Hakan Cavusoglou, Vice-President of the Turkish Government –born 1972 in (Greek) Western Thrace, near Komotini/Gumulcine – has been visiting Greece last week, in preparation for the state visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan end-November or so.
The jovial 45-year old politician visited Komotini and Xanthi in Thrace /Northern Greece and did not miss the opportunity to extend “motherland” Turkey’s shield over the minority of some 150.000 in the region. He added that Turkish minorities in nearby Bulgaria, FYROM (which he pointedly called “Macedonia” which is anathema for his gosts, just as talk of the “Turkish” minority is considered off-limits diplomatically since international Treaties mention just a “Muslim” minority in Thrace) and Kossovo are also under Turkish aegis.
This has not been just talk, Cavusoglu had in his retinue representatives of TIKA, the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency, established 1992 (“by reaching out, we as Turkey will give a helping hand as much as we can” according to Turkish President Erdogan) and promising material support in the form of foreign aid. Also, Cavusoglu was quoted as extending to those he considers compartriots in Western Thrace advantageous access to healthcare in “motherland” Turkey.
All of which, along an array of Turkish airforce overflights in the Aegean while Cavusoglu was concluding his visit, brought Greek P.M. Alexis Tsipras to the conclusion that maybe his own meeting with his country’s guest was not the wisest option to follow. What this whole conundreum means for President Erdogian’s own visit is yet to be seen.