Paris, France – French President Macron, who supported Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA), threatened Turkey and said he was pursuing a ‘red line policy’ in the Eastern Mediterranean, also used incriminating language in Iraq. But why did Macron obsess over Turkey? Macron, who has been stripped of the EU leadership, is playing to the domestic public with his anti-Turkey actions in the shadow of Coronavirus and the economic crisis.
French President Emmanuel Macron’s continued ‘red line’ policy towards Turkey, based on escalation and a show of force rather than dialogue, pushes relations into an area where hard-to-repair wounds can occur. The fact that France has almost reset its weight due to Turkey’s moves in Syria, the criticism of its policy in Libya, even in its own country, the becoming protector of the Greek Cypriot Administration (GCA) of Southern Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean, indicates that Macron has become obsessed with Turkey’s policy and that France is acting with a rematch motive. There are multiple reasons why Macron is spending most of his energy on foreign policy based on anti-Turkey, while France has pressing issues, particularly coronavirus.
EU leadership enthusiasm
One of Macron’s key goals is for France to take over the leadership of the EU. While the current leader wants to maintain a close relationship with Germany, Macron is not hiding his eagerness to sit in the EU leadership seat following Chancellor Angela Merkel’s withdrawal from politics. France, the EU’s most important military power, is also pretending of its role as ‘protector of the EU’s sovereignty’. Grabbing a share of the energy pie in the Mediterranean is also among France’s goals. Macron, whom Turkey has disrupted in most areas, uses tensions with Turkey in the context of the balance of power within the EU. Although the front it formed by taking Greece and the GCA with it wanted ‘aggressive policy’, it has not yet got what it wanted in the face of the ‘dialogue front’ led by Germany in the EU. Despite this, efforts to attract Germany to its side continue. The next EU summit will be the scene of Turkey fight.
France has been performing poorly in the recent coronavirus outbreak. In a country where more than 7 thousand new cases were detected the previous day and the average for a week did not fall below 5 thousand, the economy contracted 13.8 percent in the second quarter. It is not clear how much the announced € 100 billion economic support plan will work. In such an environment, which is quite difficult to score points on domestic policy, Macron has weighed in on foreign policy. The fact that the opposition to Turkey has a premium in France, especially on the right front, also pushes Macron in this direction. Recent polls suggest the table has swung between 1 and 4 points in favor of Macron, whose popularity is at a fairly low 39 percent. If the social crisis worsens and the economic support package does not meet expectations, there is a high risk that the international approach to ‘come out from under every stone’ will turn against Macron
Arms deal with Greece
A significant effect of the tension in the eastern Mediterranean for France was the revival of military sales negotiations with Greece. Greece, which in July halted negotiations to buy two state-of-the-art frigates from France worth 2-2.5 billion euros, has returned to the table. Greece, which did not like the previous offers, also became interested again in French Rafale fighter jets. France is looking to sell 18 Rafales to Greece, 8 of which were used. MBDA Missile Systems officials are also in contact with Greek authorities. These missiles can be used for Rafale aircraft, as well as as part of the modernization of the Mirage 2000 fighter jets belonging to the Greek Air Force.
Macron also continued criticism in Iraq
French President Macron, who has been evaluating Turkey at every opportunity recently, did not break the tradition in Iraq, where he made his first official visit the previous day. “These challenges arise in an extraordinarily tense regional context with Iran’s very strong influence and Turkey’s increasingly intervening and repeated attacks on Iraq’s internal affairs,” Macron said, suggesting that Iran and Turkey have influence in the difficulties of the past year in Iraq. Macron recently claimed that Turkey was an ‘imperial fantasy’.
Greece is not in favour of dialogue
Foreign Minister Cavusoglu said Greece has shown once again that it is not in favor of dialogue.
“Greece (lying about the NATO mediation) has once again shown that it is not in favor of dialogue.” said.
“Greece (lying about the NATO mediation) has once again shown that it is not in favor of dialogue, “Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on the agenda.” said.
“There are attempts to lower blood pressure, we said ‘yes’,” he said.
Cavusoglu said his Greek counterpart did not accept the offer to discuss the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean without preconditions.
“France is the country that provokes Greece the most,” the phrase used.
France is a founding member of the European Union and one of the strongest economies in the bloc. It is one of the world’s wealthiest nations.France is situated largely in western Europe, but also comprises several overseas regions and territories. France is one of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and also belongs to NATO, the World Trade Organization and the Group of Seven major industrialized nations.