Turkey showed that it continues to tremble at the sight of trouble when President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said he no longer recognizes his Greek counterpart. The Turkish leader went as far as to refuse to meet him at a planned summit to emphasize their position.
Erdogan accused Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis of attempting to obstruct the sale of American-made F-16 fighter fighters to Turkey during his time last week in the United States. Erdogan argued that all of this amounted to influencing US officials against Turkey and breached an agreement between Ankara and Athens “not to engage third nations” in disagreements. However, the Biden administration has reportedly been considering dropping the ban imposed after Ankara purchased an S-400 air defense system from Russia in 2019.
The two nations have been at odds since 1974 over the status of Cypress. The two nations divided Cypress the islands in two to strengthen their relationship. Although the neighboring nations are seemingly allies, trouble can always be around the corner due to ties with NATO. After a cabinet meeting, the Turkish President said to reporters, “There’s no longer anyone called Mitsotakis in my book.” The Turkish President also announced the cancellation of a scheduled summit with Mitsotakis later this year, vowing to “never agree to meet” with his Greek counterpart. Whereas, Mitsotakis said he would not get into a “confrontation of statements.”
This issue seems to come shortly following the Turkish refusal to allow Finland and Sweden into NATO. Interestingly enough, Erdogan accused Greece, a NATO ally, of harboring “terrorists” and said that allowing Athens’ readmission to the security bloc in 1980 had been a mistake. Just about a week ago, Erdogan accused Finland and Sweden of doing similar things, which is their reasoning as to why they refuse to allow the nordic nations into the alliance.
Both Greece and Finland have responded to Turkey by refusing to feed into it. In an attempt to gain membership in NATO, both Sweden and Finland are set to send delegations to Ankara on Wednesday to resolve the Turkish opposition. After Finland announced its refusal to let the Nordic nations into NATO, Erdogan told the country to ‘not even bother sending diplomats.’
Although it seems at this point that Turkey is not-negotiating, time reveals all. Shortly after the World Economic Forum in Davos, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto said, “We think these issues can be settled. There might also be some issues linked not directly to Finland and Sweden but more to other NATO members.”
Time will tell how Turkey wants to act with the rest of the world.