Timely support for Erdogan

The political crisis in Turkey is spiraling out of control. Observers of the Turkish scene are alarmed by the bomb attack in the center of Ankara. Veteran diplomats believe it is almost certain that it marks the start of a period of destabilization in which shadowy power centers will do battle for their very survival. Greece has every reason to worry, for Turkey has a long history of exporting its domestic crises – with painful results, for Cyprus or the Aegean. Athens has done well to support Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Not because he has brought any real changes to Turkish foreign policy but because he represents his country’s most pro-European force. Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has conveyed the message to his counterpart that it would be expedient to avoid any possibility of a crisis as both countries enter a pre-election period. All exigencies must be avoided so that no – unaccountable – Turkish power center can provoke a crisis in Greek-Turkish relations.