I was planning on writing about the most recent scandal/fakenews/witchhunt/revelation plaguing the US political scene, but as my post doesn’t go up until midnight Friday EST, I feared it would be long surpassed by another “breaking news” story in the few hours between now and then.
So, I thought I’d write about something less chaotic. No, not the Greek debt owed to its European creditors; that’s so fixed in concrete as to be boring—at least for the time being, what with the Greek government once again about to cave-in amid its well rehearsed smoke and mirrors show of protest.
No, what I’m talking about are Turkish-Greek relations. All hell threatens to go off between them. Yes, I know, so what else is new?
Answer: President Erdogan. He’s making this big pitch to become Turkey’s “supreme ruler” in a referendum called for April 16, and that involves stoking the fires of nationalism to drive his campaign. Sound familiar?
Turkey’s foreign minister and his Greek counterpart are exchanging fresh barbs over longstanding territorial disputes and differences, and asylum seekers who fled to Greece following Turkey’s failed coup provide daily red meat for Turkish government rants.
In return, prognosticators in Greece are having a field day extemporizing over what they expect to happen there, and political hawks are calling for military preparedness as a demonstration of their country’s own nationalistic pride—a sure fire distraction from the fertilizer load of domestic problems besetting their nation (See Orwell, Animal Farm).
As tempting as it might be to wail away at a historically vilified foreign neighbor for the sake of generating support for a domestic agenda, what happens to that strategy when one side happens to land a punch? How it plays out from there won’t likely turn on whether it was accidental or intended, but on how blindly committed each side is to its own sabre rattling rhetoric.
|Greece's Prime Minister Tsipras, and Turkey's President Erdogan|
And who suffers in the end should this perfect storm come to pass? The same folks who always do…those who already are.
Hey guys, wake up and smell the coffee, be it Turkish or Greek you’re all cooking on the same fire…and each stand to get badly burned if you’re not careful.