Greek and Turkish FM meet to repair relationship and replace thorns instead

Turkey, Ankara — A meeting aimed at improving the tense relationship between NATO’s allies Greece and Turkey quickly fell into a tense exchange of criticism between the two foreign ministers on April 15. ..

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias visited Ankara to discuss relations with Turkey’s Mebrut Chabsoguru after the tensions were slightly eased. The two men, who appeared in front of the camera to make a press release, initially talked about keeping the channel of dialogue open and strengthening economic cooperation to improve relations.

But their meeting was soon disastrous after Dendias accused Turkey of violating Greece’s sovereignty in the eastern Mediterranean and warned that Ankara would face European Union sanctions if the breach continued. It became a thing. Kabsoguru argued that Dendias’ words were “unacceptable.”

The two ministers then listed their complaints.

This visit was the first visit by the Greek Minister following a turbulent year. Turkey opened its western border in 2020, angry at the feeling of lack of support for policy in Syria, and thousands of migrants gathered at the entrance to Greece and closed immediately. Was announced. This led to a frontier and chaotic scene.

In the summer, tensions regained over the maritime boundaries of the eastern Mediterranean coast and energy exploration rights, increasing the military strength of the warships of both countries. This controversy strained relations between Ankara and the entire European Union.

Tensions eased after Turkey withdrew its energy research vessels and adopted a more reconciling tone to Greece and other EU countries.

“The possibility of taking measures is always [European] “Council,” said Dendias. “If there is delinquency and illegal behavior against sovereignty and our sovereignty, there is always the possibility that action will be taken. Of course, I sincerely hope that there is no illegal activity.”

Kabusoguru replied: “Unfortunately, Nikos Dendias has made a very unacceptable accusation against my country …. He said,” Turkey violated Greece’s sovereignty. ” I can’t accept this. “

“Turkey has a duty to protect the rights of the Turks, especially the Eastern Mediterranean and Cyprus. Every step we take is aimed at protecting our rights,” said Kabsogul.

The visit to Dendias was also intended to pave the way for talks between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsutakis. To show the importance of the meeting, Dendias met Erdogan and Kabsoguru.

His visit follows discussions between Turkish and Greek diplomats in Istanbul and Athens, and resumes a series of meetings designed to build trust among rivals in the historic region. The two have been at odds with each other decades ago, including the extent of the Aegean aerial and maritime boundaries and the future of ethnically divided Cyprus. They have been on the verge of war three times since the 1970s.

Turkey and Greece have also been accused of unauthorized migration. Turkey’s Coast Guard and numerous refugee rights groups said they had pushed back by returning the boat to Turkey without allowing the Greek Coast Guard to apply for asylum in Greece. I blamed you.

Greece has denied carrying out pushbacks and accused Turkey of failing to crack down on migrant smugglers operating from its coast.

Susan Fraser