Ferry Connection between Thessaloniki and Smyrna

Here is some good news in Greek-Turkish relations: Beginning September there will be a ferry connection between Smyrna and Thessaloniki. It’s a business idea they started working on in 2011 and it seems to be coming to fruition now.

The timing – the 100th anniversary of the Catastrophe – chosen to launch the mutual visits is not the best and shows that businessmen sometimes ignore important events or do not act in response to them.

But except for this, the idea of connecting these two cities – or any other points between Turkey and Greece – is a positive act.

Something similar is of course happening with the air connections between the two countries, for example, Turkish Airlines and Aegean Airlines.

Trade relations between countries are factors that strengthen peace, cooperation, and mutual understanding and lead to the deepening of relations between countries in general.

And as far as Turkish society is concerned, this connection will enable the people of Smyrna to visit Thessaloniki, to see the care with which the house where Ataturk was born is treated, to get to know the Greeks better, and to understand that it is not citizens who create the problems in the relations between the two countries but their politicians and certain governments.

Trade does not always have a positive effect on general relations between two countries, however. We see this in the cases of Russia and Europe or America and China. Those countries share huge economic interests yet they allow geopolitical rivalries to limit the benefits from trade.

The nationalist propaganda of states directed against each other has the potential to drag everything down.

In the meantime, however, until the conflict comes – if it comes to such a point – the better each people knows the other, the more their commercial interactions increase, the more misunderstandings are avoided.


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