Turkey and Greece Committed to Firm Relations
After years of tense relations, Turkey and Greece are steadfast and committed to a new era of friendly ties. The two countries saw March as the dawn of new beginnings for all aspects of their bilateral relations – economy, trade, education, energy, tourism, health, and transport as well as environment.
Turkiye President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, in their September meeting in New York, affirmed positive climate in relation. They pledged to activate multiple channels of communication between their respective governments.
Turkey and Greece Work Together
Turkey and Greece are still treading on a glass floor. The two countries have had opposing stance on various issues, such as migration, airspace, maritime borders, the Aegean Sea and Cyprus. Tensions reached an all time high in 2020 over exploratory drilling rights in the Mediterranean Sea. The Turkish president even threatened Athens with missile. There was a naval standoff.
In 2022, Erdogan cut off all relations with Greece after Mitsotakis told the United States to block arms sales to Turkey. Moreover, Greece angered Turkey with its ambitious rearmament program. Athens, since the 1960s, has been building a military presence on the disputed Aegean islands.
Ankara says this is violation of postwar treaties. Greece has also strengthened defense cooperation with the US.
Turkey and Greece Positive Climate
The year 2023 brought a positive climate for both the countries. Turkish and Greek leaders have been exchanging positive messages and holding high-level meetings. The change can also be attributed to the decline in Turkey’s economy and the Ukraine war. Analysts say NATOs expansion in the region and the US’s increased interest in Europe has generated a new geopolitical balance which did not favor Turkey’s prior foreign agenda.
Furthermore, Greece’s increased role in NATO as a security and stability factor impacted Turkey’s plan in the Aegean Sea. The new security environment in Europe prompted the EU and United States to call be improvement in the Greek-Turkish relations.
Turkey and Greece are willing to settle their maritime disputes. Greece wants to resolve the delamination of the maritime zones of the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean with Turkey, while Ankara is demanding the demilitarization of some Aegean islands.
Both countries are working towards resolving their differences in a positive climate.