Kalin to attend Istanbul exploratory contacts


Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin will be taking part in exploratory contacts between Greece and Turkey that resume Monday at Istanbul’s Swissotel, Kathimerini reports.

The involvement of Kalin, a close associate of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is seen as marking the Turkish strongman’s indirect presence at the talks.

Greece has particularly low expectations of a substantial outcome due to the different agendas set by both sides.

Greece insists that the demarcation of maritime zones is the only issue up for discussion, while Turkey wants a whole range of issues on the table, from the demilitarization of Greek islands and “gray zones” in the Aegean to the rights of Greece’s Muslim minority in Thrace.

In light of these differences, Monday’s meeting of delegations is seen as a litmus test for the overall course of the exploratory contacts and a foretaste of the climate that will prevail in the coming months.