On myths and legends

Hyperbole on both sides concerning the EU decision on Cyprus in Copenhagen, meaning its portrayal as a national triumph or as a normal and expected diplomatic outcome, obstruct a sober and accurate evaluation of certain facts that contradict longstanding national syndromes and myths. Ankara showed up in Copenhagen with a maximalist platform, blinded by the illusion of a powerful state with outside protection, a state which can pressure, blackmail and impose its desired solutions. This demeanor, and especially the Turkophile intervention by the US, irked EU leaders, fueling an intense anti-Turkish climate. The first conclusion, therefore, is that Turkey’s awe-inspiring diplomacy does not possess the farsightedness, skill and the strong backing that Greek diplomats usually attribute to it – perhaps in an attempt to justify their own flaws or failures. The second myth that comes into question is that Ankara has always acted on the basis of a fixed strategy that is unanimously pursued by all the power circles in this peculiar Turkish regime. The cracks in the foundations of Ankara’s establishment and the growing wave of political dissent by Turkish Cypriots against breakaway state leader Rauf Denktash in the wake of the Copenhagen summit underscore anything but collective support for some specific strategy on Turkey’s major foreign policy issues. And if we assume that such a fixed policy has been served until now, this is inevitably collapsing today because the Turkish elite has not displayed the requisite flexibility and adaptability to the ongoing geopolitical changes in the region. In Copenhagen, Greece opposed Ankara’s bravado, intransigence and arrogance with self-confidence, flexibility and conciliation. Its success was a product of this antithesis.

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