OPINION

Awaiting dialogue

Every so often the Greek government «protests» – and «strongly» at that – about Turkish «provocation» in the Aegean. Greece firmly stresses the recklessness of Turkey’s activities and sometimes duly informs fellow European Union and NATO members. The official Greek line on the matter is well known: Athens must confront Turkish provocations in a cool and composed manner to avoid falling into the trap of escalating tensions and provoking serious fall-outs, allowing Ankara to «betray» its aggressive behavior in front of the EU until the time comes for dialogue between Greece and Turkey based on the rules of international law. Then there will be a framework that will eventually put a stop to the unfair treatment that Greece has had to endure in the Aegean, ostensibly due to Turkey’s military establishment. Given this official Greek line, Turkey (what difference does it make whether we are talking about its politicians or military leaders?) has every reason to do whatever it needs to do to consolidate its stance on the Aegean dispute ahead of talks scheduled to take place in 2004 – the year in which Prime Minister Costas Simitis has vowed to address all Greece’s «national issues.» And why should Turkey stop its transgressions in the Aegean when it knows that: a) there is no chance Greece will «respond,» and, b) Europeans and Americans alike do not see anything illogical in Turkey’s demands in the Aegean?