New tension in Greek-Turkish ties: Erdoğan's goal, the new casus belli and the crucial 12 months

Turkish turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

The eyes of the international community may be on Ukraine, but Turkey's "violin" is escalating a new artificial crisis as the country has been internally pressed by an unprecedented economic crisis, which is costing the Turkish president's popularity.

With President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, immediately after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, raised the issue of demilitarisation of Greek islands again.

It comes as the Turkish ambassador to Norway, at the same time, proceeded with a provocative, apparently premeditated attack on Dendias, who ultimately humiliated the ambassador.

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Ankara is trying to "legalise" their casus belli with the "argument" that Greece is provoking with the intention to extend the territorial waters to 12 nautical miles in the Aegean, but also with the agreement with Egypt on the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Greece's reaction was immediate, with the government representative, Yiannis Economou, not ruling out the possibility that the exploratory contacts scheduled for February 22 in Athens will be cancelled

"Escalating the threat of war with Greece"

"What we see happening is pre-planned by Ankara," comments geopolitical expert Alexandros Despotopoulos.

"The Turkish threat to Greece has been escalated.

"Turkey has gone from demilitarising rhetoric to questioning the sovereignty of the Aegean islands.

"This has reached the point of moving to a new informal casus belli.

"The first is for the extension to 12 nautical miles."

Why now?

"Turkey believes that nationalist rhetoric and the launch of threats would intimidate Greece," Despotopoulos said.

He explained that "the Greek response, however, came with the defence agreement and the armament programs that canceled the plan and surprised Ankara.

The analyst  assessed that because of "the lack of phobic syndromes on the part of Athens actually pushes Turkey to make bigger threats. which no longer hesitates to threaten to take measures even against the Aegean islands, such as the Dodecanese."

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As for the "essence of the matter", Despotopoulos continued, "legally Turkey is absurd."

"What it fervently wants is to acquire maritime zones in the Aegean and the Mediterranean," he added.

"The next 12 months are critical"

There is a danger that the threats will not remain only at the level of rhetoric, as the interlocutor predicts ominously.

"There is a reasonable concern that Turkey may cross the 'red line', and not only for this pursuit," he warned.

"However, it is possible that Erdoğan believes that an episode with Greece will reverse his bad internal poll image," the expert explained, adding: "Their economy is at a very bad level."

"Only foreign policy issues, especially Greece, can strengthen his popularity at this juncture," Despotopoulos highlighted.

"For this reason, it is trying to restore diplomatic relations with the other states in the region, in order to focus on Greece," warned the interlocutor, concluding: "In any case, the next 12 months will be crucial."

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