OPINION

A tragic contradiction

Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis’s visit to Ankara this week was a painful experience, not just for him but for all Greeks. The fact that the announcement of confidence-building measures to defuse military tension in the Aegean coincided with a standoff between the Greek and Turkish coast guard near Imia was a tragic contradiction. However, it would be useful if the incident served as an opportunity to reassess certain guidelines on the basis of which Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has shaped the government’s policy toward Turkey. The first, and most serious, mistake was the segregation of the «reactionary» Turkish military regime from Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom Karamanlis regards as a trustworthy politician, genuinely interested in changing his country’s political landscape and setting Greek-Turkish relations on a new footing. It would benefit the Greek government to eventually acknowledge that, despite its weaknesses and shortcomings, Turkey has the advantage of having fixed goals that do not change every time it’s country’s leadership does. Seen in this light, Turkey’s transgressions in the Aegean – even during high-level diplomatic visits – should serve as a reminder to Athens that the Turkish military and government are very much united despite Greece’s efforts to distinguish Islamist «reformers» from the army…