Despite Erdogan’s Bluster, Greece Sees Better Relations With Turkey

ATHENS – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s lament that Turkish forces in 1974 who invaded Cyprus and seized the northern third should have taken the whole island haven’t upset a rapprochement with Greece.

“We want to discuss with Turkey under terms that could be productive, without being complacent,” Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said on Alpha TV, although the major opposition SYRIZA said Erdogan should be answered.

“The most important thing is for the tensions and disagreements that exist not to lead to crises, and in the past year, we have succeeded in this,” he noted, referring to previous belligerence by Erdogan, who has switched to mostly being diplomatic.

The detente came after several years of animosity by Turkey, including sending fighter jets into Greek air space and demanding Greece take troops off Aegean islands near Turkey’s coast and even threats by Erdogan of invasion.

Gerapetritis said Greece wants the better relations now between Greece and Turkey to continue and not get derailed, noting that before there had been “cases with extremely hostile rhetoric, attacks in the field, and the risk of accidents, which could lead the country to a state of even war”

He said Greece now as a channel of communication, after Erdogan took back a vow not to speak with Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis after the Greek leader in 2022 addressed the US Congress, urging a veto of plans to sell Turkey more F-16s.

Gerapetritis emphasized that, “We must obviously be prepared for all scenarios and strive for the best. And the best is not always to be trigger-ready but to coexist under conditions of prosperity.”


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