Greek FM envisions improvement in ties with Turkey after next year’s elections
Greece Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said he expected the conditions to improve ties with Turkey will ease after next year’s elections in Turkey, while stressing that the problems between Athens and Ankara will not disappear overnight even if Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan lost power.
Dendias said that systemic growth of far-right and nationalist rhetoric is not restricted to government circles but seems to be embraced by part of the opposition.
“We deem that this rhetoric is partly related to the nascent polarization in Turkey ahead of the 2023 elections,” Dendias said. “I hope that following the elections in Turkey, irrespective of the electoral result, conditions will prevail that could allow for the gradual improvement of relations.”
Turkey and Greece dispute over a range of issues from maritime boundaries and disarmament of islands to airspace violations over Aegean Sea.
“By June 30, the Turkish air force had violated Greek airspace 3,954 times and had conducted 136 flyovers over Greek territory,” Dendias said.
Nevertheless, Dendias said relations between the two countries don’t have to be competitive.
“We should not forget the periods of harmony between the two states, as brief as they may have been. Like in the 1930s, when a Treaty of Friendship was signed between Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos and Turkish president Kemal Ataturk. Or in the early 1950s, when the two countries fought side by side in Korea and later joined NATO,” he said.