Turkish FM refers to ‘new page’ in ties with Athens

Turkish FM refers to ‘new page’ in ties with Athens

Reflecting the new mood pervading Greek-Turkish relations in the wake of the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu made reference on Tuesday to a “new page” in relations between Athens and Ankara.

Speaking during a press conference in Ankara with visiting Israeli counterpart Eli Cohen, Cavusoglu sent a message of normalization of Turkey’s relations with the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean, including Israel and Greece.

“We want stability and peace in our region. The steps we have taken to normalize our relations with the countries of the region, especially with Israel, are obvious. I hope that our solidarity during this earthquake will also be decisive in opening a new page with Greece. Therefore, like all countries in the region, we must continue to work for the stability, economic development and peace of our region,” he said. 

Meanwhile, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet thanked Greece in its front page headline “Efxaristo poli file” (i.e. Thank you very much friend) on Tuesday for its aid and assistance in the areas affected by the February 6 earthquakes. The publication referred to the return of the members of the EMAK rescue unit to Greece after the completion of their mission. 

In an indication of the climate of appreciation developing in Turkey, Hurriyet columnist Hande Firat noted that Turkey and Greece were on the brink of war until the earthquake but that the “the disaster made the leaders of the two countries put aside all tensions.”

“Both the president of Greece and the prime minister called President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan. ‘We have experienced such pain together, we will always be with you,’ they both said on the phone. The images were shocking for the Greek foreign minister, who came to Turkey to see the earthquake zone and conducted aerial inspections,” she wrote. 

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