Finally, a wonderful news item emerged during this black summer. At long last, there is a joyous event that unites all citizens, does not offer itself for partisan clashes, and spurs hope.

The release from a Turkish prison of army officers Angelos Mitredodis and Dimitris Kouklatzis is not due to a miracle of the Virgin Mary the Freer (one of the many Orthodox names of the Virgin Mary).

It does not constitute a triumph of the rule of law in Turkey.

The two Greek officers were arbitrarily arrested, unjustly imprisoned, used in vain as a negotiating chip, and freed when they were no longer useful for the regime in Ankara.

This gesture of President Erdogan, however, helps him approach Europe at a time that he feels weak, and is in urgent need of allies.

The return of the two officers to their country may serve as an occasion to reset relations between Turkey and its largest commercial partner, the EU.

Erdogan cannot continue to provoke enemies and friends. He cannot continue to ignore economic rules. He cannot continue to violate human rights and democratic rights.

If his country modernises and becomes democratic, he can and should play a decisive role in what French President Macron last month called “a multi-speed Europe”.

The good will gestures must continue. Pastor Brunson must be freed, as should dozens of political prisoners.

In an ever more unstable world, steps towards progress and stability are urgently needed.

In the meantime, Angelos and Dimitris, welcome home!

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