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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…
 
This weekend The New York Times ran a story on the Greek Orthodox Church and the criticism it is facing for the way it has handled the Covid-19 pandemic as the virus hits its ranks. Expert George Demacopoulos, the co-director of the Orthodox Christian Studies Center at Fordham University, discusses the Church’s response to the pandemic both in Gree…
 
On Sunday night former United States Senator Paul Sarbanes - the son of Greek immigrants and the first Greek-American US senator - passed away at the age of 87. Senator Sarbanes served in the Senate for 30 years, leaving his mark at key moments in recent US history. William Antholis and HALC’s Executive Director Endy Zemenides join The Greek Curren…
 
Congress is ready to pass this year’s National Defense Authorization Act - the annual defense policy bill - with provisions that mandate the President of the United States to sanction Turkey for its acquisition of Russian S-400s within 30 days of passage of the bill. The legislation could get floor votes in the House and Senate as soon as next week…
 
Congressman Gregory Meeks was elected as the first African American chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, winning a caucus wide vote against Congressman Joaquin Castro. The contest at times had the feel of a battle between Democratic leadership and the more progressive wing of the party over what its foreign-policy platform s…
 
The US and Turkey targeted each other on Tuesday during a NATO ministerial meeting, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accusing Ankara of stoking tensions with fellow allies in the Mediterranean and of giving a gift to the Kremlin by purchasing the Russian-made S-400 missile system. The sharp clash highlighted divisions and tensions within NATO, w…
 
The Saint Andrew’s Freedom Forum hosted its annual Human Rights and Religious Freedom Forum together with the Hellenic American Leadership Council. The event featured a number of US Representatives, and a powerful address by Archbishop Elpidophoros on social justice and a more perfect union. Andreas Akaras, an attorney with a background in public a…
 
Today, Turkey’s seismic research vessel, the Oruc Reis, returned to port from an area within Greece's continental shelf. The move comes less than two weeks before an EU summit where European leaders will evaluate possible sanctions against Ankara. In the lead up to that summit, Greece has also made it clear that there can be no discussions with Tur…
 
On Wednesday President Trump granted a full pardon to his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Michael Flynn had twice pleaded guilty for lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with a Russian diplomat, and had also admitted as part of his guilty plea that he provided false information to the Justice Department about work he did for…
 
Today President-elect Joe Biden unveiled his nominations for a number of key national security positions that point to a distinct break from the Trump administration’s approach to foreign policy, including Secretary of State and national security adviser. Endy Zemenides, HALCs Executive Director, joins us as we look at what these nominations will m…
 
Today, EU officials made it clear that they expect Turkey to act toward a de-escalation of tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean. This statement comes ahead of a crucial EU leaders’ summit in December that will focus on Turkey. It also follows a weekend that saw Turkey extend the activities of its research vessel the Oruc Reis in the Eastern Medite…
 
Hospitals in Thessaloniki, Greece's second-largest city and the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, are being pushed to a breaking point. Some are at capacity or near capacity, and ICU units are filling up at an alarming rate. Journalist Iliana Magra, who spoke to doctors and medical professionals on the frontlines in Thessaloniki…
 
The second wave of the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the healthcare system of Greece to its limits, while cases and deaths are rising in the US as well, where at least 250,000 Americans have now died from the disease. Dr. George Chiampas joins us to help us make sense of what’s going on in Greece and the US, and to give us a view from the frontli…
 
In a shocking move earlier this month, Berat Albayrak, Turkey’s Finance Minister and Erdogan’s son in law, announced his resignation after months of growing alarm over the value of the lira and the state of the economy. His abrupt departure has triggered a shake-up in the country’s economic management, and raises questions about Turkey’s political …
 
According to statistics released this week by the Institute of International Education, the number of US students studying in Greece is on the rise. The data shows that almost 6,000 US students chose to study in Greece in the 2018-2019 academic year, an increase of almost 12 per cent compared to the previous year. Greg Pappas, the publisher of The …
 
Apostolos Zoupaniotis discusses Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to discuss religious freedom issues in the region and around the world. We also look at the latest visit by Turkish President Erdogan to the occupied side of Cyprus and the beachfront of Varosha, where he made it clear that he favored a tw…
 
According to a recent report in Sunday’s Kathimerini, Greece’s Defense Ministry is planning to seriously step up efforts to reinforce its air force in the next year, not only with French-made Rafale jets, but also with US F-35 fighter jets. Vassilis Nedos, the journalist behind this story, joins us to give us his insight and analysis on these lates…
 
Today we discuss retiring diplomat and special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey’s latest bombshell interview in Defense One. In the interview, Ambassador Jeffrey praises President Trump’s approach to the Middle East, but also acknowledges that his team routinely misled senior leaders about troop levels in Syria. Jeffrey also touched on relations with …
 
This week Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi travelled to Athens to meet with Prime Minister Mitsotakis. The visit underscores the growing relationship between Athens and Cairo, but also new dynamics in the Eastern Mediterranean. Both Greece and Egypt are at odds with Turkey for a number of varying reasons. Expert Steven Cook joins us for a dee…
 
Journalist Angelos Athanasopoulos joins The Greek Current to analyze Turkey’s latest provocative decision to send the Oruc Reis research vessel into a new area south of the Greek island of Kastellorizo and near the island of Rhodes. We’ll also discuss a recent State Department report on violations of Greek airspace, and the visit by Egypt’s preside…
 
Armenia’s Prime Minister took to Facebook early on Tuesday to announce that he had signed an “extremely painful” Russia and Turkey-backed ceasefire to halt the fighting in Nagorno-Karabakh with Azerbaijan. Expert Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, joins The Greek Current to give us…
 
Dr. Aykan Erdemir - the co-author of the piece “Turkish Bank Rulings Should Be A Wakeup Call For Global Financial Institutions” - joins us to analyze two recent milestone court rulings in the Southern District of New York against Turkish banks Halkbank and Kuveyt Turk Bank, how these cases highlight Turkey’s terrorism and illicit finance problems, …
 
This week, Concept Schools Inc., a charter school chain based in the Chicago area with links to Turkey and Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen, agreed on a multi-million dollar settlement to end a long-running federal corruption investigation. Dan Mihalopoulos joins us to break down this story, the links to Turkey, and how this charter school chain is c…
 
The eyes of the world are on a couple of US states where election officials are still counting ballots. The outcome of those votes will determine who the next President of the US will be. As we wait for the official results, political scientist and expert Harris Mylonas joins to discuss his takeaways from this election, what he thinks the results w…
 
Today, Volkswagen and Greece announced the launch of an exciting pilot project on the Greek island of Astypalea, in the Aegean. Under the plan, the current transport system on the island will transition to electric vehicles and renewable power generation, and in the long run, Astypalea will become a model island for climate-neutral mobility. Ilias …
 
Professor Henri Barkey discusses his latest piece, “How Erdogan Muscled Turkey to the Center of the World Stage”, and points out the ways Erdogan has refashioned Turkey as a revisionist power openly challenging not just its neighbors, but also fellow NATO allies like France and the US. Henri Barkey is the Cohen Professor of International Relations …
 
A deadly earthquake struck in the Aegean Sea between the Turkish coast and the Greek island of Samos. The quake was felt as far as Athens and Istanbul. Despite heightened tensions between the two countries, both Greek and Turkish leaders issued messages of solidarity, offering each other assistance in a move reminiscent of Greece and Turkey’s earth…
 
Expert Michael Rubin, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and a former Pentagon official, joins us today to discuss his latest op-ed - “Brussels can stop Turkey’s aggression” - and explain what immediate actions he thinks European Union countries should take to check Erdogan’s aggressive behavior in the region. Read Michael Rubi…
 
HALC’s Executive Director Endy Zemenides joins us today to talk about OXI Day - the day that Greece celebrates its entry into World War II on the side of the Allies and its rejection of fascism - and the parallels we see between October 28, 1940, and today. You can read the articles we discuss on The Daily Roundup here: 80th anniversary of OXI Day …
 
On Monday the US recorded 74,300 new coronavirus cases as the outlook across the country continues to worsen. At the same time, Greece has also seen a dramatic rise in cases that has prompted fresh measures and localized lockdowns. Dr. Perry Halkitis joins the Greek Current to discuss these troubling trends, the current response in the US and Greec…
 
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