Greece, Turkey should invest in tourism, not guns

Greece, Turkey should invest in tourism, not guns

ATHENS – Anadolu Agency
Greece and Turkey should invest money in mutual tourism opportunities instead of expanding their arms budgets, Turkey’s EU Minister Egemen Bağış said during his visit to Athens.

“Greece and Turkey already have to protect each other due to their NATO membership. It’s time now to invest in tourism, and not in guns,” the minister said.

Bağış met with the Greek Foreign Minister Dimitris Kurkulas during his time in the city and the ministers had a joint press conference following their meeting, where Bağış said “all matters between Greece and Turkey” have been discussed.

“EU matters, bilateral concerns, the Cyprus issue, the Turkish minority in Western Thrace, the mosque situation in Athens and the opening of the Halki seminary in Turkey have all been discussed,” Bağış said.

The minister further added that both the Turkish and the Greek sides again showed willingness to take steps in good faith, and highlighted the need for “simultaneous and courageous” proceedings in all matters.

Egemen Bağış also complained about the visa treatment Turkey received from European countries, including Greece, saying, “The Bolivian tourist can pass, but the Turkish tourist waits in line. Athens and all other EU members need to lift the visa requirements.”

If a strong and sound will is existent in relations, no problems between Turkey and Greece would remain unsolved, Bağış said, adding that Turkey showed good faith in all matters concerning bilateral relations. For resolutions, the minister said, both sides have to show effort to eradicate problems.