Turkey’s tur­moil and its ties with Greece

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

call, prompt­ing Er­do­gan to try bridge di­vi­sions with var­i­ous groups (from Kurds to young peo­ple seek­ing greater per­sonal lib­er­ties). This would have been a sig­nif­i­cant step for Turkey and it would have ben­e­fited Greece as well. Athens be­lieves that if Turkey abides by EU prin­ci­ples it will – by def­i­ni­tion – be a good neigh­bor and dif­fer­ences be­tween the two coun­tries will be re­solved. EU ac­ces­sion, how­ever, does not ap­pear a pri­or­ity for Er­do­gan these days. If Turkey is desta­bi­lized for some time, the fall­out for Greece can­not be pre­dicted. De­spite the dangers, how­ever, there may be some pos­i­tive as­pects. For ex­am­ple, with Greece be­ing the most sta­ble coun­try in the re­gion, our part­ners might look more fa­vor­ably to­wards a re­duc­tion of our debt, see­ing the need to pro­vide sup­port. Also, many tourists who might avoid Turkey could come to Greece. In­vestors – in­clud­ing Turks, per­haps – might also see Greece in a new light – if Athens made clear that it wel­comed in­vest­ments. On the other hand, Greece might lose many Turk­ish tourists, who in the past cou­ple of years have ex­ceeded 1 mil­lion an­nu­ally. If there is any ben­e­fit for Greece, though, it will de­pend on Turkey achiev­ing sta­bil­ity soon. A long pe­riod of Turk­ish tur­moil would be dan­ger­ous for the whole re­gion. Even af­ter more than a mil­lion refugees came to Greece via Turkey last year, our neigh­bor still hosts more

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