Greece continues to escalate tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean amid calls from the European Union for dialogue. In addition to conducting military exercises, Athens deployed troops to the island of Kastellorizo (Megisti-Meis) and is preparing to conclude an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) agreement with the Greek Cypriots – similar to Athens' controversial deal with Egypt. Last but not least, Greek leaders fueled tensions last week by talking about extending their claims in the Ionian Sea to 12 nautical miles.
One of the main reasons for Greece’s anti-Turkish policies is the dramatic change in the balance of power between Turkey and Greece. Turkey began to play in the upper league and became a major regional power. Therefore, Greece has been trying to prevent the further rise of Turkish power in the region, and for this reason, it is insistently trying to provoke Turkey and push it over its limits.
Tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean are escalating anew to dangerous levels. Turkey responded to a Greek-Egyptian maritime agreement, which undermined Germany’s mediation efforts, by dispatching the research vessel Oruç Reis, alongside frigates, to the Mediterranean Sea. The Greek military consequently went into high alert.
The analysis discusses the evolving dynamics of Turkey’s military involvement in Libya, laying out Turkey’s motivations for supporting the UN-recognized government in Tripoli, and examining how Turkey’s recent military achievements on the ground may leverage its hand diplomatically to secure a political settlement that protects its interests in Libya and in the Eastern Mediterranean.