During today’s press briefing, the Minister of State and government spokesman was asked by Avgi reporter Andreas Loverdos, Democratic Alignment MP, about Proto Thema’s Sunday publication.
After a two second pause for dramatic effect, Mr. Tzanakopoulos said: “I am as ashamed of the report as I am of the question by Mr. Loverdos. The prime minister chooses his colleagues based on the criteria of competence, honesty, trust and above all, honour. Some, in pursuit of sensationalism, may consider that one’s personal life should be a criterion for selecting the prime minister’s associates. We consider this position completely unacceptable. ”
In the question to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Monday, Andreas Loverdos, citing the Sunday edition of Proto Thema, stressed that the issue of the Greek diplomat, a very close aide of the Greek PM who was cohabiting with a high ranking female Turkish diplomat, named Feyza working in the Turkish Embassy in Athens is “a highly sensitive issue, both for our national security, as well as for freedom and the protection of one’s private life” adding that “the ambivalent status of this issue requires general statements rather than specific reason. ”
“Perhaps this particular diplomat, who by definition handles serious diplomatic issues of the country, could contribute to the country and his work from another post and not from your diplomatic office?” inquired Mr. Loverdos, adding: “Or perhaps do common sense and international experience require such a response on your part? The government spokesperson’s inexperience cannot excuse the administration’s repeated failures in foreign policy.”
The revelations of the relationship between Mr. Tsipras’s close aide with the Turkish Embassy diplomat by Sunday’s Proto Thema, only highlights the importance of the need to bring to the public light such a matter, especially in light of the escalating aggressive rhetoric adopted by Erdogan against Greece. The issue of the sanctity of ones private life and relationships, including a person either in public office or, as in this case, someone who is a close aide to the Greek PM, is undeniable. Equally undeniable, however, is the legitimate right and the obligation of the press to report on the issue.
Who are the two lovers?
Sunday’s Proto Thema edition reported that the two first met in 2013, while the Greek diplomat was stationed in Turkey. They entered into a relationship and she followed him to Athens in 2015 after being transferred to Athens. Feyza, the green-eyed Turkish diplomat, who is the daughter of an officer in the Turkish military, has caused concerns in the Greek diplomatic circles. However, the Greek government does not consider their relationship -they have been cohabiting for the past two years- a conflict of interest, even though many raise fears for national security.
Recently the two hosted a party in their loft in Monastiraki, Athens, effectively formalising their relationship. Tens of guests enjoyed the atmosphere and didn’t stop taking selfies. Their relationship has moved on to the next level.
The Greek diplomat, not even 40, climbed the echelons of politics rapidly after his close long time friend and later Greek PM Alexis Tsipras won office. In 2014 Tsipras called him and offered him an advisory role. Their friendship goes back years, when the diplomat was a member of the SYRIZA youth and Tsipras was the general secretary of the party’s youth. He was planning to follow in the footsteps of his father, a career diplomat. Born in Brussels, and raised in Saudi Arabia, Hungary and Sweden, the diplomat returned to Greece, before departing for London where he received his post graduate degree in Sociology and European Politics at the London School of Economics.
The life of the 35-year-old Turkish diplomat was equally cosmopolitan. She is the daughter of a top brass Turkish military officer who served in NATO and Brussels. Feyza graduated with honours from the US high school in Brussels. She received her degrees in International Relations and acquired a post graduate degree in the legal status of the Aegean Sea. She served as a diplomat in Beirut, Skopje and Sarajevo, before being transferred to the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Before meeting with the Greek diplomat she had a child from a previous relationship. In October 2015 she was stationed to Athens to be close to her new Greek love.