Turkey is trying to reach out to most countries in the region in a quest for a new, smoother and ultimately more beneficial – to Ankara itself – modus vivendi.
It has openly demonstrated this desire with Israel and clearly expressed similar intentions with regard to Egypt. It obviously recognizes the special role and power of those two countries.
However, this is not the case with Greece – at least not yet – which it continues to antagonize with aggressive rhetoric and even provocative actions.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, who has chosen to invest – both politically and personally – in the “Blue Homeland” doctrine, has returned to the much-trodden path of aggressive rhetoric against Athens, with the latest manifestation being the accusation against Greece of supposedly trying to create precedents and engaging in provocative actions. This is something that Turkey will not allow, he said, adding that the Turkish Air Force and Navy “are already on alert” and doing what needs to be done to “protect Turkey’s maritime jurisdiction.”
Even though sources in Turkey insist that Ankara is not seeking an escalation in tensions with Greece, Turkish fighter jets and drones have been carrying out a barrage of unauthorized overflights in recent days over all the Greek islands subject to demands of demilitarization from Turkey in the context of a baseless yet clearly well-planned policy.
It is a tactic that also mirrors domestic electoral expediencies stemming from the alliance of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) with Devlet Bahceli’s Nationalist Movement.
As part of this apparent obsession with antagonizing Greece, Bahceli even went so far as to lash out at Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy because he accused Turkey of double standards in the interview with Kathimerini and Greek state broadcaster ERT. Bahceli accused Zelenskyy of showing a lack of respect and claimed that he would be better off trusting Turkey than Greece.
No matter what the pretext, Greece is constantly in the crosshairs.