Mitsotakis’ Greece Acting As A Bully In Mediterranean Sea – OpEd


In his article published in April 2020, at London’s Central Banking Magazine, Prof. Dr. Steve H. Hanke [1] argued that: “With the onset of the coronavirus, the world has become engulfed in the largest crisis it has faced since World War II. And, with each crisis – large or small – there is always an overwhelming public outcry for the government to do something. […] The expansions take many forms, but they all result in an increase in the exercise of power by government over society and the economy. These ‘power grabs’ often remain long after the crisis has passed. Indeed, each crisis carries with it a ratchet that increases the scope and scale of the state’s power.”

While the global virus disease outbreak is hovering on the horizon, Hanke’s assessment has nailed down an attitude that is pervasive among European countries – not only on their domestic monetary – economic policies but also in their foreign affairs – such as Greece governed by corrupt politicians that are violating international maritime laws and extrapolating their military provocations and conducting joint military exercises together with United Arab Emirates’ Air Force, as well as French and Italian Armed Forces, in the Turkish maritime space of eastern Mediterranean.

In fact obstruction has always come from the EU; Paris and Brussels have caused bad blood and confusion while President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has shown an admirable grade of statecraft and impeccable vision when it comes to ensuring European borders’ security, military and intelligence cooperation with key EU Member nations; and his government invested large financial resources towards humanitarian aid (by hosting over four million Syrian, Afghan refugees) and Ankara has strengthened its democratic institutions.

Furthermore, on August 20, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of his country’s biggest gas discovery ever, the Sakarya field in the Black Sea that will be operational by 2023.  This is another impressive milestone of Ankara that EU’s surrogates try to crush and avoid any well-deserved praise.

On August 10, according to the Turkish Energy Minister Fatih Donmez, the Oruç Reis vessel had left the “Turkish coastal town of Antalya for a new research area, which lies in seas claimed by Athens and Cairo.” Ankara has every right to conduct mineral research on these waters that are illegally contested by the two neighboring countries.    

Greece’s economic hardships and increasing unemployment levels at home have precipitated into creating an artificial crisis and triggering military incidents with the Republic of Turkey over the operations of Turkish seismic surveying ship, Oruç Reis; these are unprecedented acts that openly violate the sovereign maritime territory of Turkey in Eastern Mediterranean and are nasty efforts that aim to dissuade Ankara from its legitimate rights to conduct oil and natural gas exploration.  The Republic of Turkey has every right to conduct oil and natural gas drilling in Eastern Mediterranean, nearby Cyprus as well as assess mineral wealth of its maritime swath stretching from Agathonísi Island all the way to the shores of Rhodes and Kastellorizo islands.  

As the European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey and will discuss further support towards Greece on its upcoming summit on September 24, we observe once again a double standard policy openly applied by Brussels’ EU bureaucrats and Athens is given a blank check from its European allies to expand its territorial claims against Turkey without any vacillation.  EU is committing a dangerous precedent in letting Kyriakos Mitsotakis pursue gross violations of international maritime laws and his diplomatic efforts have become a laughing stock in Eurasia. 

It comes as no surprise that Greece has been given a special immunity by its European buddies despite of Athens’ terrible low scores in the fight against corruption, organized crime, respect for human rights and human trafficking.  The political support and biased actions coming from the European Council are devolving Greece’s behavior into that of having an axe to grind; therefore, grossly discriminating Ankara’s geographic rights to conduct mineral research on its own backyard.   

No one could have imagined that Prof. Steve H. Hanke’s prediction (meant to portray domestic policies of individual nations) is so relevant and reaches higher dimensions in European politics– leaves one country’s borders and causes international conflicts in the Mediterranean – and exacerbates Greece’s expansionist aspirations in the Aegean Sea while the rest of Europe is grappling with a serious economic stagnation and irreparable financial burdens. 

Nonetheless, the EU is setting aside other priorities and is politically aiding Athens as the latter upsets the apple cart as Prof. Hanke wrote: “more active government also attracts opportunists [in this case EU’s bureaucrats and bankers], who perceive that a national emergency can serve as a useful pretext for achieving their own objectives to permanently entrench and satisfy their special interests.”

In the long run Greece again will prove its mastery of ransacking EU’s coffers. 

[1] Steve H. Hanke is a professor of applied economics and co-director of the Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Peter Tase

Peter Tase is a freelance writer and journalist of International Relations, Latin American and Southern Caucasus current affairs. He is the author of America's first book published on the historical and archeological treasures of the Autonomous Republic of Nakhchivan (Republic of Azerbaijan); has authored and published four books on the Foreign Policy and current economic – political events of the Government of Azerbaijan. Tase has written about International Relations for Eurasia Review Journal since June 2012.

4 thoughts on “Mitsotakis’ Greece Acting As A Bully In Mediterranean Sea – OpEd

  • September 5, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    This is one of the worst loads of rubbish that I have read relating to both the present situation in Greece and its government. Not sure who this Peter Tase is but he should stick to Paraguayan and Latin American affairs as he seems to have little in-depth knowledge about Greece both present and historically

  • September 6, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    The double standard attitude of the EU is reducing the possibility of a diplomatic solution in eastern Mediterranean. This point is highlighted in the above article . I hope all parties will come to an agreement before it gets too late.

  • September 7, 2020 at 2:30 am

    On the matter of the current Turkey-Greece dispute, this may well be the only OpEd in the whole broad world that simply regurgitates the most fulminant and outré jingoistic arguments of one single side (Turkish, in this instance).

    There exist far more nuanced and dispassionate commentaries written even by Greek & Turkish analysts and academics out there!

    Is the author a bona-fide ‘research scholar’ or some intelligence service’s stool-pigeon?

    Please, do not debase the credibility of your website by publishing such asinine nonsense….

  • September 7, 2020 at 7:17 am

    The positions expressed by Peter Tase clearly can not be any further from the truth. I would be interested to know on what planet does this guy live. If on planet Earth, he is clearly a paid Turkish agent spreading fake news and propaganda. Every informed person on this planet knows Turkey’s track record. They have jailed the Kurdish opposition democratic party, killed thousands of their own Kurdish citizens, jailed thousands of Turkish opponents, jailed hundreds of journalists and academics who dare speak the truth, created ISIS, invaded and grabbed lands from Cyprus and Iraq and Syria and Libya, blackmailed Europe with terrorism and economic migration and occupation, and threaten the US and every country in the Middle East. Now they want to steal the undersea natural resources of Greece and Cyprus which clearly belong to them under International Law. Erdogan’s rationale – its not fair to Turkey that the law is not on its side (wow!). His plans also call for grabbing Greek islands, his rationale – they used to be Ottoman occupied lands 200 years ago (wow!). On that rationale why don’t we go back 600 years ago and return to Greece Constantinople and Smyrna and present day western Turkey and Pontus all of which were Greek ancestral lands since millenniums ago. Turkey is isolated and scared for losing a war against Greece, finally Turkey met its match.


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