Political Relations, 12.02.2019

Relations between Turkey and Greece

Turkey and Greece, two neighboring countries across the Aegean Sea, conduct their relations in accordance with the principles of mutual respect and interest. Acknowledging their outstanding problems, both countries strive for benefitting from the substantial potential for cooperation for their common future.

Beginning in the 2000s, a new chapter was opened in our relations with Greece, where dialogue and positive agenda prevail. This marks the increasing number of high level bilateral visits and establishment of various dialogue mechanisms, such as regular Political Consultations, Code of Conduct Meetings and Exploratory Conducts on Aegean Issues. Additionally, in order to further the bilateral cooperation on solid basis, the High-Level Cooperation Council (HLCC) between Turkey and Greece was established in 2010. The HLCC aims at addressing various issues of Turkish-Greek relations at the highest level, thus contributing to progress in existing and prospective areas of cooperation, and rendering an “institutional” ground for Turkish-Greek relations. Four HLCC meetings have been held so far. The first meeting in Athens on May 14 and 15, 2010; the second meeting in Istanbul on March 4, 2013; the third meeting in Athens on December 6, 2014, and the last one in İzmir on March 8, 2016. 54 agreements/protocols/MoUs were signed during those meetings. Business Fora are also being held on the side-lines of the HLCC Meetings.

The official state visit of President Erdoğan to Greece, including Athens and Komotini, on December 7 and 8, 2017 was an historical landmark as it was the first official visit at the level of heads of state between Turkey and Greece since 1952.

Following the visit of President Erdoğan, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras paid a visit to Turkey, including Ankara and İstanbul, on 5-6 February 2019.

Commercial and economic relations with Greece have also gained momentum since early 2000s. The establishment of the HLCC mechanism in 2010 in particular has paved the way for a substantial increase in commercial relations. The bilateral trade volume thus doubled between 2010 and 2014, reaching 5.6 billion USD by the end of 2014. Although the bilateral trade volume decreased in 2015 and 2016, it regained momentum in 2017 and continued to increase in 2018, reaching 3.5 billion USD and 4.2 billion USD respectively.

There are some disputes between Turkey and Greece concerning the Aegean Sea and
the Turkish Minority of Western Thrace and the Turkish community in the Dodecanese, mainly based in Rhodes (Rodos) and Kos (İstanköy). For detailed information, please visit the relevant webpages of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (respectively
and http://www.mfa.gov.tr/turkish-minority-of-western-thrace.en.mfa)


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