Referring to Greek-Turkish relations, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan spoke yesterday of a window of opportunity, while at the same time adding that Turkey will not give in to any of what it considers its national interests in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. And the Cyprus case is for Ankara the main national issue, at least according to the occasional statements of Turkish officials. This loosely translated means that Ankara expects Athens to make concessions from its own positions, and here the question arises.
Concessions from what? Greece and Cyprus, Hellenism has already been in retreat for centuries and if we take it schematically we can say that the adversary has already entered our courtyard and is asking us to retreat in our own house. Because really the Aegean is the courtyard and the balcony of Greece.
Some may hide behind the Treaties for the sake of calm and prosperity and say that the Aegean is indeed not only a Greek sea, that Turkey also has rights, but this automatically means that we must forget the big picture of Hellenism and the concessions it has made over the centuries and limit ourselves only to what the present Greek state is entitled to.
In other words, we should not just give up positions and points for the sake of any peace with our neighbour, but we should throw our history into oblivion, saying "what can we do about it, life has these things" and go on with the memory of our people truncated....
This is typical of what Foreign Minister George Gerapetritis said about relations with Turkey while speaking to an Egyptian TV station.
"Let us refer to Turkey. How do you assess the current Turkish position and efforts with Greece and Egypt?" the reporter asked him and he replied as follows: "As you probably know, we have had a process of rapprochement, of restarting at least a more sincere relationship with Turkey. It is true that in recent years there has been increased tension between the two countries, between Greece and Turkey. There have been verbal outbursts and other incidents that have worsened our relationship. The truth is that the two delegations chaired by President Erdogan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis had a good discussion at the NATO Summit in Vilnius.
I and the Foreign Minister of Turkey, Hakan Fidan, have developed a channel of communication. What we want to do is to try to promote a positive agenda on issues of common interest, such as trade, economy, civil protection, tourism, overall development of the two countries, and then work on our relations.
As you probably know, we have one important difference, which is the delimitation of the Exclusive Economic Zone and the continental shelf. Greece's position is that international law must be respected, especially the law of the sea. We are considering the possibility of referring this dispute to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. We are relatively optimistic that given the calm that has prevailed in the Aegean in recent months we will be able to further develop our political dialogue."