Biden and the Eastern Mediterranean: Greek optimism, Turkish caution, by Eva J. Koulouriotis
Following the victory of Joe Biden, the Eastern Mediterranean remains cautious.
While Athens could not hide its optimism about Biden’s victory, Turkey’s silence was finally broken by a congratulatory message from Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both responses provide an initial picture of the shape of future relations between the two sides and Washington.
Amid the Greek media’s celebrations of Biden’s win and the Turkish media’s focus on events in Nagorno-Karabakh to distract attention from US elections, a geopolitical perspective is needed to understand the impact of the 46th US President on developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Prior to Biden’s election win, Ankara was able to accumulate a series of regional geopolitical advantages. In Nagorno-Karabakh, the agreement to end the war provided three benefits for Turkey.
The first was Azerbaijan coming one step closer to Turkey and moving away from Iran, with Ankara redefining itself as a strong ally on which all kindred countries of Central Asia can rely.
Military and economic co-operation also increased between Ankara and Baku, paving the way for Turkish exports to a new market which could lead to the renegotiation of lower-cost Azeri gas contracts. The third advantage was to Turkey’s military industry. With proven capabilities, especially in the field of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), demand will only increase, positively impacting the Turkish economy.