Report Outlining the Suggested Confidence Building Measures and Crisis Avoidance Measures Proposed by the CBMs Working Group
This report is presented to the Plenary of the Greek-Turkish forum with a recommendation by the CBMs working group for its final endorsement. It consists of an outline of measures which aim at the improvement of confidence between Greece and Turkey, (Confidence Building Measures proper), as well as measures aiming at preventing the development of crises (Crisis Avoidance Measures, CAMs)
In drafting this report, the members of the CBMs group were guided by the objectives the Greek-Turkish Forum has set to itself and its dedication to the proposition that problems dividing Greece and Turkey must be resolved peacefully. Suggestions contained herein reflect a commonly shared view that notwithstanding differences on certain major issues, there is enough room for initiatives capable of dislodging erroneous perceptions of either side on the other, in establishing a common basis of mutual understanding and in seeking to improve the political climate between the two countries. Further, it should be stated that the value of genuine feelings and acts of solidarity and their acknowledgement, as manifested reciprocally in the two countries in times of distress, cannot be sufficiently underlined.
Efforts mounted by all the participants to the Forum can be classified as ‘Track II diplomacy’. In this respect it is stated that all the participants to this effort participate in a private capacity, as they do not represent governments or any other authority of their respective countries.
All participants of the Forum welcomed the recently initiated and on going talks between Turkey and Greece at high officials’ level on a list of specific topics. These talks are considered as a most positive development and a CBM in itself. It is thought that while they cannot be immune from the effects of a serious deterioration which might occur in the relations between the two countries, their continuation can have a moderating effect on potential sources of crisis.
The lead taken by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Greece and Turkey to resume a dialogue on subjects such as culture, tourism, environment, economic cooperation, the fight against crime, drug trafficking and terrorism - on some of which members of the group have devoted much of their efforts in the past - gives to the Forum new opportunities to contribute to this last initiative. Consequently, ten proposals for measures reflecting the spirit of dialogue and aiming at building mutual confidence were addressed to the two Foreign Ministers on behalf of the participants of the Forum by the Directors of RUSI and PRIO. They formed a list of practical actions to be taken as early as possible, and a summary of measures which are now contained in Parts I, II and III of the present report.
The proposals here listed are designed to foster better relations by engaging the people and non-governmental organisations of the two countries. They do not necessarily require governmental involvement, although government support can be beneficial to their success.
Confidence Building Measures
It is recommended that a detailed inventory be made available of all groups and non-governmental organisations working on improving Greek-Turkish relations and that the resulting list and their activities be made generally known to the public of the two countries.
It is proposed that a working group be established to examine ways and to generate proposals by which extensive educational exchanges between Greek and Turkish students can be created – or where they already exist to be better co-ordinated and further strengthened – at both the secondary and tertiary level.
Judging from recent positive experience, to encourage and promote publication of articles, commentaries, etc. in the press of either country, or stage joint television interviews and debates of well informed personalities, journalists, businessmen, specialists on a given topic etc. from the two countries.
It is suggested that statesmen, members of government or of parliament from Greece and Turkey be invited by universities or other appropriate institutions, on a frequent basis, to participate at conferences or lectures on subjects not necessarily on bilateral relations.
It is proposed that Greek and Turkish sporting authorities co-ordinate their efforts to host, when suitable, major sporting events. It is also suggested that once a bid has been made by Greece or Turkey to host a major sporting event, the relevant sporting authorities of either country should support the other country’s bid. With this in mind it is also suggested that the Greek IOC should support Turkey in a future bid to host the Olympic Games.
Drawing from past experience and positive results on the implementation of projects of restoration of religious and cultural monuments, to promote and encourage relevant activities, on the basis of reciprocity.
To reactivate business contacts and economic and trade co-operation.
Non-governmental organisations working in the field of humanitarian and/or disaster relief to be assisted in their tasks and encouraged in developing close contacts with partners in the other country.
Regarding prevention of pollution in the Aegean coastal areas, it is suggested that bodies involved in environmental protection and relief be assisted in their tasks and encouraged in developing close contacts with partners in the other country.
PART II (Proposals requiring Government action)
Lack of exchange of information, neglect of maintaining contact and inefficient channels of communication between government officials at all levels can cause or aggravate crises, which otherwise could have been avoided.
Confidence Building & Crisis Avoidance Measures
It is suggested that direct channels of communication be established between the Prime Ministers of Greece and Turkey, while those already existing between Foreign Ministers and Ministers of Defence of the two countries be maintained and further improved. It is hoped that such channels of communication shall be established between other ministers and high officials, serving the promotion of co-operation in commonly agreed areas.
Greek-Turkish relations are often adversely affected when the media seek comments from government officials on statements actually or allegedly made in the other country, before there was a chance of previous sufficient clarification. It is recommended therefore that appropriate government authorities in Greece and Turkey provide to each other and as soon as possible full copies of official documents and statements or speeches made, and that a verification process (‘cooling off period’) is set before final statements are made to the media.
Opportunities for co-operation in the frame of regional organisations:
The South East European Cooperation (SEEC) and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC), have given proof of the existence of still unexplored fields of cooperation between Greece and Turkey, which need to attract their immediate attention. Also, the newly agreed ‘Stability Pact’ offers a number of opportunities in co-ordinating and developing joint efforts. Adequate publicity should be given to these new possibilities.
PART III (Peacekeeping related proposals)
Peacekeeping has come to the fore as a major task of modern armed forces. The use of military personnel in peacekeeping operations presents a number of confidence building opportunities. Given that both Greece and Turkey have contributed and have taken part in peacekeeping operations, measures such as those listed below could be considered.
Confidence Building Measures
It is suggested that liaison and cooperation between Greek and Turkish contingents in KFOR (or elsewhere) be arranged. Also that a conference be convened for Greek and Turkish officers on ‘lessons learned’ from the experience of Operation ALBA.
It is suggested that Greece and Turkey at an appropriate time consider introducing a bilateral military exchange programme (already existing with other NATO member-states) for students in the armed forces colleges of the two countries
BERN AGREEMENT BETWEEN TURKEY AND GREECE (11 November 1976)
1 . The two parties agree that the negotiations shall be frank, thoroughgoing and pursued in good faith, with a view to reaching an agreement based on their mutual consent with regard to the delimitation of the continental shelf as between themselves.
2. The two parties agree that these negotiations shall by their very nature be strictly confidential.
3 . The two parties reserve their respective positions with regard to the delimitation of the continental shelf.
4. The two parties undertake not in any circumstances to make use of the provisions of this document, or such proposals as may be made by either side during these negotiations, outside the context of the negotiations themselves.
5 . The two parties agree that there shall be no statements or leaks to the press on the contents of the negotiations, unless they decide otherwise by common accord.
6. The two parties undertake to refrain from any initiative or act concerning the Aegean continental shelf that might trouble the negotiations.
7. The two parties each undertake, so far as their bilateral relations are concerned, to refrain from any initiative or act likely to throw discredit on the other.
8. The two parties have agreed to study the practice of States and the international rules on the subject, with a view to eliciting such principles and practical criteria as might be of use in the case of the delimitation of the continental shelf between the two countries.
9. To that end, a mixed commission will be set up to be composed of national representatives.
10. The two parties agree to adopt a gradual rhythm in the negotiating process to be followed, after mutual consultation.
Done in Berne, in two copies, in the French language, 11 November 1976.
Jean TZOIJNIS, Ali Suat BILGE,
Head of the Hellenic Delegation Head of the Turkish Delegation
Türk Dış Politikası’nda Türk-Yunan İlişkileri ve İç Politika Kaygısı
Türkiye bakımından konuya bakıldığında, Kıbrıs ile bozulmaya başlayan Türk-Yunan uyuşmazlığının ulusal hükümetlere bir iç politika beklentisini gerçekleştirme olanağı vermesinin ilk örneklerine 1950’lerin ortalarına doğru rastlamaktayız.
Yunan Dış Politikası’nda Türk-Yunan İlişkileri ve İç Politika Kaygıları
Yönetimlerin iç politika kaygılarıyla davranarak iki ülke arasındaki ilişkileri sarsacak olaylara sebep olduklarının örneklerine Yunanistan açısından da değinilebilir. Gerçekten de, ilerleyen dönemlerde Türkiye ve Yunanistan arasındaki ilişkilerin bozulmasında oldukça önemli bir yere sahip bulunan Kıbrıs konusunun Yunanistan’da iç politika gündemine getirilişi ve Kıbrıs’ın Yunanistan’la birleşmesi konusunun bir ulusal dava niteliği kazanması süreci dikkate alındığında, iç politika kaygılarının yoğun etkide bulunduğu görülmektedir.
İÇ VE DIŞ POLİTİKA KAYGILARININ ETKİSİ
Türkiye ve Yunanistan arasındaki ilişkilerde yaşanan karşılıklı güvensizlik ve çözümsüzlüğün katılaşmasında rol oynayan bir diğer öge ise ulusal yönetimlerin, iki ülke arasındaki uyuşmazlığı kendi iç politika amaçlarının gerçekleşmesinde bir araç olarak görmeleridir.
Türkiye ve Yunanistan arasındaki uzlaşmazlığın iki ülke arasında çıkabilecek bir savaş riskini taşımakta oluşu, bu ülkelere dış politika kararlarını belirlerken diğer ülkenin davranışlarını bütün yönleriyle dikkate alma zorunluluğunu yüklemektedir.
Günümüz Türk - Yunan ilişkileri incelenirken, göze çarpan önemli noktalardan birini, iki ülkenin ortak bir tarihsel geçmişi paylaşmalarına karşın, bu geçmişin bıraktığı izlerin hiç de olumlu yanlarıyla ilişkilere yansımadığı, dolayısıyla, iki ülke ulusçuluğunun sürekli bir çatışma içerisinde bulunduğu gerçeği oluşturmaktadır.
İKİLİ İLİŞKİLERİN GENEL GÖRÜNÜMÜ
Türkiye ve Yunanistan, ulusal bağımsızlıklarını kazanmalarına kadar uzun bir tarihsel birlikteliği paylaşmışlardır. İstanbul’un Türkler tarafından fethinden 19. yüzyılın sonlarına kadar Yunan ulusu, Türklerin egemenliği altında Osmanlı Devleti’nin sosyo-ekonomik yaşantısında olduğu kadar, askeri ve siyasi yaşamında da etkin roller üstlenerek aynı kadere ortak olmuşlardır. Böylesine uzun bir süre birlikte yaşanmış olmasına rağmen, Osmanlı Devleti içerisinde Yunanlıların ulusal kimliklerini koruyabilmiş olmalarının belki de en önemli nedeni, Osmanlı toplumsal sistemindeki yapılaşma olsa gerek. Gerçekten de, fetih esası üzerine kurulmuş olan Osmanlı sisteminde kazanılan yeni topraklar üzerinde yaşayan halklar, Müslüman olan ve olmayan ayrımına tabi tutularak sınıflandırılmış ve ayrımda din ögesi ön planda bulunmuştur.