Acun Ilıcalı is a TV producer in Turkey, but for the last few years he has been collaborating with the SKAI TV station in Greece. He is the producer, that is to say, the absolute “boss” of the infamous show “Survivor”. As usually, Acun is playing both “business” sides at the same time. He is conducting the shooting of both the Greek and Turkish versions of the reality show in the Dominican Republic.
Thus, operating costs are divided between two productions. From time to time, Acun Ilıcalı intervenes by addressing the players. At times, he speaks in broken Greek in order to be liked by the Greek public, although he immediately switches to English, of course. Sometimes, on the occasion of the Greek-Turkish confrontation within the reality show, Acun addresses both nations, the Greeks and the Turks alike, pursuing a peculiar and “personal” foreign policy, in a foreign land nevertheless. So, only a few days before the arrival of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey, Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, in Athens (May 30-31) and while the Turkish media are already intensively trying to create a climate of confrontation, focusing on the Muslim minority in Thrace, Acun decided to intervene in the diplomatic stalemates of Greek-Turkish relations, by playing the role of a self-proclaimed “peacemaker”, but with a “Turkish turban” and an “Ottoman veil”.
In other words, at a time when the Turkish Foreign Minister is trying make the recognition of a Turkish minority in Thrace a key issue of the Greek-Turkish discussions, through the use of blackmailing tactics, despite the fact that the Lausanne Treaty acknowledges the existence of religious and not national minorities on both sides, Acun Ilıcalı is naively attempting to send the message that “the sea (ie the Aegean) that is between us does not matter at all”.
Yeah, right. Greeks and Turks are “brothers”, so the Aegean Sea that divides them does not matter to them. The only thing that matters is that the Greeks and the Turks are warm people who have a good time and fun with each other. This is an exceptionally original take on international and bilateral relations, that is imbued with a wisely calculated dose of innocence and naivety in order to be accepted by those citizens who only engage in politics when there is an election, and possibly not even then.
What’s interesting in this case, however, is that the Turkish TV producer is openly given the chance to do such things. You see, he uses his reality show and the TV station of the Greek businessman Giannis Alafouzos – SKAI TV- as a means to promote “his ideas”. In fact, this is the second time that the said television station has attempted to play “strange games” in murky waters. Some time ago, we witnessed a highly controversial journalistic “pirouette” by Manolis Kostidis, regarding the enclosed town of Varosha in Famagusta.
It is obvious that in the name of a questionable peace vision, the Turkish TV producer is trying to send across messages aimed at distorting reality and consolidating the view that Greek-Turkish differences are the result of claims and obsessions by politicians, the result of machinations and conspiracies and, in any case, not a product of specific political choices of the Turkish leadership.
After all, Mr. Acun and his TV production, as well as SKAI executives, had better focus on the dozens of journalists detained in Erdogan’s dungeons, the thousands of Turkish citizens rotting in prisons and all those Turkish citizens who are systematically persecuted because they oppose the political choices of Tayyip Erdogan.
Leave the Aegean to the citizens who live on its islands and coasts, to those who work to make a living from its waters and its beauties.The Aegean Sea is there to remind all of us, Mr. Acun as well, who is who, where each of us belongs, but also that each one should probably mind their own business.