Erdogan’s Statement on the Visit to Athens: We Hope That a New Era Will Begin

December 2, 2023

COSTANTINOPLE (ANA-MPA/Mandalidis) – In his statements during his return flight to Turkey from the United Arab Emirates, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said:

“We hope that a new era will begin. Because I always say: ‘We try to increase friends and decrease enemies.’ I believe that it is useful to tell him (the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis) this very clearly in our bilateral meeting, as I have said in the past. Because when you call from Turkey, that sound is heard on the island of Kos. It is not right that two countries, which are so close in distance, so intertwined in their history, move with voices that fuel enmity. When we look at this, someone, especially the United States of America, is trying to turn us against each other. Even though we have paid for the F-16s they are not giving them to us, while they are still sending F-16s and ammunition to Greece. Because the US is doing this, we probably have no reason to back down.

We visit our next door neighbor, sit and talk. As long as we don’t engage in behaviours that harm the interests of others, there is no problem. We continue exactly on our way. Of course, we have differences of opinion and there are deep issues that cannot be solved by brief procedures. But there are also issues that we can solve immediately and expand the ground for cooperation. If we start a new era, keep our promises and develop these relations on a level free from outside influences, I am sure we will benefit. Our understanding of foreign policy is not ‘I always win and the other person loses.’ We will go to Athens with a mutually beneficial approach (Kazan-Kazan, win-win). There, we will discuss both our bilateral relations and Turkey-EU relations, in order to make decisions compatible with the spirit of the new era.”


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