Op-ed: For the West, Erdogan is one thing, Turkey is another

By Alexandra Fotaki

Making comparisons is a popular pastime in Greece, as is talk of isolation, and it has been perceived as necessary to thresh out and conduct policy along these lines.

Allow me to explain.

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For example, there is a perception that if a countries maintains relations with Greece it must cut off all ties with Turkey.

If a country conducts transactions with Greece, it must cut off exchanges with Turkey, and if not entirely, it must definitely reduce them.

If a minister of a foreign country visits Turkey or meets with a Turkish official that must automatically be interpreted through the prism of Greek-Turkish relations.

We believe that all of Turkey's moves are made with Greece in mind, and that is the greatest mistake.

When competent diplomats, government officials, and other players try to explain that things are not quite like that, they are attacked in public discourse.

The same stands true when they concede that Turkey is not isolated.

Turkey cannot be isolated due to its position, its size, and its role.

The West cannot abandon Turkey, and Greece does not want the West to abandon Turkey, even with a president like Recep Tayyip Erdogan - the dangerous revisionist that supposedly no one wants to talk to - in the 21st century.

"We must come to terms with reality," a seasoned diplomat told me when I asked her what the US stance toward Turkey will be vis-à-vis the latter's relations with Greece, and whether Washington's policy might change.

She said it was wrong for Greece to want to place its ties with the US in a balance with Turkey. "This is comparing things that are not comparable. We don't...

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