New opportunities will emerge for Turkey and Greece if they can diplomatically resolve their problems. However, both sides, especially the Greek and the Greek Cypriots, were conditioned to be confrontational in their discourse with Turkey.
Recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean have multiple drivers including the race for exploitation of energy resources, long-standing maritime disputes, and the broader geopolitical competition between regional powers. While Turkey’s recent assertiveness of her rights in the Eastern Mediterranean drew renewed attention to the region, this round of confrontation has been long in the making.
There are three items on President Erdoğan's agenda: Turkey's request for support regarding the fate of Syrian refugees, Erdoğan's commitment to setting up a safe zone in northeastern Syria and his emphasis on injustices in the current world order. I believe that the Turkish president will touch upon those issues in his address to the U.N. General Assembly as well as bilateral meetings with U.S. President Donald Trump and Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel. Erdoğan's recent remarks about nuclear weapons relate to the search for a new world order, as encapsulated by the maxim: "The world is bigger than five." After all, revealing one's intention to become a nuclear power makes little sense if one indeed means it.