Turkish Foreign Minister affirms “neighborly ties” on Greek Independence Day
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu sent a surprise congratulatory letter to his Greek counterpart Nikos Dendias on Saturday on the anniversary of Greek Independence Day, in a move interpreted by Greek media as the possible start of a new era in Greek-Turkish relations after years of strain and even the threat of a clash.
According to diplomatic sources, in addition to wishing for Greece's independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire after 400 years of occupation, the Turkish Foreign Minister stated that "he was " confident that good neighborly relations will be strengthened in the future."
Cavusoglu's message received widespread coverage in the Greek media as a positive and unexpected gesture, given the recent tensions between Greece and Turkey.
The Turkish Foreign Minister thanked Dendias for Greek support during the devastating earthquakes which devastated entire cities in parts of the country last month.
Many officials in both countries are hoping that the revival of so-called “earthquake diplomacy” will lead to a sustained improvement in bilateral relations between the two countries, which have experienced a period of prolonged tension in recent years.
In response to the message, Dendias stated that Greece cannot close the dialogue door opened by Turkey, noting the unexpected change in Turkey's attitude towards Greece. He highlighted that the violations in the Aegean Sea and flights over the islands have ceased.
Dendias also praised Turkey's support for Greece's candidacy for a temporary seat on the United Nations Security Council and Turkey's backing of the Greek candidate for the International Maritime Organization (IMO) secretary-general. He said that Turkey's support for Greece's candidacy had significant symbolism and could not be ignored.