There is no "earthquake diplomacy" when Turkey sends the Oruç Reis to the Aegean and Barbaros to Cyprus

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Discouraged, I saw on social media networks some members of the "guard" of His Excellency George Papandreou and Costas Simitis, react positively after the telephone conversation between Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Islamist President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Greek Prime Minister did well and called the Islamist Erdoğan to express his condolences. This is what leaders do in such moments. And Erdoğan's response, and especially his following Tweet, certainly impressed:

"That two neighbors show solidarity in difficult times is more valuable than many things in life," Erdoğan said.

It would be better for both peoples if the Turkish president believed what he noted in his Twitter message. But he does not believe them. He is a professional liar.

If he believed even one word of his message in response to Mitsotakis' tweet, he would end the provocations.

What awaits the fool?

He mourns the earthquake that struck Samos and Smyrni (Σμύρνη, Turkish: İzmir) but does not think that the wars he plans and implements leaves hundreds dead on the battlefield.

The deadly earthquake, then, reminded the Athenian elite of the time in 1999, when in August and September they were hit by an earthquake, first Turkey and then Greece.

Turkey Greece 1999 Earthquake Diplomacy.
1999 Earthquake Diplomacy.

When for a while the "earthquake diplomacy", as it was called then, prevailed and which ended up nowhere. Not because Greece did not want it but Turkey was again responsible... as it is today.

I cannot believe that there is even one person in Greece who does not prefer peace to war. Not because people refuse to fight to protect national sovereignty and independence.

No. If necessary they will do it.

They reject war because only schizophrenics such as Erdoğan question the rights of their neighbors.

Neither the current Prime Minister of Greece, nor the previous ones, governed like the President of Turkey.

As for the Greek-Turkish problems, which Ankara is constantly creating, Athens is always careful. They have strong nerves to withstand not responding to Turkish provocations.

I do not think other leaders would show so much composure.

He is obliged, of course, like the older ones, and the current prime minister, to give all the battles needed to protect Greek interests. The previous ones knew it, Mitsotakis also knows it.

I doubt if even Erdoğan understands this, who may think that Greece is small like Cyprus.

He will be surprised if he goes ahead and provokes the war.

From the moment the earthquakes took place, until now, as these lines are being written, I have discussed the issue of "earthquake diplomacy" with friends with whom I covered during that period.

And they agree that then and now have nothing to do with each other.

Today, Turkey has upgraded its provocations to "red alert" levels, maintains drilling rigs and research vessels that accompany Navy warships in the Aegean and the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone, and the worst thing is that it shouts it is ready for a military confrontation.

And also, Greece and Cyprus have against them Erdoğan, who knows what he wants and uses all the dirty means to achieve them. It is naïve to believe that he led things to a point, that some believe is irreversible, to abandon it because he spoke with the Prime Minister of Greece about the earthquake in the two countries.

I wish things were like that. That is what we must want. Discuss any differences, without threats and blackmail. On the contrary, Erdoğan aims to drag Mitsotakis into negotiations while maintaining his wars in the Aegean and Cyprus.

Is this what the followers of the Athenian elite are asking for, who are constantly demanding that the Greek Cypriots commit political suicide? They showed their worst self in 2004 when they demanded an unconditional vote on the Annan plan.

We hope that the devastating earthquake, which killed our fellow human beings on both sides of the Aegean, will serve as the vehicle for Islamic Turkey to stop threats and blackmail and to sit at the negotiating table with reason and prudence. And we will be the first to applaud "earthquake diplomacy" with Turkey…

The first good step would be the immediate departure of Turkey's Oruç Reis from the Aegean and Barbaros from the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone.

Michael Ignatiou is a Washington-based correspondent for Hellas Journal, Ethnos and OPEN TV.

The views of the author do not necessarily reflect those of Greek City Times.


Guest Contributor

This piece was written for Greek City Times by a Guest Contributor