The Eastern Mediterranean and its adjoining regions remain an extremely turbulent and unstable neighborhood and the security environment continues to be “Hobbesian”. The region has evolved into a multi-player security system, as non-western powers have been steadily increasing their presence and influence. Given that it remains a region of critical importance for Europe and the US, it is quite surprising

that the very aggressive behavior of a member-state of NATO and a candidate for membership to the EU (Turkey), against another member-state of both NATO and the EU (Greece) and a member-state of the EU (Cyprus) is being tolerated. The continuation of Turkish gunboat diplomacy will undoubtedly lead to the further destabilization of the region, at the expense of Western interests.

More specifically, Greece’s relations with Turkey, already difficult and tense to start with, have deteriorated even further over the past few months as a result of hostile actions, such as the deliberate use of migrants as a ‘battering ram’ to forcefully breach the Greek border at the Evros region. The aim was was to blackmail the EU institutions and individual European governments to provide additional economic assistance and other concessions (such as a visa waiver, a new Customs Union, etc.) to Turkey.

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