The summer of 2020 may have passed with no war and Turkey-Greece relations may at least be “warless,” with “exploratory talks“ on the way, but they are now in a “cold war” period. Greece and Turkey have lost the peace between them somewhere deep in the Aegean — for the time being.
The way out for for both Greece and Turkey as well as for both EU and Turkey is to put back on the table Turkey’s EU full membership vocation fair and square. If Mr. Macron’s France wishes to take the lead, he will be most welcome. Bold is better than ambitious when it comes to political leadership.
Istanbul court issues arrest warrant for Kurdish singer Ferhat Tunç over tweets said to be ‘insulting president’
Kurdish folk Ferhat Tunç is standing trial over charges of “insulting” President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with tweets that he posted in 2016. The trial against the singer who is currently residing in Germany, continued at Istanbul's Büyükçekmece 14th Criminal Court of First Instance on Sept. 15. The court issued an arrest warrant for Tunç to obtain his defense concerning the charges.
Ayşegül Karakülhancı writes from Cologne: Germany is doing its best to protect Turkey. However, as the pressure grows within the EU its strength is fading. If Turkey plays its last card as it did in March and halts its cooperation with the EU with regards to the refugees, Merkel will irrevocably lose her bargaining power.
So far, the mutual “controlled crisis escalation” policy of Athens and Ankara has somehow worked. It has “worked” in the sense that there has been no war, but tensions have risen higher and higher. But what if things get out of control within this “controlled crisis escalation” policy?
Turkish actor Birol Ünel, best known for his part in "Head On," died at the age of 59, losing a battle against cancer. Born in southern Turkey in 1961, the actor had migrated to Germany with his family at the age of seven, and received his acting education in Hannover.
‘Severity of COVID-19 veiled from public in Turkey’s top vacation hub, 400 diagnoses observed daily’
The severity of the COVID-19 pandemic in Turkey's top vacation destination Antalya is being hidden from the public, and there are as many as 400 new diagnoses daily, Antalya Medical Chamber Chairwoman Prof. Nursel Şahin said. Turkey's main vacation destination for domestic and foreign tourists alike, Antalya has welcomed over 950,000 visitors in the past two months.
The European Union is preparing sanctions against Turkey in response to the eastern Mediterranean dispute with Greece. EU foreign-policy chief Josep Borrell said on Aug. 28 such measures may be discussed at a meeting of the bloc’s leaders next month. Borrell's comments came as German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Aug. 28 that all EU countries are obliged to support Greece against Turkey.
Turkish boxer Ünsal Arık received a death threat on the phone in Germany, where he lives, just over a week after he found a single bullet on his windshield. A staunch opponent of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), the boxer thinks the threats are from supporters of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Foreign Minister Çavuşoğlu has said that Turkey is ready for talks with Greece without preconditions about a growing row over eastern Mediterranean gas reserves. Çavuşoğlu also warned Greece against taking "missteps" in the region, saying Turkey is ready to do “whatever is necessary without hesitation.”
Germany urged Greece and Turkey on Aug. 25 to solve their dispute over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean Sea through dialogue, warning of the risk of a military confrontation. "The current situation in the eastern Mediterranean is equivalent to playing with fire," Heiko Maas said after meeting his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias in Athens. "Every little spark can lead to catastrophe."
Turkish Health Minister Fahrettin Koca has said that Turkey is in talks with Russia, Germany and China about conducting Phase 3 trials for coronavirus vaccines developed in those countries. Speaking at a news conference in Ankara, he said there were 13 vaccines being developed in Turkey, three of which have gone beyond the animal testing phase.
If there is one beneficiary of the Greece-Turkey crisis, it is France’s President Emmanuel Macron. Macron has a very clear stance on backing Greece, which stands in deep contrast to Germany and the European Union Commission, both of which are hesitant to do so.
The Turkish Consulate in the German city of Nuremberg on Aug. 13 announced that it was temporarily closed as one of its staff tested positive for the novel coronavirus. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Germany reached its highest level in more than three months on Aug. 12.
A top official from Turkey's Health Ministry warned against the misconception in society that coronavirus isn't contracted on the beach or in water. "You should also watch your distance in water," said Mustafa Necmi İlhan.