DUBAI: More than 70 percent of respondents to an Arab News poll said they think Turkey will continue its intimidation of Greece over issues in the eastern Mediterranean, despite warnings from the European Union for Ankara to defuse tension with Athens.
About 72 percent of respondents to the Twitter poll said they thought Turkey was reckless, while 28 percent of the 1,321 who took part thought otherwise, stating that Ankara was afraid and would eventually back down.
The two neighbors have been involved in a standoff for weeks, precipitated by Turkey’s deployment of the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel, and escorted by a flotilla of navy frigates, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo purportedly to search for oil and gas.
Tension rose a notch higher when both countries held military exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, with Greece joined by France, Italy and Cyprus in late August and Turkey conducting its own drill in early September.
A European Parliament resolution has called for sanctions against Turkey unless it showed ‘sincere cooperation and concrete progress’ in defusing tensions with EU members Greece and Cyprus.
#Poll Now that it has been warned, do you think Turkey will stop intimidating Greece?
— Arab News (@arabnews) September 17, 2020
The resolution also called for Turkey to “immediately end any further illegal exploration and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, by refraining from violating Greek airspace and Greek and Cypriot territorial waters and by distancing itself from nationalistic warmongering rhetoric.”
Current EU leader Germany is pushing for mediation efforts regarding the issue, while France wants punitive measures against Turkey in support of Cyprus and Greece.