Here in Keep Talking Greece we knew it since months (see article links below). We had correctly read and interpreted the signs. Now, Turkey’s EU Chief Negotiator speaks it out loud: That Greece and Turkey should exploit together the Aegean Sea. No, he doesn’t mean the the red mullets, the algae and the plankton. I bet, he means the oil and natural gas reserves sleeping under the tender bubbling Aegean waves.
In an interview to newspaper TA NEA , Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s State Minister, EU Chief Negotiator and PM Tayyip Erdogan’s closest aide, pointed it in a very clear , even thought metaphorical, way:
“If Greek PM Papandreou snd Turkish PM Erdogan do not manage to resolve all issues about the Aegean, then we should set up oil platforms in the disputed areas and turn them into disputes solving platforms.”
My cat even threatened to throw herself from the balcony shouldn’t we follow Bagis’ advice. Besides, this stupid fluffy creature reminded me of the much (mis)-used slogan, a sticky toffee Turkish presidents, prime and secondary ministers have been chewing for years: ” We should turn the Aegean into a Lake of Peace“. A decade long sirenes’ call that led millions of Turks into a emotional relief weeping. Oddly enough Greeks showed their cold shoulder to this call and Turks pretended, they never understood why.
Then as far as I recall, it was Turkey’s successful strategy (Imia incident) and Greece’s failure tactics back in 1996 that managed to create a change in the status quo and establish the term of “grey zones” in the Aegean’s … Lake of Peace.
With a hint to Cuprus dispute, Egemen Bagis said further, he believed that:
“If Turkey and Greece solve their problems, the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean Sea will turned into a paradise for tourism and income for all countries involved.”
Now, it was my other cat starting a rebellion, mewing slogans against Greece for depriving her of the prospect for a prosperous life.
Turkish State Minister said a lot of nice things about Greece and Turkey, the Ecumenical Patriarchate and the Greek Minority in Turkey and criticized the lack of a mosque in Athens. Stuck in the usual, soft spoken, Anatolian bargaining style, he finally said:
“99% of the problems will be solved the day Turkey will join the EU.”
Here is the point when all stray cats in my neighborhood burst into a loud laughter. Taking the example of Greece, they mewed that very few things can change in mentality no matter how many years your are member of the EU. Some cats got even really angry and hissed…
So far there has been no reaction from Greek official side.
Read related articles: