Gegenpressing in diplomacy?

Ankara appears to be in desperate need to have a mini armed conflict of sorts. It will be better for everyone in Brussels, Paris and Athens in my humble opinion not to play into Erdoğan’s hands.

Turkey and Greece for the umpteenth time in recent and not so recent history are apparently again on the brink of armed conflict not to say outright war. These two countries were almost always at the brink of war since they respectively fought and won their founding myth dash independence wars against each other. According to some, the animosity even predates Turkishness and Greekness as well as it does Islam and Christianity. Those claim that it is still the vendetta between the Trojans and the Achaeans. 

Anyway, what is true today is that the U.S. and by default NATO lost most of its appetite together with some of its teeth to stop the present ticking clock as it did time and again in the past. Almost all so-called eastern Mediterranean states are in disarray. Civil war in Libya and Syria, end of the road for a political solution in Israel/Palestine, Beirut explosion and full erosion of the state institutions in Lebanon, a military dictator sitting on top of a boiler in Egypt, no hope or search for lasting peace in Cyprus.

Change of tune: Here below you can see the yearlong route followed by a caretta sea turtle to which a transponder was attached by scientific researchers. I came across this map today as I was being suffocated under the pile of news that were the harbingers of the war. Whereas this animal that does not “know” any of this, in fact knows the Mediterranean better than any of us all self-proclaimed foreign policy pundits. This is no starry eyed romanticism and call for love of the nature.

At about the same time on Sunday morning, I also came across in our sister Turkish edition Gazete Duvar the recipe for delicious “Crete style meatballs” by none other but my good friend Evren Aybars. To be honest with you both the recipe and the caretta’s route were much more of interest to me than the Greek military reinforcements arriving at Castellorizo. Again to be brutally and apologetically honest with you I have nothing to offer by way of novel ideas on this issue.

To me there is no issue. International law as dictated by any treaty is not applicable as anyone can see that. There is no political will to sit around a table and come to a conclusion and a resolution. It is always possible to deliver impressive speeches like HE President Macron on the occasion of the occasion of MEM Summer Summit. Yet you have to admit that neither my impotence to bring together a thousand meaningful words on this page nor President Macron’s eloquence will bring us a lasting peace in the Aegean and the Mediterranean, between at least Turkey and Greece.

I feel totally inept at bringing together a road map for peace and I also have no idea who my audience is if any on both side of the water. Hence I will allow eminent Herr Klopp to take my space: "Gegenpressing lets you win back the ball nearer to the goal. It's only one pass away from a really good opportunity. No playmaker in the world can be as good as a good gegenpressing situation, and that's why it's so important." To me the emphasis here is on “no playmaker can.”

Indeed. There is no more need for leadership, for a playmaker. What we do all perhaps need is a bottom-up political “gegenpressing” of sorts from both sides to come our senses. Other than that, I can only share my lack of enthusiasm to cat as if I am hyped by these latest developments. Ankara appears to be in desperate need to have a mini armed conflict of sorts. It will be better for everyone in Brussels, Paris and Athens in my humble opinion not to play into Erdoğan’s hands.       

September 13, 2021 The new cold war