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The Ecumenical Patriarchate is currently being squeezed by Turkey and Russia, both of which see the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians as an extension of Western influence that threatens their respective political ambitions. Dr. Aykan Erdemir and John Lechner join the Greek Current to talk about Russia’s campaign of disinformation …
 
Earlier this year Greek Olympic gold medalist Sofia Bekatorou came forward and testified that she was sexually assaulted as a 21-year-old in 1998 by a sports official. Since then, the #MeToo movement sweeping through Greece has seen a wave of victims come forward and tell their story. Meanwhile, recent allegations against the National Theatre direc…
 
The HDP, the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party, is facing renewed pressure in Turkey amid rising calls for its closure by nationalist politicians in Ankara. HDP members are being increasingly targeted after the deaths of 13 Turkish hostages in Iraqi Kurdistan earlier this month following a botched rescue operation. Merve Tahiroglu, the Turkey P…
 
Turkish President Erdogan has dominated Turkish politics for nearly two decades, consolidating power and seeking to become a second Ataturk. While Erdogan may see himself as larger than life, expert Michael Rubin draws on historical precedents to make the case in his piece “Where Will Erdoğan be Buried?” that the true measure of how Turks view him …
 
The Hellenic Navy is currently evaluating proposals for the supply of new frigates by France, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, the United Kingdom, Spain, and Italy. This is part of Greece’s latest effort to upgrade and modernize its armed forces and its navy amid tensions with Turkey. Greece is also deepening its strategic and defense c…
 
Greece's Anna Diamantopoulou is one of four candidates left in the race to become the next head of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). If her candidacy is successful, then she would be the first woman to lead the OECD, one of the world’s most influential multilateral organizations. Anna Diamantopoulou joins The Greek …
 
A recent New York Times article titled “In Turkey’s Safe Zone in Syria, Security and Misery Go Hand in Hand” has been called out by a number of experts who say it whitewashes Turkey’s occupation of Afrin in Syria and the removal of Syrian Kurds from the area. Expert David Phillips joins The Greek Current to explain why this report is so problematic…
 
Greece's Minister of Development and Investment, Adonis Georgiadis, discusses investments in Greece's infrastructure, and looks at the important role that the US is playing through the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC). We look at key investments in Greece’s ports and shipyards like Alexandroupoli and Elefsis, in the energy sector…
 
US-Turkey tensions flared following the death of 13 Turkish soldiers, police, and civilians who perished during a Turkish offensive against PKK Kurdish militants in Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkish President Erdogan slammed the US State Department’s initial condemnation of the deaths before Secretary of State Antony Blinken delivered a swift clarification …
 
On Monday Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken held their first official call - which comes as relations between the two countries are at their highest level in recent memory - and looked at how to further enhance the strategic cooperation between Greece and the United States. They also covered the latest…
 
Earlier this week China’s president chaired a long-delayed 17+1 summit with Central and Eastern European countries, including Greece, amid division in the region over how to view Beijing's growing influence. A number of countries are increasingly sensitive to tensions between the US and China, and to concerns that the 17+1 is being used to divide E…
 
President Biden's pledge to put democracy and human rights at the center of American foreign policy is facing an early test from an increasingly authoritarian Turkey. In a recent op-ed, expert Merve Tahiroglu, makes the case that the Biden administration has an immediate opportunity to make good on this pledge, not only to advance American interest…
 
This week Turkey signaled that it could give ground on the S-400 missiles it purchased from Russia, with Defense Minister Hulusi Akar suggesting Turkey could adopt the so-called “Crete Model'' - which was used to solve a dispute between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey in the 1990s over S-300s Nicosia had purchased - to deal with this issue. Expert Aaron…
 
Expert Daniel Vajdich joins us on the Greek Current today to explore the work that the US International Development Finance Corporation - or the DFC - is doing in Greece and the Western Balkans to promote development and advance strategic US foreign policy priorities through its financing tools. We also look at how the DFC is an important economic …
 
There’s been a flurry of diplomatic activity in the Eastern Mediterranean over the last month and a half, with exploratory talks between Athens and Ankara kicking off, the UN Secretary General calling for the resumption of talks on the Cyprus problem, and Greece signing key strategic agreements with countries like France and Israel. In view of thes…
 
William Antholis joins The Greek Current podcast to discuss a broad range of topics from his latest interview with Kathimerini, including the “post-populist” moment the US is going through and the lessons it can learn from Greece’s experience with populism, the US-China relationship and China’s foothold in the Mediterranean with its investment in t…
 
Harry Mark Petrakis, one of the Greek-American community’s greatest and most beloved authors, passed away at the age of 97 on February 2nd. Petrakis was a major figure in 20th century Chicago literature, and was at the forefront of a movement in which America claimed its identity through its ethnic writers. His focus on the experiences of Greek imm…
 
The Islamic State terror group was largely defeated through a coordinated international effort almost two years ago. A recent unclassified report by the US Treasury Department, however, points out that its networks appear to still have access to an estimated $100 million in cash reserves, adding that the Islamic State’s remnants in Syria continue t…
 
Eleftheria Kourtali, a journalist with Kathimerini, joins us to discuss the significance of the European Central Bank’s emergency bond-buying program (PEPP) - which has been one of the main buffers for the Greek economy during this crisis - and looks at what life will be like for Greece after the emergency bond-buying program comes to an end. Eleft…
 
Manfred Weber, the leader of the European People's Party group in the European Parliament and a Member of the European Parliament since 2004, joins The Greek Current to discuss the EU-Turkey relationship and where it is heading, his view on the talks between Greece and Turkey and the need for Ankara to take concrete steps to show it is serious abou…
 
In a recent policy paper, titled “A Mediterranean Duel: Erdogan, Sisi and the Fate of Egyptian-Turkish Relations”, expert Nicholas Danforth lays out Turkey and Egypt’s history, explores the causes of tensions between Cairo and Ankara today, and makes the case that despite Turkey’s attempts to mend relations, this effort is unlikely to overcome disa…
 
Thousands of students and teachers held peaceful demonstrations in Greece’s two biggest cities - Athens and Thessaloniki - on Thursday against proposed education reforms, even defying a weeklong ban on protests imposed as part of measures to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. Students in Greece say the education reforms will harm freedom of expressio…
 
On Monday, neighbors Greece and Turkey began the 61st round of exploratory talks - after a five year hiatus - that aim to settle maritime disputes. The resumption of talks follows a year of tensions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean that brought Greece and Turkey to the verge of military confrontation last summer. On Monday, Greece also s…
 
For almost a decade Turkey has used both its soft and hard power to expand its influence in Africa as part of a broader broader strategy of becoming a leader of the Islamic and non-Western world. This policy is most visible in Somalia, where Turkey has built its largest military base abroad. Professor Henri Barkey joins The Greek Current to discuss…
 
Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and regional expert, joins The Greek Current to discuss his latest op-ed in Kathimerini, titled “US and Turkey on course for diplomatic, economic collision”, where he makes the case that the test President Biden will most likely have to confront early in his term is not China or…
 
Students and lecturers at a top Turkish university have been protesting since early January against a state-appointed rector, fearing that President Erdogan’s growing reach on school campuses will crush what’s left of academic freedom. Meanwhile, an abrupt decision at the end of last year to cancel Islamic prayers at Chora museum has cast doubt on …
 
Journalist Amberin Zaman analyzes Turkey's latest attempts at a diplomatic “reset” with the United States, and discusses what is in store for the US-Turkey relationship as the new Biden administration takes over. We also take a look at Syria, and whether the appointment of Brett McGurk to the National Security Council will cause more friction in US…
 
Alexis Papachelas and Tom Ellis - two people who know America as well as anyone in Greece today - join The Greek Current to discuss the new beginning that President Biden's inauguration signals for the US and the world. We look at the phenomenon of "Trumpism" both in the US and in Greece, social media and its outsized influence, and the Biden admin…
 
Today the Senate Foreign Relations Committee held its hearing for Antony Blinken, who is President elect Biden’s nominee for Secretary of State. Among the key concerns Senators expressed were how the incoming administration plans to deal with Iran, China, and Turkey. Jonathan Schanzer, the senior vice president of research at the Foundation for Def…
 
In the third part of a series exploring Turkish President Erdogan’s geopolitical ambitions, the Financial Times looked into a string of extractions of Turkish citizens from countries in the Balkans. This is part of Turkey's global campaign of kidnappings and transnational repression which we covered in last week’s podcast episode with expert Nate S…
 
Earlier this month President-elect Biden reached out to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, stating that he looks forward to working with the Patriarch, and adding “we need your leadership” in a handwritten letter. Georgia Logothetis, HALC’s Managing Director, joins us to discuss the significance of this letter and of the relationship between Preside…
 
Today’s Financial Times piece titled “Turkish intrigue in the Balkans” has brought renewed attention to Ankara’s transnational and illegal campaign of extractions and kidnappings of Turkish nationals in other countries. Nate Schenkkan, the Director for Research Strategy at Freedom House, joins us to discuss this campaign by Turkey which he has been…
 
Kelly Bjorklund joins The Greek Current to discuss her latest piece in Foreign Policy on the trial against Turkey’s Halkbank for helping Iran evade US sanctions and President Trump's repeated attempts to shield Halkbank and Turkey’s President Erdogan from paying any penalty. We also look at her in-depth interview with former Secretary of State Till…
 
Yannis Palaiologos, Kathimerini’s Brussels correspondent, is back on the Greek Current to break down the latest developments in Europe when it comes to tackling the coronavirus pandemic and its vaccine rollout. This includes Brussels’ fight to maintain solidarity over its pan-EU vaccine plan after evidence emerged of member states breaking away to …
 
This weekend Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias discussed a range of issues Greece is looking to tackle in 2021 in an all-inclusive interview with Kathimerini, including the upcoming exploratory talks with Turkey, strengthening ties with neighboring countries in the Western Balkans, extending Greece’s territorial sea on its west coast, and steps …
 
Washington, DC journalist Petros Kasfikis joins our podcast to give us his first hand account of the troubling attack on the US Capitol this past Wednesday. We also look at the other key news and developments coming out of the nation’s capital this week, including President elect Biden’s announcement to appoint Amanda Sloat as Director for Europe a…
 
A pro-Donald Trump rally on Wednesday devolved into unrest and insurrection as rioters overwhelmed the Capitol Police and stormed Congress, temporarily shutting down a vote to certify President-elect Joe Biden’s win. The scenes of chaos have left the nation and the world shaken. Wednesday also saw the Democrats take control of the Senate after resu…
 
A town in northeast Syria is increasingly becoming a battleground between Turkish-backed groups and US-backed forces amid fears of a new large-scale Turkish offensive. We look at the situation in Syria with Dr. Aykan Erdemir, and also break down President elect Joe Biden's announcement to appoint Brett McGurk to a senior role at the NSC managing th…
 
After a rift that fractured the Arab world and the Middle East for more than three years, Gulf Arab leaders signed an agreement on "solidarity and stability" at a summit on Tuesday aimed at ending an embargo against Qatar. Today’s agreement follows Saudi Arabia’s decision to reopen its borders and airspace to Qatar for the first time since the bloc…
 
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced a cabinet reshuffle a few days into the new year and almost two years into his four-year term. Most of the top ministers in key posts remain in place, indicating a policy continuity for the economy and foreign affairs, but there were a few notable additions. One of those is Nicolas Yatromanolakis, …
 
Vassilis Nedos, Kathimerini’s diplomatic and defense editor, joins The Greek Current to break down the latest developments in Greek-Turkish relations, discuss Berlin’s mediating role when it comes to exploratory talks, and explore whether there is room for these talks to take place in the new year. We also look at Greece and Israel’s partnership, s…
 
Expert Nicholas Danforth joins The Greek Current to discuss why letting Turkey go may be the best way to repair US-Turkish ties in the long run. In the piece in Foreign Policy Magazine “It Is Time To Let Turkey Go” he also makes the case that the US cannot single-handedly rescue the US-Turkish alliance, nor will Erdogan ever offer any real or lasti…
 
It’s time to take a firmer approach when it comes to Turkey. That’s the argument Boris Zilberman, the Director of Public Policy and Strategy at Christians United for Israel Action Fund, makes in his latest op-ed. Boris is with us today on The Greek Current to explain why continuing on the current path in the US-Turkish relationship is a mistake, an…
 
Diliman Abdulkader, the Co-Founder and Director of American Friends of Kurdistan, joins The Greek Current to discuss recent reports of inter-Kurdish conflict in northern Iraq and in Syria, Ankara’s role in these conflicts and its latest moves to crack down on Kurdish rights both within Turkey and in the broader region, and what Kurds expect from th…
 
"From a new drug research hub to island incubators, Greece is starting to position itself for the Fourth Industrial Revolution." That’s the lead sentence in a piece by journalist John Psaropoulos, who outlines the key steps Greece is taking to transform its economy and capitalize on its young talent. John Psaropoulos, an independent journalist base…
 
There are a number of recent reports that Turkey is trying to open diplomatic channels with Israel in a bid to mend relations. This includes an announcement that Turkey will once again send an ambassador to Israel, and references to “secret contacts between Turkey and Israel.” Seth Frantzman joins our podcast to discuss why these moves by Turkey ar…
 
On Monday the United States announced it is imposing sanctions on Turkey for its purchase and acquisition of Russian S-400 missile defense systems. This is the first time the US has targeted a NATO ally through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act. Dr. Aykan Erdemir, the Director of the Turkey Program at the Foundation for Def…
 
EU leaders agreed on Thursday to target more individuals involved in Ankara’s illegal energy exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean. European leaders also reached a deal on climate measures and resolved a dispute over the EU’s historic €1.8 trillion budget and coronavirus recovery package. Yiannis Palaiologos, Kathimerini’s Brussels co…
 
Human Rights Day is observed every year on 10 December — the day the United Nations General Assembly adopted, in 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. HALC’s Managing Director Georgia Logothetis joins me today to discuss Turkey’s human rights record both at home and abroad. You can read the articles we discuss on The Daily Roundup here: …
 
David Patrikarakos, the author of “Borderland: Europe’s Eastern Faultline”, joins The Greek Current to discuss his piece and give us a look at the ongoing tensions between Greece and Turkey from the frontlines. David travelled to the small island of Kastellorizo at the heart of tensions over maritime rights in the Eastern Mediterranean and to Greec…
 
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