Turkey will not adopt a policy based on rumors toward Greece: PM Erdoğan
ATHENS – Anatolia News Agency
Greece's state-owned television station ERT will air on March 4 an interview with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. AA photoTurkey does not want to adopt a policy based on rumors regarding its relations with Greece, Turkey’s prime minister told Greek journalists on March 3.
“While we consider the partnership between the two countries as strategic, we want to add a different dimension to this partnership,” Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was quoted as saying on the state-owned television station ERT in the fragments of an interview that is to be published on March 4 prior to his meeting with Greek counterpart Antonis Samaras in Istanbul.
Erdoğan said the delegations were set to discuss a number of issues, such as tourism, energy, telecommunications and defense, while also signing new agreements in several of these areas.
“We had found the opportunity to talk about many of these issues with Samaras in our short meeting in Doha [on Jan. 29]. We will make new steps in the matters previously discussed. I presume that everything will work out all right,” he said.
One of the topics on the agenda of Erdoğan and Samaras’ 40-minute summit in Doha was a project to build a mosque in Athens. Erdoğan announced that he had offered Turkish help for the building of the house of worship, while adding that Samaras was “warm” to the idea.
However, a week later on Feb. 7, Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Constantinos Tsiaras told deputies in Parliament that the building would be built entirely using the country’s own financial resources and that the project was not a specific topic on the agenda of Greek-Turkish relations.
The surprise meeting in Doha also came amid renewed debate about the reopening of Istanbul’s Halki Greek Orthodox seminary.
In the fragments of ERT’s interview, Erdoğan also emphasized that the trade volume between the two countries reached $5 billion in 2012.
“$3.5 billion is the amount of Greece’s exports and $1.5 billion is the amount of Turkey’s exports. We are moving forward, protecting the due rights of the neighbors and with solidarity,” he said, adding that he expected tomorrow’s meeting to be a crucial one for boosting cooperation among both countries.