Mediterranean gas row: Macron's controversial role

In the dispute over gas in the eastern Mediterranean, French President Macron on Thursday described Ankara's behavior as "intolerable" and declared that Turkey was no longer France's partner in the region. About a month ago the French army increased its naval presence in the region and relocated fighter bombers to Cyprus. Journalists are critical of Macron's stance.

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Milliyet (TR) /

France offloading its military junk on Greece

Greece's prime minister has announced a massive new armament programme including the purchase of 18 French multi-purpose jets and four frigates. Mitsotakis is letting himself be ripped off, says Milliyet:

“Since the whole world knows that Greece doesn't have enough money to buy a rubber boat, never mind four frigates, it's clear that it was Macron who put this list together. ... This equipment is no doubt just junk that France wants to get rid of. ... Turkey isn't begging anyone for frigates, that's the difference! Turkey produces its own ships. Mitsotakis should give up this friendship; he should sit down at the negotiating table with Turkey, explore the Mediterranean with Turkey, extract oil and gas together with it and put his country in a truly secure position.”

L'Opinion (FR) /

Turkey is no worse than Russia

The French president is applying double standards, L'Opinion criticises:

“France's allies, above all the Americans and Germans, are looking on with a mixture of incomprehension, annoyance and concern. They're reluctant to cut ties with Turkey unnecessarily, as it's an important Nato member. And they see that the French are much more careful in their dealings with Vladimir Putin than with Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. Not everything is perfect in Turkey, far from it, nevertheless the opposition governs the country's two largest cities, Istanbul and Ankara. We all know, thanks to Navalny, what fate awaits the Russian opposition. ... Emmanuel Macron was right to start de-escalating with Russia. He should remember that when dealing with Turkey.”

Naftemporiki (GR) /

Healthy distrust

Athens should not plunge headlong into an enhanced partnership with Paris, warns Naftemporiki:

“Yesterday's latest intervention by Emmanuel Macron in favour of Athens' position and against Ankara was a source of satisfaction to both the Greek delegation and Greek public opinion. ... However, the possibility of a 'new strategic relationship' between Greece and France, most likely based on huge arms programmes and the potential reorientation of the country's foreign policy, needs to be examined in more detail. ... The country must be prudent in deciding where and how to deploy its forces.”

Sabah (TR) /

Dynamic arena in global competition

The conflict over gas in the eastern Mediterranean illustrates the decline of the current world order, Sabah believes:

“The Mediterranean crisis, in which the US plays the role of mentor and which has resulted in major tensions between Greece and France and Turkey, actually reinforces the darkness in which the western world is trapped. Consequently the relentless struggle between Western and Asian powers to build a new global system after the coronavirus crisis will intensify. Without doubt the competition in the Eastern Mediterranean has sufficient dynamic to determine both the course and the result of this global struggle. That's why all eyes are not only on the region, but also on Turkey, which wields most power in the Mediterranean.”