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Ankara frustrated over Philia Forum: “It is not possible for any forum to not include Turkey”

With the success of the Philia Forum held yesterday in Athens, Turkey demonstrates its immense frustration at Greece’s success in deepening the relations it has with Cyprus, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Iraq.

What especially frustrates Turkey is that it is no longer an important country in the region and has been effectively ignored because of its endless threats of war and illegal military interventions.

The Philia Forum is a testament to Turkey’s reduced importance.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “the Greek foreign minister’s accusatory and slanderous remarks at the meeting in Athens indicate this enterprise is not about friendship,” in reference to the Philia Forum.

“It is not possible for any forum to not include Turkey, the key country in its region, and Turkish Cypriots, to constitute an effective and successful mechanism of cooperation and friendship with regard to the challenges in the region,” it said.

The statement added that the Philia Forum “demonstrates that this initiative is in fact an attempt to form an alliance built upon hostility towards Turkey, rather than ‘friendship’ as stated.”

Dendias at the Philia Forum - February 11, 2021.
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias at the Philia Forum – February 11, 2021.

“This attitude displayed towards Turkey is hostile, especially at a time when attempts to establish sincere and inclusive cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean are being conducted through Turkey’s proposal for an international conference,” it continued.

“It also undermines the EU’s efforts in the context of the Union for the Mediterranean,” the statement added.

“We call upon this duo to act with common sense and invite the other countries attending this forum not to fall victim to the schemes of others,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry added in their statement in an obvious sign of frustration.

Philia Forum. greeceTurkey was once the most important country in the region as it controls the Dardanelle and Bosporus Straits, directly borders Europe, West Asia and the Caucasus, and has direct access to the Aegean, Black and Mediterranean Seas.

However, NATO’s reliance on Turkey against Russia has been significantly reduced.

This is because NATO now also has access to the Black Sea via Bulgaria and Romania, direct borders with Russia via Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, and can block the Dardanelle Straits via the Alexandroupolis Port in northern Greece.

NATO’s reduced reliance on Turkey is coupled with the country’s growing isolation from its neighbors and the Great Powers as it continues to antagonize states through unlawful actions in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Cyprus, the Caucasus and the East Mediterranean.

Meanwhile, Greece continues to boost its emphasis that it is a stable, lawful and democratic country that links Europe, West Asia and North Africa together, further isolating Turkey and reducing its important to global players.

The Philia Forum is the first major step in realising Greece’s geopolitical advantage.

READ MORE: Mitsotakis at Philia Forum: Greece connects Africa with Europe and East with West.