Turkey-EU relations in light of Scholz’s visit

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President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s diplomatic traffic has been mind-boggling in recent days. His most important face-to-face …
  • Greece has been arming itself aggressively in recent years, attempting to add F-35 fighter jets to its inventory of Rafale fighters, Belharra frigates and corvettes. In 2021, Athens spent 2.5 billion euros ($2.8 billion) on military equipment, quintupling its spending compared to the previous year. By next year, the Greeks will increase their military budget sevenfold anew.
  • Libya has become a major focal point of the power struggle in the Eastern Mediterranean. That country’s future is directly related to energy politics, European security and North Africa’s stability. The United States Africa Command’s (AFRICOM) most recent announcement about Russian aircraft bombing Libyan government forces in Sirte demonstrated how closely Washington is watching the Russian presence in Libya – despite major distractions like the upcoming presidential election.
  • Tensions have once again peaked between Turkey and Greece over a number of traditional disputes involving the Aegean and Cyprus, as well as over recent disagreements regarding maritime jurisdiction in the Eastern Mediterranean. Athens has attempted to invalidate Turkey’s November 2019 agreement with Libya to limit Turkish control over area in the Eastern Mediterranean spanning to the Gulf of Antalya. Athens believes it can pursue an unjust and maximalist policy with support from France, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Greek Cypriots. Given the recent dispute over the Aegean continental shelf, the Eastern Mediterranean has emerged as the main platform for a renewed rivalry between Turkey and Greece.