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Erdogan attacks against Greece not paying off inside Turkey

Erdogan attacks against Greece not paying off inside Turkey

The incendiary rhetoric against Greece unleashed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in a bid to rally nationalist sentiment among the electorate in view of the upcoming election does not appear to be paying dividends.

According to a poll by Metropol, 51.5% of Turks believe that “the tension between Greece and Turkey is an attempt to create an electoral agenda,” while 64% said they do not consider the Greeks as enemies, blunting the agenda of the ruling AKP’s electoral drive.

Tellingly, a large portion of AKP( 60.3%), Kemalist CHP (73.8%) and extreme right coalition partner MHP (57.8%) supporters said they they do not consider Greeks enemies. Polls like this one are also read by Athens as a failure by Erdogan to weaponize foreign policy. Meanwhile, Erdogan claimed on Wednesday that Turkey’s prestige has been enhanced globally and that “it is clear that Greece has received the signals.”

The Turkish president’s remarks were made at a meeting of the AKP Central Committee. As reported by Kathimerini correspondent Manolis Kostidis, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu commented on Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ statement on Monday that Greece expects Erdogan in the light of day. “We don’t even need to respond to these words. We decide when and where we will go,” Cavusoglu said. Mitsotakis had made his comments in response to Erdogan’s threat that Turkey may come “in the night,” hinting at an invasion of Greek territory.

Cavusoglu also presented Greece as a “tool” being used by the United States to limit the growth of Turkish power in the region. He claimed that “for the first time Greece has taken a position on the side of the US.”

“It is also being used by the US. Because Turkey has become more powerful in the region and they are designing Greece as a new power against this power.”