Fire has "completely destroyed" Greece's largest migrant camp, the overcrowded Moria facility on the island of Lesbos. A migration ministry official said the government was struggling to find alternative shelter for the migrants who were gathered on streets outside the camp.
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.
The meeting between Turkish and Greek military delegations at NATO headquarters has been delayed for two days until Sept. 10, Turkish Defense Ministry sources said. The sources said the delay was requested by the alliance's military committee.
Maltese Foreign Minister Evarist Bartolo has said that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin have replaced former Libyan leader Muammer Gaddafi in the war-torn country. Bartolo said that if the ongoing eastern Mediterranean crisis is not solved with “careful moves,” “unforeseen consequences” might arise, just like in Libya.
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?
French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan knows that the EU has “a lot of options” in terms of the type of sanctions that Ankara might face over escalating tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Greece has increased border patrols due to fears that Turkey might be preparing to pressure the EU over the Eastern Mediterranean issue by "using migrants.” “Turkey might use the migrants once again in the upcoming days, for the EU not to impose sanctions,” Alternate Migration Minister George Koumoutsakos was quoted as saying by Deutsche Welle's Turkish service on Sept. 6.
NATO chief Stoltenberg said on Sept. 4 that technical talks between Athens and Ankara have already begun to calm the escalating tension in the eastern Mediterranean. “No agreement has been reached yet, but the talks have started,” he said.
Turkey has again extended its energy exploration in the eastern Mediterranean through its ship the Oruç Reis, this time by 11 days, until Sept. 12. Earlier, Turkey had announced the ship's mission would continue through Sept. 1.
Fahrettin Altun, the head of Turkey's Communications Directorate, said on Aug. 31 that he "welcomed" Pope Francis' call for constructive dialogue in the Eastern Mediterranean amid a dispute between Ankara and Athens over claims to hydrocarbon resources in the area.
Turkey said on Aug. 30 that it is capable of deterring anyone that challenges its stance with regards to the eastern Mediterranean issue by “dispatching an armada.” The statement came after French President Macron said he had adopted a "red-line policy" in the region by backing Greece against Turkey over the exploration of energy resources.
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 said it will hold a military exercise off northwest Cyprus for the next two weeks, amid growing tension with Greece over disputed claims to exploration rights in the east Mediterranean. The European Union's top diplomat said on Aug. 28 the bloc was preparing sanctions against Turkey that could be discussed at a summit in late September in response to Ankara's standoff with EU member Greece.
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.
Greek lawmakers on Aug. 27 ratified a maritime agreement with Egypt on boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean. Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas said "their ratification is urgent" given "Turkey's illegal activities."