Greek PM Prods Turkish PM over Russian Warplane Downing

Greek PM Prods Turkish PM over Russian Warplane Downing
Mon Nov 30, 2015 09:45:57

Greek Prime minister Alexis Tsipras has criticized his counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu over the downing of Russian jet by Turkey’s air force on Twitter.

A highly unusual online exchange has taken place on Twitter between the prime ministers of Greece and Turkey before the former deleted his tweets – but only from the English version of his account.

The official English-speaking account of Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras posted four tweets addressed to his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu on Sunday, goading him about Turkey’s downing of a Russian jet and Turkey’s violations of Greek airspace.

“To Prime Minister Davutoglu: Fortunately our pilots are not mercurial as yours against the Russians #EuTurkey” Tsipras tweeted.

Both men attended an EU-Turkey summit on refugees in Brussels on Sunday. Tsipras did not explain whether his tweets reproduced a conversation between the two or were written especially for Twitter.

“What is happening in the Aegean is outrageous and unbelievable #EUTurkey” Tsipras continued. “We’re spending billions on weapons. You–to violate our airspace, we–to intercept you #EUTurkey” Tsipras said in a third tweet, referring to intrusions of Turkish planes into Greek airspace, which Turkey contests, and frequent dogfights between Greek and Turkish pilots.

Tsipras said the two countries should focus on saving refugees, not on weapons.

“We have the most modern aerial weapons systems–and yet, on the ground, we can’t catch traffickers who drown innocent people #EUTurkey,” the Greek premier said in a fourth tweet.

Davutoglu chose to respond to only the first tweet and not engage in a detailed dialogue.

“Comments on pilots by @atsipras seem hardly in tune with the spirit of the day. Alexis: let us focus on our positive agenda,” @Ahmet_Davutoglu responded.

The tweets quickly sparked a vigorous reaction on Twitter, with many condemning Tsipras engaging in dialogue in this manner, but a few defending him.

“Tsipras showing off his twitter ‘diplomacy’ skills,” said a user calling himself The Greek Analyst.

“Much as I’m increasingly critical of Tsipras lately, remarkable Twitter diplomacy,” countered another user.

Then, the @Tsipras_EU account deleted the four tweets, which have remained posted, however, in Tsipras’ Greek language account, @atsipras.

The deletion sparked further furious tweeting, with comments such as “who is handling your account?” being the most common.

A last Tsipras tweet obliquely referred to the deleted ones:

“We are in the same neighborhood and we have to talk honestly so we can reach solutions #EUTurkey.” Guardian reported.

O/A

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