OPINION

The same old fear

The problem of setting a date is only part of the reason Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’s official visit to Ankara has still not been finalized. In reality, Greece is having second thoughts about the trip and has been displaying much more caution over the last few days. It now appears the trip will take place, but much later than had been originally scheduled and only after more preparation. The last high-level visit to Ankara in April – when Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis walked out of talks with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul following Turkish violations around the islet of Imia – was such a disaster that the Greek government should have been on guard. These «incidents» around Imia were not chance occurrences. The Turks planned them carefully as an integral part of their coercive tactics. In Ankara, diplomats had correctly assessed that Karamanlis’s administration would react with the same old fear. And indeed, Greece’s handling of the situation constituted a feverish attempt to buy out a resolution to the problem. It is the same fear that keeps Greece’s political leaders riveted to a very convenient theory involving a «good Erdogan» and a «bad military,» allowing them to bypass the harsh reality of the situation and to shirk the responsibility of effectively handling it…