Communist Party of Turkey (TKP) released a statement on Dec. 8 regarding the tense start for Turkey's president visit to Greece. "Considering the fact that both of these two governments are having difficulties, that both have been in a tight corner in internal politics, they agreed to divert the attention of people by keeping the tensions between Turkey and Greece alive," TKP said in the statement.
The leaders of Greece and Turkey publicly aired their grievances Thursday in a tense news conference as a two-day visit to Athens by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan got off to a rocky start. The two sides went on to verbally spar in live televised appearances over several issues.
"Erdoğan visited Greece and beat around the bush about the Treaty of Lausanne. While uttering these words, he used a tone which would be appealing to 'nationalist' sentiments. Tsipras replied with the same attitude and proved how a government that prostitutes itself as 'left-wing' can actually take part in a contest of nationalisms. In other words, Erdoğan and Tsipras struck a bargain about an issue: considering the fact that both of these governments are having difficulties, that both have been in a tight corner in internal politics, they agreed to divert the attention of people by keeping the tensions between Turkey and Greece alive," TKP underlined.
In a visibly testy first meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, the two engaged in a thinly-veiled verbal spat over 1923 Treaty of Lausanne and Greece's Muslim minority.
The spat continued during Erdogan's appearance at an unusually candid joint news conference with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The two listed a series of grievances their countries have with each other, including religious and minority rights, the divided island of Cyprus and the case of ten Turkish servicemen who have applied for asylum in Greece following last year's failed coup attempt.
"Another issue on which Erdoğan and Tsipras agreed is to have the capitalist classes of both countries, which are actually competing with each other at the regional scale, to cooperate in exploiting the cheap labour force, in creating new areas of investment and in plundering natural resources. In terms of the refugee problem, Turkish and Greek governments are both seeking to gain a political leverage vis-à-vis the terrible tragedy caused by imperialist designs in the Middle East," TKP said.
"On the other hand, the so-called left-wing government of Greece has assumed the role of defending NATO against Erdoğan’s anti-American demagogy."
In the statement, TKP underlined the peoples of both countries are friends and neighbours indeed:
"In brief, both envisage nationalism, racism and the threat of war for people, and greater profits for the capitalists to whom they serve. Erdoğan and Tsipras, and the forces which stand behind them should know that we will not give them this chance!
The peoples of both countries are friends and neighbours indeed! And their enemy is the exploiters, the capitalists, the imperialists, the NATO.
We will overcome them together!"