Loukas Tsoukalis, the President of ELIAMEP, discussed the current state of relations between Greece and Turkey. He described that, in the last few years, Turkey has been acting more and more like the neighborhood bully and explained how “when you have a neighbor threatening you, it is best to reinforce your fence and your dissuasive force, so you are not only strengthening the barriers separating your but also your ability to fight.”

Loukas Tsoukalis argued that “we should not expect a solution to our tensions with Turkey to come from elsewhere. No third party can solve our problems with Turkey.” According to him, Greece should not overestimate the effectiveness of certain alliances, while certain initiatives Athens has taken or foreign signals it has followed in the past few years in the Mediterranean region have not necessarily led us towards the right direction.

“You have a problem with your neighbor, you explore the possibility of courts being able to settle the issue,” described Tsoukalis. He pointed out how Greece persistently insists that it follows and respects international law, despite the fact that it is not always so, both in terms of actions taken and when it comes to the discussions being held within the country. “Greece can not present itself as a country that fully complies with international law while fellow Greeks declare that we should not appeal to the Hague, in fear of the Court not giving us everything we demand for. This is obviously inconsistent. You either follow international law, support it, respect it, and do as much as you can within its framework, or you do not,” concluded the President of ELIAMEP. He did so in the online discussion organized by the “Citizens’ Movement for an Open Society” on the bilateral relations between Greece and Turkey and EEZs.


You can watch a recording of the discussion in Greek here.