Thursday, July 23, 2020

Turkey-Greece tensions: The USA-EU stance adds fuel to Turkish government's aggression

Tensions in Eastern Mediterranean are, once again, at high level after the NAVTEX issued by Turkey on Tuesday, with which Ankara blocks the maritime zone south-east of the Greek island of Kastellorizo in order to carry out seismic surveys. 

From its side, the Greek government filed a protest demarche to the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and raised the issue with the EU, NATO and the United Nations. 

“Today’s announcement of Turkish surveys in a section of the Greek continental shelf through a new illegal NAVTEX constitutes an escalation of tension in our region”, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement issued on Tuesday. 

Both the U.S. and the EU have turned a blind eye to the provocations of the Turkish government. During a press briefing in Washington DC, a spokesperson of the US State Department urged Turkish authorities “to halt any plans for operations and to avoid steps that raise tensions in the region” but also referred to the maritime area which belongs to the Greek continental shelf as “disputed waters”.  

Commenting on U.S. State Department’s remarks, the Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) pointed out:
“The State Department’s statement, which talks about “disputed waters” in the area of the Turkish NAVTEX is not only provocative, but shows the actual intentions of the U.S. to impose a regime of co-management.  
Both the ND government, as well as the previous government of SYRIZA, made the strategic partnership with the U.S. the trademark of their foreign policy, thus  giving the whole country for U.S. bases under the pretext of protection from Turkey. What is the result? To receive statements about “disputed waters” from their allies. They are accountable to the Greek people” (Rizospastis).
The EU had also a lukewarm reaction towards the offensive Turkish activities in Eastern Mediterranean. During a press conference in Athens, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed his verbal “solidarity with Greece and Cyprus”, urging Turkey to “enter into dialogue”. 

An editorial published in KKE’s newspaper “Rizospastis” on Wednesday, under the title “A shield of insecurity”, points out the fact that the U.S and the EU actually “wash their hands” of the situation, leaving Greece exposed to the illegal actions of Erdogan’s government. 

“The aggression of the Turkish bourgeois class is not reduced, but strengthens as far as both the EU and NATO are “graying” borders and sovereign rights in order to pull Turkey far from Russia’s influence, playing at the same time the role of the “matchmaker” in order to promote the notorious “co-exploitation” in the Aegean”, reads the article among others. 

“What is being confirmed” – stresses out the article – “is that a solution that will ensure peace and prosperity, for the benefit of the Greek and the neighboring people cannot take place within the Euro-Atlantic context.”

KKE and TKP: The peoples of Turkey and Greece have nothing to divide them

On January 20th, 2020, the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) had issued a joint statement on the escalation of tension in the Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean. Among others, the then statement was pointing out:
“Greek-Turkish relations, defined today by both the plans of the prevailing bourgeois classes of the two countries and the interests of other bourgeois classes and powerful imperialist forces, have come to a head. This is because they are involved in a fierce fight over the sharing of the region's energy wealth, energy routes and commodities. The result of fierce competitions is the imperialist interventions and wars in our wider region, such as in Syria and Libya, the very dangerous developments in the Persian Gulf fueled by the US invasion of Iraq and the killing of Iranian and Iraqi officials. 
In the vicious circle of competitions for the interests of the monopolies, participate various capitalist states, including Turkey and Greece, with the aim of promoting the interests of the bourgeois classes. Axes and anti-axes are being created, while the imperialist unions of NATO and the EU are seeking to have a separate and autonomous role. 
Greek-Turkish relations are also a part of these developments. The peoples of Turkey and Greece have nothing positive to expect about the developments from their involvement with the US, NATO, the EU, other imperialist powers. 
Our two parties are based on proletarian internationalism and internationalist solidarity, and with these principles we are facing the complex developments in our region, struggling for workers'-people's interests."