and German-speaking media are becoming more critical of Germany’s and the EU’s handling of the East Mediterranean crisis.
Numerous reports in the German press are emerging these days on what is happening in the East Mediterranean, the ongoing and endless verbal threats of the Turkish president, the military exercises off the coast of Cyprus and the diplomatic efforts of the parties involved to avoid a heated incident between the two.
“What does Erdogan’s peace cost?” is the headline of a commentary article on the NTV television news network website. The question is rhetorical of course, because according to the report, both the Turkish president, the EU and Germany do not seem willing to actually find a peaceful solution. Here is how the German journalist describes the dictator of Turkey:
“Recep Tayyip Erdogan has never been a man of sophisticated diplomacy. His public speeches usually end in euphemism. Either against the EU or against Germany in his controversy with German journalist Deniz Yucel, Erdogan has been insulting in recent years,” the report said.
“Nobody saw it with a good eye, but so far there was no reason to worry. Today, however, the conflict with Greece is something else. The Turkish president does not live only in his well-known insults but openly threatens war. He swears by his followers to fight against the ‘greedy and incompetent’ prime ministers in Paris and Athens. He speaks of ‘us witnesses’ as if he were representing 82 million war-ready Turks. Is that what an EU candidate country looks like?” the columnist wondered.
Referring to the EU, Brussels attributes a significant part of the responsibility for her gradual alienation from Turkey, citing, among other things, statements by MEPs. Among them is Özlem Demirel, MEP of the Left Party, who said: “What the EU has been doing for years is pure hypocrisy. While criticizing on the one hand Turkey’s role in the conflict with Libya, on the other hand it equips it. That must end.”
In the Sunday issue of the Neue Zürchner Zeitung, the columnist calls on European diplomacy to use the language best understood by the Turkish president – harsh language.
“Charles Michel, President of the European Council, is pushing for a Mediterranean conference on maritime borders, refugees and the exploitation of potential underground wealth. However, it would be Brussels’ job to finally implement the sanctions that have been announced for months against Turkey. The only hope in this sad landscape is France. It supports Greece with its navy because, like all authoritarian (leaders), Erdogan understands only harsh language.”