Negative past between Turkey, Greece is history now: Erdoğan
ATHENS - Anadolu Agency
Speaking to Greece’s local broadcaster Skai TV ahead of his visit to the country on Dec. 7, Erdoğan touched on bilateral relations between Turkey and Greece.
Recalling his discussion with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras about Fethullahist Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) fugitives in Greece, he said the Greek PM said he would “extradite the coup plotters in 15-20 days.”
“Unfortunately, these [coup plotters] are still in Greece. We need to follow these very carefully,” Erdoğan said, adding that if there is this kind of action against Greece, we must also seize them and extradite them to Greece.
“Justice delayed is justice denied,” he added, saying that this was delayed justice.
“There are a few countries where we have done it in a very quick manner, but we could not do it with Greece,” said the president.
Touching on the recent issues with the United States, he said the two countries need to control the developments in Syria and Iraq together.
“We have also discussed this over phone calls, but there has not been any progress yet,” said Erdoğan.
He also added that Turkey is negotiating with Russia about the issue and both countries are taking positive steps and will continue to do so.
“You should know that negative relations between Turkey and Greece have become history now. There are two countries who have made a high level strategic council agreement and have established relations on it. Trust and stability are our two most important principles,” Erdoğan said in a message to the Greek people.
He also called upon both Turkish and Greek societies to show affection and peace to each other, developing solidarity with those feelings.
When asked about updating the Treaty of Lausanne, which set the modern borders between Greece and Turkey, Erdoğan stated that in fact, all agreements made in the world must be updated in the course of time.
“Lausanne also needs to be updated in light of these developments. This update would be useful not only for Turkey but also for Greece,” he said.
Erdoğan also added that this update may strengthen friendship and security between the two countries.
He pointed out concerns regarding the distances between some islands in the Aegean.
”We need to overcome these. There are problems related to this in the measurement of airspace, the sea and the continental shelf,” Erdoğan said.
“If there is mutual self-sacrifice [from both countries], then we can overcome this much more comfortably,” he added.
He also said it is impossible for Turkish ships to cruise on the Aegean Sea and that this is unacceptable.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is the first Turkish president to visit Greece in decades, with his two-day official visit to the country.
Earlier in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency, Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras described the first presidential visit from Turkey to the Mediterranean country in 65 years as “a chance to take bold steps forward.”