Turkey and Greece leaders to satisfy with objective of easing animosity amid Gaza and Ukraine wars

Turkey and Greece leaders to satisfy with objective of easing animosity amid Gaza and Ukraine wars

Previous foes Turkey and Greece will check a five-month-old friendship initiative Monday when Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visits Ankara.

The 2 NATO members, which share a long time of mutual animosity, a tense border and disputed waters, agreed to sideline disputes final December. As a substitute, they’re specializing in commerce and vitality, repairing cultural ties and an extended listing of different objects positioned on the so-called optimistic agenda.

Right here’s a take a look at what the 2 sides hope to attain and the disputes which have plagued ties prior to now:



Mitsotakis is to satisfy with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara on Monday as a part of efforts to enhance ties following the solidarity Athens confirmed Ankara after a devastating earthquake hit southern Turkey final 12 months.

The 2 leaders have sharp variations over the Israeli-Hamas warfare, however are eager to carry again additional instability within the japanese Mediterranean as battle additionally continues to rage in Ukraine.

“We all the time strategy our discussions with Turkey with confidence and with no illusions that Turkish positions is not going to change from one second to the subsequent,” Mitsotakis mentioned final week, commenting on the go to. “However, I believe it’s crucial that once we disagree, the channels of communication ought to all the time be open.”

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, welcomes Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier than their assembly at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, on Dec. 7, 2023.  Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited Ankara, Turkey, on Could 13, 2024. (AP Photograph/Thanassis Stavrakis, File)

“We must always disagree with out pressure and with out this all the time inflicting an escalation on the bottom,” he added.

Ioannis Grigoriadis, a professor of political science at Ankara’s Bilkent College, mentioned the 2 leaders would search for methods “to broaden the optimistic agenda and search for subjects the place the 2 sides can search win-win options,” similar to in commerce, tourism and migration.


Erdogan visited Athens in early December, and the 2 international locations have since maintained common high-level contacts to advertise a wide range of fence-mending initiatives, together with academic exchanges and tourism.

Turkish residents this summer time are capable of go to 10 Greek islands utilizing on-the-spot visas, skipping a extra cumbersome process wanted to enter Europe’s widespread journey space zone, often called the Schengen space.

“This generates an amazing alternative for bettering the financial relations between the 2 sides, but additionally to deliver the 2 steady societies nearer — for Greeks and Turks to comprehend that they’ve extra issues in widespread than they suppose,” Grigoriadis mentioned.


Disagreements have introduced Athens and Ankara near warfare on a number of events over the previous 5 a long time, largely over maritime borders and the rights to probe for sources within the Aegean and japanese Mediterranean seas.

The 2 international locations are additionally locked in a dispute over Cyprus, which was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded following a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Solely Turkey acknowledges a Turkish Cypriot declaration of independence within the island’s northern third.

The dispute over the exploration of vitality sources resulted in a naval standoff in 2020 and a vow by Erdogan to halt talks with the Mitsotakis authorities. However the two males met thrice final 12 months following a thaw in relations and a broader effort by Erdogan to re-engage with Western international locations.

The overseas ministers of the 2 international locations, Hakan Fidan of Turkey and George Gerapetritis of Greece, are set to affix the talks Monday and maintain a separate assembly.



Simply weeks earlier than Mitsotakis’ go to, Erdogan introduced the opening of a former Byzantine-era church in Istanbul as a mosque, drawing criticism from Greece and the Greek Orthodox church. Like Istanbul’s landmark Hagia Sophia, the Chora had operated as a museum for many years earlier than it was transformed right into a mosque.

Turkey, in the meantime, has criticized not too long ago introduced plans by Greece to declare areas within the Ionian and Aegean seas as “marine parks” to preserve aquatic life. Turkey objects to the one-sided declaration within the Aegean, the place some areas stay below dispute, and has labelled the transfer as “a step that sabotages the normalization course of.”

Grigoriadis mentioned Turkey and Greece might deal with restoring derelict Ottoman monuments in Greece and Greek Orthodox monuments in Turkey. “That will be a chance” for improved ties, he mentioned.

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Written by bourbiza mohamed

Bourbiza Mohamed is a freelance journalist and political science analyst holding a Master's degree in Political Science. Armed with a sharp pen and a discerning eye, Bourbiza Mohamed contributes to various renowned sites, delivering incisive insights on current political and social issues. His experience translates into thought-provoking articles that spur dialogue and reflection.

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