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Editorial

The Positives and Negatives of the Mitsotakis-Erdogan Meeting

If an uninformed person had attended the Mitsotakis-Erdogan press conference a few days ago in Ankara, s/he could have come to the conclusion that the meeting was planned in order to discuss whether Hamas is a terrorist or a patriotic organization.

For the record, it is a point on which the two leaders fundamentally disagreed, with the Greek Prime Minister strongly and eloquently supporting the position of the West, that Hamas is a terrorist organization, and Erdogan passionately supporting the opposite viewpoint. The Turkish leader spent more time supporting Hamas than on any other issue.

What was difficult to understand was in what sense or capacity Erdogan was thanking Kyriakos Mitsotakis for Greece’s positive vote at the UN for the recognition of a Palestinian state.
So what can one conclude from the press conference? Is what happened positive or negative?

It is extremely positive. It is in the interest of both countries to normalize relations. These types of meetings should almost become routine. Peace should not be jeopardized at every meeting between the leaders of Greece and Turkey.

Of course, the positive mood of the two leaders as manifested multiple times by the use of the word “agree” on both sides, as well as the effort to reach an agreement on a number of issues will not last long if they do not begin to address the serious issues that divide them.

We have already seen the dispositions of Mr. Erdogan on issues such as the Muslim minority in Thrace, the Cyprus issue, and the lack of response to Mitsotakis’ challenge for Turkey to contribute to improving the lives of Greeks in Constantinople and elsewhere and to increase their numbers.

The declaration that Turkey is, according to Erdogan, a “model country” in dealing with and preserving cultural and religious legacies certainly shows audacity.

In conclusion, the meeting ended without any apparent impasse. And this is a positive element. At least for now.

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