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Who selected Germany to be a talks broker between Greece and Turkey?

A secret meeting between officials from Turkey, Greece and Germany was held in Berlin, three days after President Tayyip Erdogan decided to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque.

The meeting allegedly brokered by Berlin was held before the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council on Monday and it was reveled Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusogly on Tuesday.

Present at the meeting were Erdogan’s advisor Ibrahim Kalin, Mitsotakis’ European Affairs advisor Eleni Sourani and Merkel’s foreign policy advisor Jan Hecker.

Greek government sources confirmed the meeting without revealing a lot about the purpose and the content.

The results of Foreign Affairs Council meeting confirm that the Greek positions are accepted and that the Turkish side is called to de-escalate the provocative actions, the sources told media.

“In any case, the channels of communication need to remain open, especially in times of crisis,” the same sources noted.

The role of Germany

According to Greek media, there was a scheduled meeting between Hecker and Sourani on Monday about the EU Coronavirus Recovery Plan. Ankara’s representative Kalin, who was in the German capital joined in and it is still unclear whether his participation was a surprise one or in previous coordination with the Greek side.

It is not clear whether the Greek representative took the green light to accept Kalin’s participation from the Greek Foreign Ministry or the Prime Minister’s office.

But the Greek side implies that the meeting was brokered upon Berlin’s initiative.

Citing German sources, the diplomatic correspondent of daily kathimerini notes that a specific proposal was submitted by Berlin with the aim of resuming exploratory contacts between Athens and Ankara, which have been frozen since 2016.

At the meeting, however, a double condition was set for the resumption of bilateral contacts: to stop the migration flows and Ankara should not proceed with exploration or drilling, the daily notes. The second condition was met with the secret reaction of the Turkish President, a fact that may explain the revelation of the meeting by Cavusoglu.

Greek opposition

Greece’s opposition parties attacked the government for this meeting demanding a briefing on the issue and  without hiding their strong annoyance about the ways the government is handling the whole issue.

They emphasize that it is inconceivable that the parties in the Greek parliament were informed about the meeting by the Turkish Foreign Minister.

“At such a critical juncture that Turkey is intensifying its aggression, the government must at least immediately inform the opposition about what was discussed at the tripartite meeting,” said SYRIZA in a statement.

PASOK/KINAL was harsher, stressing in a statement that “secret diplomacy has accumulated a lot of troubles” in the past and described as “unthinkable” to be informed through leaks by the Turkish side.

Questions remain

How comes that Greece is holding a secret diplomacy meeting with Turkey at times where Ankara’s provocations are on the rise and the Greek public opinion, incl. also members of ruling New Democracy, is hurt by Erdogan’s decision regarding Hagia Sophia?

Why was the meeting kept secret?

What was the real purpose and expediency of the Greek side by this meeting?

And finally: who selected Germany to be a broker for Greek-Turkish exploratory talks?

PS I bet that other ‘secret arrangements’ preceded that tripartite meeting in Berlin on Monday and that Kalin did not make a surprise appearance like a dancer out of the birthday cake, as the Greek side wants us to believe.

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  1. “who selected Germany to be a broker for Greek-Turkish exploratory talks?”

    Germany holds the EU presidency now and will want to push a few things through. Such as more integration, corona bail out packages, forcing Serbia to recognize Kosovo, etc.
    Now with the UK out, Germany goes politically practically unchallenged and can finalize its dream of ‘building that Berlin-Bagdad railway’ (one of the reasons for WWI). Also, Germany houses a few million Turks.
    Greece was perhaps promised something to go along with the talks? But Greece surely got compromised. Sacrifices need to made (by others) to accomplish Germany’s dream of a German Europe.

    • It’s not so simple. It is far from clear that Germany (as a country) wants to run Europe. The exception was that horrible crook in a wheelchair, who really does have delusions of megalomania and abused his disability to increase his personal political power and damage Greece badly. Most Germans just want their country to work better (it is not so good, actually) and also the EU to function better.

      As far as Germany being the broker for Greek-Turkish talks is concerned. who else could be? Trump and his insane collection of far right sociopathic billionaires? He couldn’t even find Greece and Turkey on a map, as he has no hotels or golf courses there. Germany is the logical powerful broker, with a large Turkish community in its territory, clear interests in managing the EU borders (i.e. Turkey/Greece), and a clear interest in protecting the integrity of the EU, including Greece.

      And this situation will continue, for a long time. The UK has committed political and economic suicide, with the nonsense of Brexit; France is in a total mess, and is directionless. Only Germany is stable enough (for the moment) to provide some sort of logic and maintenance of European peace. It is quite paradoxical, but reflects the incompetence and stupidities of the USA, UK and France — who have succeeded in making themselves irrelevant, thanks to third rate political parties and too many stupid and bigoted voters.

  2. replace ‘germany’ with ‘some corporations and banks who are using germany’ and the rest of the picture is more clear. greece is disposable, and anyway the greek people might complain and disapprove but theyve got no means of doing anything about it. a handful of greek politicians are easily bought or sold same as anywhere, often just with promises of being part of a bigger club elsewhere.. greece is disposable not only for those foriegn interests but also for the ruling class in greece. turkey has consistently maintained an aggressive stance and has consistently followed the ‘give em an inch and they take a mile’ schhol of thought. So far it’s been working for them so why should they change it? we of course will be told later like slaves back at the plantation, what the masters decided for us at their secret meeting.. until we as citizens take back the sovereignty of our nation why would anyone expect something different?

  3. Speculation under the banner of lacking transperncy is dangerous. The people’s representatives have take the initiative for confidentiality, leave it at that.

    This remenants of a party who promised to tear up than intensify its enslavement dare not complain after breaching the people’s trust through betrayal and capitulation. Lucky for them an early election wasn not called to remove these hypocrite and incometent pests altogether.

    We might not know but it is up to them whether to alarm the public, tip their hand, present any offers, or any other wild speculation that one might conjure that is simply untrue without knowing.