ATHENS, Greece – For a dangerous escalation between Greece and Turkey, the German press talks about the latest developments, as Deutche Welle reports.
The increasing tensions between Greece and Turkey are recorded and commented on by the German press. In a comprehensive response, published in both the Frankfurter Rundschau and Badische Zeitung newspapers, there is talk of “playing with the fire in the Aegean” and it is noted that “the two NATO partners have for decades been barring for borders and sovereign rights in the Aegean.”
As the paper observes, “now the confrontation is even more on one frontier.” The German correspondent, among other things, specifically mentions the horrific statements by Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who described Turkish President Erdogan as “crazy”.
“Panos Bhummen says it out of the teeth – the right populist likes the clear words, even when he talks about foreign politicians like the Turkish president.” The report estimates that “the offensive denominations of the ANEL leader (…) shows above all one thing: that the relations between the two historically hostile nations of each other are directed towards a new confrontation.”
The report notes that the cause of “Kammenos attacks” is the detention of two Greek soldiers for five weeks in the high security prisons of Adrianople in Turkey. “The hope that the military might be released before Orthodox Easter seems to collapse,” the correspondent notes and continues:
“While the Greek government is making unsuccessful attempts to liberate the two soldiers, Turkey is requesting the extradition of eight Turkish officers who escaped to Greece during the failed coup in July 2016 and asked for asylum there. Erdogan accuses the Greeks of protecting “terrorists”.
Towards armament competition between Greece and Turkey?
The German journalist comments that the Greek-Turkish controversy is currently verbal but points out that “EU diplomats in Athens are warning of the risk of an” undesirable accident”. The article recalls the Imia crisis in 1996, stressing that Greece and Turkey had reached the brink of war.
“The controversy is now re-emerging,” the correspondent commented, referring to the maritime accident caused by Turkey in mid-February in Imia, as well as the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s allegation that the specific rock islands belong to Turkey.
As the newspaper notes, “Turkey is claiming for at least 18 other Greek Aegean islands. Behind these territorial claims are tangible energy interests: There are significant oil and gas reserves in the Aegean, “the paper writes, still pointing to the danger of aggravation due to Turkish airspace violations and virtual air battles with Greek fighters.
“New tensions may provoke new armament competition” between Turkey and Greece, the German correspondent said, stressing the approval of spending of 1.1 billion euros with fast track procedures by the Greek parliament to meet armament needs.
“An armaments competition with Turkey is, however, the last thing Greece needs now: Excessive military spending is seen as one of the causes of the debt crisis that the country is just starting to meet,” the report said.
Translated from Crash Magazine Online.