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Cuma, 27 Nisan 2018 17:45


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unisci 23 aksu
Fuat Aksu,"Turkish-Greek Relations and the Cyprus Question: Quo Vadis?" UNISCI Discussion Papers, Nº 23 (May / Mayo 2010), pp. 207-223.


                                                                                                                      Fuat Aksu[1]


It can be claimed that the obstructive factor in the general course of the intransigent relations between Turkey and Greece is the absence of a basis of dialogue and negotiation where constructive relations might be developed. The efforts of dialogue and negotiation which have been initiated from time to time were inadequate since the lack of a basis of trust and security between the two countries. The process of moderate dialogue and confidence building measures which were initiated after the crisis of 1990’s were able to form a basis of the bilateral détente in 1999. At the same period, with the conferring a candidate status to Turkey by the European Union, the questions between Turkey and Greece were moved from the traditional sphere to European platform. In other words, relations and disputes were “Europeanized”.

In the post-1999 period, bilateral relations were formed in the axis of conditionality and Europeanization. Even though this situation created an appropriate basis for the development of dialogue and cooperation, it was not able to score an improvement in the solution to the fundamental questions. Especially the acceptance of the Greek Cypriots into the European Union despite their refusal of the Annan Plan has altered the balance against Turkish Cypriots and Turkey and increased criticisms against the European Union.

The détente process is reinforcing the opinion that it is possible to live up with the over-securitized problems in the past on the other hand new problem-areas are forcing the tolerance of relations. The relations which are prevented to be harmed by the “European anchor” might take shape of a tense nature in the foreseeable future in case of the European Union’s lack of providing full membership.

Keywords: Turkish – Greek relations, Cyprus, Détente, Europeanization,

1. Introduction

After the developments which ended the Cold War, the relations between Turkey and Greece has gained a new dimension and has been perceived as a new source of risk in the process where regional crises endanger peace and stability by spilling over. The 1990’s has witnessed many crises between the two countries where the risk of hot conflict escalated.

In the evasion of mentioned crises in these periods without turning into hot conflict, the existence of right-minded decision-makers was influential as well as the interventions of US administrations. It can be argued that in the post 1999 period the bilateral relations start to be handled in a different plane. In this process,  both in Turkey and Greece the bilateral relations and issues of dispute has been tried to move out from the classical “security” sphere and the understanding is reached that the previously “securitized” disputes would be negotiated. No doubt, this change reflected the change of understanding in the decision-making mechanisms of both countries, however at the same time was the expression of a concrete change of ground. Especially the claim that the European Union is the ground which the bilateral relations could be handled –even though this claim is based on different rationals and priorities-has been acceptable by both Turkey and Greece.  Greece lent support to Turkish candicacy by renouncing long held policy of obstruction, in the 1999 Helsinki Summit when the EU decided Turkish candidacy.

So, while for years the traditional Turkish-Greek disputes has been handled in bilateral platform in the new process it started to be evaluated in the axis of EU and increasingly the EU became one of the main actors which shaped the relations.[2] In this article, the parties’ foreign policies will be examined in terms of policies pursued in the Turkish-Greek relations and Cyprus issue. The policy, which started to be conducted in 1999, will be evaluated whether it is neutral, rational and acceptable ground for “problem solving” and the possible risks will be identified in the coming process. The general course of the relations, which are based on moderate dialogue and détente, will be explicated. The fundamental question is about whether the parties recorded a considerable progress in the solution to the existing problems and whether optimism is pursued concerning the future.

In this context, our main argument is based on two assumptions: the first of these is that while the confidence building measures help relieve the lack of dialogue between the two countries it is not adequate by itself in solving the bilateral problems. The other assumption is that the Europeanization of the disputes by going to the EU platform will be inadequate in itself in solving problems and even may make the problems more difficult to tackle.

When evaluated in this framework, the moderate dialogue and détente, which is tried to be continued, taught the parties to live up with the questions. In this learning process, the fundamental problems are frozen and they tried to develop cooperation in other “soft” areas. In this respect a partial success have been gained. Together with this, both the changes in the internal environments of the parties and the changes in the regional and international level make the start or continuation of the negotiations about the fundamental problems increasingly more difficult. Moreover, in the issues which fundamentally interest the topics of national sovereignty, it is by itself very difficult to conduct a negotiation. As a result, if in the following process a sincere ground of reconciliation is not created between the parties then it can be argued that the détente and dialogue process might collapse.

In the post-Cold War period, the relations with Turkey and Greece might be analyzed in three phases in the 1990-2010 process;

1990-1999 is the premise of détente,

1999-2005 is the détente,

2005-2010 might be regarded as the period where the détente lost its momentum

2. From tension to détente

Within the framework of the general course of Turkish-Greek relations, the issue of minorities was the main dispute area between the two countries until 1950s.[3] Since after the 1950s with weakening of the British sovereignty in Cyprus this time a disagreement appeared about the status of Cyprus. Even though with the 1960 treaties a status qou was formed in which both communities in Cyprus, Britain, Turkey and Greece agreed upon, this status qou was broken with intercommunal violence starting with 1963. The period between 1963 and 1974 witnessed instable relations by the intercommunal clashes and after the 1967 crisis, the peaceful cohabitation of the communities became even more difficult. In this period, it was  seen that the Turkish community  was  being excluded from the constitutional-bureaucratic mechanisms, which was established by the 1960 treaties and increasingly started to form its own administrative bureaucratic mechanisms.

Even though a relatively peaceful period  was  witnessed after the 1967 crisis, this did not last long and a new crisis was born at the beginning of 1970s. With Turkey’s military intervention to the island as a guarantor state after the coup d’etat against Makarios by the support of the Greek Junta in 1974, a new period started in relations. In the post 1974 period, the Turkish-Greek relations witnessed other problems besides minorities and Cyprus issues. Especially, the territorial waters, continental shelf, the violation of the de-militarized status of the islands, air space and the FIR problems in the Agean Sea started to dominate the bilateral agenda. After Greece left the military wing of NATO in 1975, the debates of NATO command-control in the South Eastern wing of NATO were added to these problems.

It can be said that a functional dialogue existed until 1980s despite the disputed issues, which make the relations tense. With the collapse of the Colonels’ Junta in 1974 in Greece, and subsequently the establishment of the Karamanlis government, transition to democracy has been reprovided; the Greek governments started to provide civilian order and democracy domestically while tried to solve the disputes with Turkey. In this context, the process starting with the Brussels Declaration of 1975 had continued with the Bern Agreement of 1976[4], and bilateral negotiations continued in Montreux in 1978. The Bern Agreement, which was signed in the process, is important in the sense that it brings the obligation to refrain from unilateral initiatives to both countries until a ground of aggreement is reached-established a kind of moratorium. On the other hand, the Agean air space was opened to civilian air traffic by the mutual abrogation of Turkish NOTAM 714 and Greek NOTAM 1157, which was in force since 1974, in Febraury 1980. However, with the military coup of 12 September 1980 in Turkey, and the PASOK’s coming to power led by Andreas Papandreou in Greece the political relations were cut and a period of non-dialogue started which continued during the 1980s.  

The reflection of the military coup in Turkey to Turkish-Greek relations was by Greece’s return to NATO. In 20 October 1980 Turkey had lift the veto to the Greece’s return to the military wing of NATO within the Rogers Plan so that Greece would return to the military wing.[5] Despite this, Andreas Papandreou’s perception of Turkey as the main source of threat[6] and his refraining from dialogue has abolished the progress in the negotiations, which was started before the period of 1980.[7] The relations which were strained because the pressures were increased on the Western Thrace Turkish minority[8]and the tensions spilled-over to the Aegean since the Lemnos Island which were previously militarized were tried to be included in the NATO defense plans. The bilateral relations were strained with Greece’s declaration that the 1976 Bern Agreement was invalid and that Greece would drill for oil outside the Greek territorial waters in the Northern Aegean; then armed conflict was barely avoided after Papandreou’s declaration that the Bern Agreement is valid and the exploration would be done within the Greek territorial waters.[9] Immediately after the crisis, a “Davos Spirit” might be spoken of which started between Özal and Papandreou however a functional dialogue process was not possible to establish between the parties. Despite these, during the Özal Government, the visa requirements applied against citizens of Greece has been abolished and the application of the Decree of 1964 was terminated. In addition, both countries witnessed the reconciliation efforts by intellectuals and some civil society organizations[10] However, it can be said that the inured lack of dialogue in Turkish-Greek relations continued between 1990 and 1999.

The clashes of 1990-1999 which emerged especially after the the collapse of Yugoslavia in the Balkans did start to threaten the stability and security of the region, and this fact drew Turkey and Greece to opposite positions in terms of policy. Both the disagreements in traditional bilateral questions and their approaches to regional crises did make increasingly difficult of the development of the relationships based on confidence. Greece did intrepret Turkey’s policy of involving with the rights and security of the Turkish-Muslim communities in the disintegrated Yugoslavian geography as a policy of “Neo-Ottomanism” which aims to form a sphere of influence in the Balkans.

The traditional problems and the relatively “rigid” attitudes of the parties continued in the first years of 1990s. Just after the entry into force of the UN Convention of the Law of the Sea in 1995, Greece’s declaration that she could extend her territoral waters beyond the 6 miles[11] and subsequently the declaration of the Turkish Grand National Assembly concerning that in case of such a situation the Turkish Government might take all kinds of measures, including the military measures, had showed that the tensions were continuing.[12] In this period, both countries continued to perceive each other as high priority threats. [13]

The second half of the 1990s witnessed the events of Kardak/Imia Rocks crisis, S-300 Misssiles crisis[14] and Öcalan crisis. During the crisis in question a process is experienced which was tense enough to turn into hot conflict, and for the first time since 1974 the risk of hot conflict was so high between the armed forces of the two countries. Greece’s support to Öcalan after being expelled from Syria has caused Turkey to define Greece as a “rogue state” and to state that she might use the right of legitimate self-defense against Greece.[15] During the crisis in question, Turkey was able to prevent de facto violations by recoursing to the threat of using force.[16]  In all three crises, the third party actors, especially the USA assumed a facilitating role in overcoming of the crises.

3. Détente Period

The crisis between 1995 and 1999 reminded the parties that not always an escalation might be prevented during the sudden outbreak of the crisis and these crises can easily transform into armed conflict. For this reason, the need for dialogue and confidence building measures arised to refrain from practices which would prepare ground for escalation. Even though the “hawkish party” in Greece did not lend support for the policy of confidence building measures, after the 1988 Athens and İstanbul Declarations a common ground was reached about joint measure with the declaration of Madrid Declaration of 1997. According to the Madrid Declaration, Greece pledged not to create unilateral de facto situations, fait acomplies and in return Turkey pledged not to recourse to the threat of using force.[17] After the Madrid Declaration, the emphasis made on the confidence building measures has increased and the permanence of the measures tried to be provided via USA and NATO. Even though in the 1998-1999 period and in the process of Öcalan’s capture the policy pursued by Greece overshadowed the conflict building measures after a short period of time it was possible to develop a more comprehensive dialogue process.

Just after the Öcalan crisis, with the purge of the “hawkish” party in Greece, the Simitis Government was able to pursue a more flexible policy and the policy of reconciliation was accelerated by the appointment of George Papandreou to the Ministery of Foreign Affairs.[18]

After the Öcalan crisis and especially after the correspondence of letters between İsmail Cem and George Papandreou the “moderate dialogue” process has been able to be re-established. The “moderate dialogue” process which started with Cem and Papandreou correspondence[19] has aimed at joint cooperation in the realm outside of the fundamental disputes. Thus, it has been provided that political decision makers would meet in a common ground. Subsequently, the dialogue base has been strenghtened by the signing of a series of cooperation treaties. [20]  The subsequent earthquakes of 17 August 1999 in Turkey and in Greece in 7-8 September 1999, have brought to the fore of the humanitarian feelings between peoples and created a kind of empathy.[21] This empathy is called the “earthquake diplomacy” when reflected to political sphere.[22] Within this “positive” atmosphere, when the EU conferred a candidacy status to Turkey in 1999 Helsinki Summit Greece did not oppose Turkey’s candidacy.

The conferring of candidate status to Turkey with the Helsinki Summit was a preferable option for both Turkey and Greece and for the EU. The interests and expectations of the concerned parties converge in the recognition of the membership status. In this regard, it is seen that the Cyprus issue is also included within the European mechanisms.[23] Indeed at this point, it is seen that the EU appears as an influential actor in relieving the disputes. [24]  The EU with this role tried to assume the role of balancing the expectations of the parties and to erode the points of disaggreement. However, the process unrevealed that the EU had no capability of fulfilling that role. Even though no hot crisis has not been experienced since 1999 between Turkey and Greece which might increase the risk of armed conflict, a dialogue process is on track under the name of “exploratory negotiations”[25] The decisionmakers of both countries take good care not to use the Turkish Greek disaggreements for sensational aims. The dialogue has continued between the two countries by official visits and in the economic sphere cooperation areas are tried to be increased by supporting joint investments.

Generally, with the entry into force of the confidence building measures and détente, a new process started in which the parties learned to live up with the disputes among them.[26] “Securitized” issues within the framework of previous threat perceptions were not carried directly to sensational sphere and thus the poisoning of the relations were prevented. Both parties found appropriate for national interests in the détente process not to escalate the sensitivities by mentioning the fundamental problems because time and ground permitted such an approach.

4. The Period of Evolving Détente

The decision makers in Turkey accepted the inclusion of traditional Turkish-Greek disputes to the framework of the European Union in the process starting from the recoginition of Turkey’s candidate status at the 1999 Helsinki Summit. They started the technical negotiations of handling the disputes between Turkey and Greece, primarily the Cyprus issue, according to this situation of acceptance. The parties negotiate the bilateral problems within the framework of the official views of the parties in these meeting called “exploratory meetings” even though they are not binding. Also, the EU membership, Turkish-Greek disputes and the voluntary acceptance of the conditionality of the permanent solution to the Cyprus question were presented to the public opinions. In the beginning, the belief that the Turkish-Greek disputes might be solved-as also giving reference to the historical antagonism between Germany and France- in case Turkey’s EU membership was realized was drawing support, however this support increasingly diminished in the course to follow.

In this respect, it is thought that the start of the negotiations with Turkey might ease the process in question. However, when the expressions of the Negotiating Framework are taken into consideration, it appears that it is impossible for Turkey to accept in advance the relationship of the conditionality. Indeed, the “historical” process starting from the acceptance of the Full Membership Negotiation Document refers to a difficult change in many respects.[27] This process of change at the same time reflects a dilemma of credibilty for the concerned parties. The contradictions between the narratives and actions of the parties are so deep to draw to pessimism of even those who support membership.

The dominant opinion was that, in case a just and lasting solution is found between the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities within the framework of Annan Plan, Turkey’s EU membership was also to be realized in the positive atmosphere of this solution. However, EU’s declaration in 2003 that they would welcome the “Republic of Cyprus” to the EU even without a solution and subsequently the collapse of the Annan Plan caused to new problems in both the Cyprus issue and in the Turkey –EU relations. In that process, all the efforts of the Turkish party is focused to break the Turkish side’s image being the “aggrieved party”. Concrete policy changes were made in that respect.[28] As a result, it can be said that these efforts are succesful. Also the Turkish party found the opportunity of displaying both in the international and national sphere that it is “the aggrieved party” punished the fact that it desires reunification and agrement, with the Greek rejection of the Annan Plan and the failure of the mediation efforts of the UN Secretary General. After Turkey’s proposals[29] concerning the lifting of the isolations and restrictions, which are mutually applied, in 30 May 2005, this time in 24 January 2006 an Action Plan[30] has been declared concerning the simultaneous lifting of all the restrictions in Cyprus and a call was made to the UN Secretary General.

It may be asked that does the European Union really welcome Turkey to full membership or does it support Turkey as to facilitate Turkey’s adaptation process. On the other hand, it is a fact that Turkey’s fundamental policy concerning full membership has many deficiencies. On the other hand, Turkey seems to be in a mode of slackness about the reforms which she “has” to realize stemming from the EU’s fundamental values. The point should be made that it is not the issue of accepting every grievance and deficiency which the EU expresses in proggress reports and the solution of those as favoured by the EU. The non-negotiable topics concerning Turkey’s fundamental sensitivities and priorities should be excluded. On the other hand, many regulations to be made concerning economic, commercial, fiscal, legal etc. areas are either never realized or stays on paper. This situation brings the parties against each other in terms of credibility. While the EU starts to display a rigid attitute in the negotiations by arguing that Turkey is not willing and determined in applying the necessary reforms and Turkey thinks that the EU is indeed unwilling to welcome Turkey by continously delaying her memberships and by demanding impossible things.  In other words, it seems that the normalization of the Turkey-Greece relations and the solution of the disputes fall back to lower ranks in the priorities of the EU. [31]

Although both parties have right points in this debate, it is the “securitized” issues by Turkey which endanger the process and make question EU’s credibility. To expect the Turkish decision makers accept the changes about the topics which concern the state’s unitary and secular democratic structure and state’s territorial integrity and sovereign rights cause the these decision makers to stick to defensive policies. In such case, it is acted by doing cost/benefit analysis of the EU membership and taking into consideration of the legitimization before the national public opinion. A part of the changes which is demanded by the EU of Turkey, are the securitized issues by Turkey like the rights and status of minorities, border disputes and relations with neighbours.[32] Turkey does not wish that any link is drawn between these issues and Turkey’s EU membership and does not accept these to be presented as a condition. The things which are demanded of Turkey in the relations with the EU are of quality that could create deep impact on the policy Turkey pursues for long years. For instance, Turkey resists to solutions which will alter the “Lausanne Balance” between Turkey and Greece, in favour of Greece. She suppports the peaceful solution methods and negotiation which the international law accepts in order to relieve of the existing disputes. However, it is hard to claim that this policy is accepted. Greece, suggests directly to go to the International Court of Justice rather than to negotiate the litigations. Moreover, not all the questions but only the continental shelf issue.[33] The EU, in the process of Turkey’s membership, has taken decision, which indicates that it regards this issue as a precondition, and demanded of Turkey to conform to changes in line with these decisions

Another instance of credibility dilemma is concerning the Cyprus Question. After the EU’s acceptance of Greek Cypriot Administration as full member to the EU by a political decision with the name of the “Cyprus Republic” some impasses appeared for Turkey. The first of these impasses is that how Turkey’s membership process will be influenced by the developments, and the second is that what will be the future of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. As a result of 24 April 2004 referandum the Turkish Cypriot Community has accepted the solution proposed by the Annan Plan despite all its deficiencies while Greek Cypriot Community refused the Plan. The Greek Cypriot Administration was accepted to the EU as a full member together with other nine candidates since the refusal of the “imposed” solution of the Annan Plan was not regarded as a pre-condition for the Cyprus Greek Administration’s EU membership. This circumstance undermined the faith and the plans of the realization of the Island’s EU membership under a single political identity and also reinforced the EU’s becoming a direct party. The de facto bi-zonality in the Island was deepened by the rejection of the Annan Plan and the acceptance of the Greek Cypriot Administration to the EU as a full member. So that as with the definition of the EU documents, “the application of the acquis communitaire is suspended in the areas of the Republic of Cyprus in which the Government of the Republic of Cyprus does not exercise effective control.” The EU which tried to ease the feeling of the exclusion in the Turkish Cypriot Community to an extent, has accepted 27 Febrauary 2006 dated and 389/2006 numbered Council Regulation to encourage the economic development and the improvement of the relations with the EU. According to the regulation, “the granting of such assistance shall not imply recognition of any public authority in the areas other than the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.” Indeed this expression directly reflects the EU’s outlook to the Cyprus issue and Turkish Cypriot Community and refers to an idea which disregards the political-legal equality of the Turkish community of Cyprus.

4.1. Turkish-Greek Relations and Cyprus within the Framework of EU Obligations

For the 10 new members which joined the Union in 1 May 2004 to benefit from the rights provided by the Ankara Treaty, a new protocol has to be accepted between Turkey and the Union. However, whether this protocol would cause Turkey to recognize Greek Cypriot Administration as “The Republic of Cyprus” created a new debate. The emergence of this issue as a new obstacle in Turkey’s membership process has strained the agenda.  Nonetheless, Turkey informed the Council that she is ready to extend the Ankara Treaty to include the new members by a protocol to be prepared however opposed the existence of an expression which would mean the recognition of the Greek Cypriot Administration.

On the other hand, the decision dated 3 October 2005 of starting the process of negotiation forms a landmark in terms of Turkey-EU relations. Within the framework of the bargainings in order to start the negotiations Turkey had to extend her obligations concerning to the Customs Union as to include the countries of the 5. expansion. When indeed it should be an ordinary practice the necessity of including the Greek Cypriot Administration has created problems. The problem was overcome technically, with a word play which does not reflect the connection between the Greek Cypriot Administration and the Republic of Cyprus which was established with the 1960 Treaties. With the decision published at the Official Gazete the term “Cyprus” is used in place of “Republic of Cyprus”[34] But, in order to overcome the political-legal questions of EU-Turkey relations this extension required to be done by an additional protocol. The preparation of such an additional protocol has given way to the apprehensions that Turkey would deem the Greek Cypriot Administration as the “only legitimate representative” and to recognize it with this title. At the 16-17 December 2004 EU Brussels Summit, Turkey declared that it would sign the Adaptation Protocol which extend the 1963 Ankara Treaty to all EU members after the completion of the necessary negotiations and before the date of 3 October 2005. At the additional protocol Greek Cypriot Administration is as referred as “Republic of Cyprus”, and Turkey added an explanatory declaration to the Additional Protocol as a remedy to relieve the apprehensions of recognition. Indeed, Turkey had ratified the protocol as a result of the negotiations she conducted with EU Presidency Britain and while ratifing ephasized that “The Republic of Cyprus referred to in the protocol is not the original partnership State established in 1960” and thus declared that the ratification would not mean the recognition of Greek Cypriot Adminstration. Also it is declared that Turkey’s becoming to the party to the protocol “did not prejudice Turkey’s rights and obligations emanating from the Treaty of Guarantee, the Treaty of Alliance, and the Treaty of Establishment of 1960…would not change the existing relations with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.”[35]

As it is understood from the declaration, Turkey’s strategy of overcoming the obstacle which would interrupt the negotiation process was established on the de facto dimension of recognition. But the risk created by this, is regarded by every party implicitly agreed on that this is a de facto recognition, whether it would cause a de jure recognition is debated both at national level and at the circles of the Union. Turkey with a declaration expressed that she would only obligated to establish a relation with the Greek Cypriot Administration concerned with free movement of goods within the framework of Customs Union while she would not be obligated for the use of the air and sea ports. However, this situation is also debatable. As it is well known, the esence of the Customs Union is the free movement of goods among members. Together with this, at the Copenhagen Summit on 12-13 December 2002, the decision is taken about the “enchancing and developing” the Customs Union. After Turkey’s declaration added to the Additional Protocol, the EU also accepted a declaration on 21 September.[36]  Subsequently, the European Parliament has decided in September 2005 to delay the voting concerning the validity of the protocol. [37]  

In the year 2006 Turkey Progress Report, Turkey’s declaration of support for the efforts to find a solution within the UN framework was found positive meanwhile it is mentioned that Turkey continues its policy of discrimination toward Cyprus while fulfilling the obligations stemming from the additional protocol. According to the report, Turkey who did not fully implement the Additional Protocol, “Turkey has continued to deny access to its ports to vessels flying the Republic of Cyprus flag or where the last port of call is in Cyprus. Such restrictions on shipping often preclude the most economical way of transport and therefore result in a barrier to free movement of goods and to trade. They infringe the Customs Union agreement. Similar restrictions continued to apply in the field of air transport.” [38] In addition, it is stated, Turkey expressed that she would not change her policy unless isolations against Turkish Cypriot community are lifted and the European representatives continously remind that it is a must to apply then Additional Protocol without discrimination. Concerning the relations with Greece, while the confidence building measures are welcomed during this period the obligations in the Negotiation Framework and Accession Partnership Document are reminded.

  In the 2006 Enlargement Strategy Document which was prepared with the statements in the Progress Report it is said that “Reaching a comprehensive solution in Cyprus and the unification of the island constitutes an important test” Concerning Turkey it is said that “The Accession Partnership Document which is accepted in January 2006 continues to be a measure of developments provided by the reforms” and after that it is mentioned that “good neighbourliness” relations between Turkey and the EU is of key importance and it is said that “The Commision will intensify its watch on political criteria”. [39]   

In such document, it is emphasized that the Additional Protocol is expected to be applied without discrimination and all the obstacles against the free circulation of goods including the vehicles of transportation are to be lifted and that these lack of fulfilling these would influence the general course of the negotiations. In case Turkey does not fulfill her obligations “The Commision will make suggestions related to the issue prior to the EU summit in December” in the 2007 Turkey Progress Report, when Turkey’s attitude concerning the Cyprus problem is evaluated after the acceptance of Negotiating Framework, it is stated that Turkey continues its rigid attitude especially in the application of the Additional Protocol and the Council stated in December 2006 that “Following Turkey's non-fulfilment of its obligation of full and non-discriminatory implementation of the Additional Protocol to the Association Agreement, in December 2006 the Council decided that accession negotiations will not be opened on eight chapters relevant to Turkey's restrictions regarding the Republic of Cyprus and that no chapter will be provisionally closed until the Commission confirms that Turkey has fulfilled its commitments”. The Council “…also decided to review progress made on the issues covered by the declaration of 21 September 2005 and invited the Commission to report on this in its annual reports, in particular in 2007, 2008 and 2009.”[40]   In the following period, Turkey did not record any progress in the application of the Additional Protocol and continued its obstructions in Greek Cypriot Administration’s participation in international organizations. In this context, Turkey continues to veto of Cyprus’s becoming a party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual Use Goods and Technologies. In January, Turkey protested the treaty concluded between the Cyprus Republic and Lebanon concerning the limitation of exclusive economic zone for drilling oil and claimed that this treaty is not compatible with the clauses of the 1960 Treaty of Guaranty and with the principles of international law concerning maritime borders. Turkey thus questioned the right of the Cyprus Republic to conclude such treaties. In addition, in March Turkey protested the defense cooperation aggrement between France and Cyprus Republic because it is in violation of the 1960 Guaranty Treaty.

In the Expansion Strategy Document prepared for 2007, the importance of developing the Turkey- EU relations are emphasized and then it is underlined the uniqueness of Turkey’s accession to the EU. Accordingly, “The common objective of the negotiations is accession as it is accepted by the October 2005 Summit by all Member States. The negotiations with Turkey is an open ended process whose result would not be guarenteed in advance” According to such document, the “good neighbourly relations continue to become a key to Turkey-EU relations and in the process of full membership. [41]

In the 2008 progress report, similar expressions are included, and it is stated that since the time lapsed from the Council decison of 2006 Turkey has not recorded any progress concerning the application of the Additional Protocol.[42]  Similarly, it is mentioned that the exploring negotiations have been continuing between Turkey and Greece concerning border disputes and it is regarded that the functioning dialogue process is welcomed. However, it is stated that, mentioning that while the “casus belli” decision of Turkish Grand National Assembly of 1995 is still valid; Turkey’s commitment to the peaceful solution of the disputes and good neighbourly relations harmonious with the UN Charter, and the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice included, is required. It is suggested to refrain from actions or threats which would jeopardise the peaceful solution to the disputes and to good neighbourly relations.

5. Is it possible to move from détente to problem solving?

During the détente period, 33 agreements have been signed between the two countries and 24 Confidence Building Measures have been agreed on since 2000. This consensus common which facilitates the relations based on trust may also ease the development of political and economic relations between two countries. Indeed, Prime Minister Erdoğan stated that they wished cooperation between the two countries during the official visit on 6-8 May 2004 to Greece. Prime Minister Erdoğan and Prime Minister Karamanlis displayed their determination in 18 November 2007 by meeting at the ceremony in İpsala, organized for the opening of the Turkey-Greece natural gas pipeline whose foundation was laid in 3 July 2005.  Between the 23-26 January 2008, Prime Minister of Greece Karamanlis made an official visit to Turkey. Both prime ministers after the meetings have expressed their resolve in developing bilateral relations.[43] Also the military cooperation and visits have continued. The third joint exercise between the military disaster response units was conducted in May in Athens. The Greek Chief of General Staff paid an official visit to Turkey in May 2008.

After the elections of 2009 PASOK party led by George Papandreou came to power. Atfer the establishment of the government by Papandreou an official visit to Turkey increased the hopes that the bilateral relations would be even more enchanced. Indeed, in the letter sent by Prime Minister Erdoğan to Greece Prime Minister Papandreou this wish of cooperation is repeated with the wish of finding a lasting solution to bilateral problems. [44]  

On the other hand, the year 2010 gives the signs of becoming a turning point in the relations which are tried to be pursued.  The activities are supported in the areas where cooperation might be developed, for instance between NGOs, businessmen, chambers of commerce, business associations, local administrations, media and universities; even though it does not express a sharp turn or break-out. Despite this, the priorities of the both sides are changing. It is observed that the cadres of Turkey, Greece, Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot sides which are expected to solve the existing questions to a just and lasting solution, are struggling with serious questions domestically. Naturally, this situation might hinder the efforts for the lasting solution to the disagreements. In Turkey a chaotic period is witnessed in domestic politics, besides the contention of civil politicians the military-civilian contentions are harming the confidence to the institutions. When the post 2002 elections period is evaluated as a whole, while the AKP/JDP (Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi / Justice and Development Party) governments are losing the support for the many main problems which constitute the foreign policy agenda, it was unable to accomplish concrete successes both in domestic and foreign policy. While the policies pursued in terms of relations with USA, Kurdish Question, EU membership, relations with Armenia are left without a concrete success it could not improve Turkey’s image abroad.. The policy of “zero problem with neighbours” even though enjoyable in terms of expression, could not create an impact let alone partially changing the image of the “intransigent party” attributed to Turkey.[45] The initiatives of developing the zones of economic cooperation and regional energy traffic are on track for now despite the problems. On the otherhand, it is possible to encounter declarations that the foreign policy pursued is not adequately recognized. For instance, Egemen Bağış who is Minister of EU Affairs and the Chief Negotiator said that “the EU process is an important process for Turkey but not as important as to sacrifice Cyprus” [46]and Prime Minister Erdoğan has made harsh criticisms concerning the European Parliament’s decision about Cyprus, in the meeting with the ambassadors of the EU countries.  Erdoğan mentioning the consequences of the Annan Plan said “while 65% ‘yes’ vote is recorded in Northern Cyprus, 75% ‘no’ is recorded in Southern Cyprus. How come that Turkey and Turkish Cypriots are regarded as faulty? Is this European Parliament blind? […] This approach, which is away from all kinds of feelings of justice, has, with the slightest expression, led to great disappointment. The European Parliament’s function should not be to act as a spokesperson for the Greek Cypriot side and meet all their groundless claims and demands.” [47]

In Greece, first the Simitis Government and then the Karamanlis Government preferred to pursue a policy shaped by Turkey’s moves in its relations with th EU in favour of an open policy which could score concrete progress in relations. Thus, both the Simitis and Karamanlis Governments are relieved of dealing directly with Turkey and tried to influence Turkey’s policy within the axis of the relationship of conditionality. In this respect, both governments give the priority to the Cyprus issue instead of Turkish-Greek disputes. When evaluated in terms of 1999-2004 period, the EU membership of the Greek Cypriots did provided and similarly the Turkish Cypriots and Turkey was left outside the EU umbrella in the axis of the negotiations conducted between Turkey and the EU. In the following period, the economic problems Papandreou Government met after assuming power made the Government difficult to pursue a more active foreign policy. In this process the Papandreou Government’s economic and political agenda [both in the sense of Greece and the EU] might prevent the wish to solve the problems with Turkey in a lasting manner.

Similar problems also exist for the parties in Cyprus. In the Turkish Cypriot party, during the 2003-2004 process, the exclusion of President Rauf Denktaş from the negotiation and decision-making process and subsequently the election of Mehmet Ali Talat to Presidency would not suffice to provide a progress in passing time. The Annan Plan was offered to referandum in 2004 and the Turkish Cypriot community approved the Plan with 65% ratio while the Greek Cypriots refused the Plan with 75% ratio. This situation created dissapointment in the AKP Government and in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriots who were in favour of accepting the Plan despite its many deficiencies. The Turkish side who hoped to find supporters in the EU and UN in return for supporting the Plan and hoped that the isolations would be lifted, was disappointed and moreover was unable to prevent the full membership of the Greek Cypriot Administration to the EU. It is legitimate to say that the Greek side was awarded as a party who by rejecting the Annan Plan blocked the reconciliation.

In the following process, intense efforts are spent between President Talat and Greek Cypriot Presidents, Tassos Papadapulos and Demetris Christofias however, the negotiations were not be concluded during the 6 years course. This situation has a special importance since President Talat’s tenure is about to end. The Prime Minister Derviş Eroğlu’s declaration of the ruling UBP/NUP (Ulusal Birlik Partisi / National Unity Party) Government that he would be a candidate for Presidency made the fate of the current negotiations rather blurred. In the declarations made from the Greek Cypriot side it is emphasized that an easy policy of helping the hand of President Talat in the domestic realm, and that strengthenes the opinion that no solution is possible in the short term. In addition, there are groups in the Greek Cypriots side who are rather disturbed by the negotiations conducted between Christofias and Talat. Even the coalition partner The Movement for Social Democracy-EDEK Party has withdrawn its support to the government on the grounds that Demetris Christofias “gave concessions to Turkish party in the unification negotiations”[48] In this context, it is observed that the Greek Cypriot side has made declarations to endanger the negation process. The Greek Cypriot Parliament stated that the guarantees and rights of guarantor states were unacceptable in a “Cyprus Republic” who would be an EU member with a decision taken. [49] This decision has caused Turkish reaction and it was stated that the ongoing negotiations would be endangered.[50] The Republican Parliament of the TRNC took a decision emphasizing the essentiality of the Guaranty and Alliance Treaties by evaluating the developments in the Greek Cypriot side.[51] Within the framework of the Turkish-Greek relations, it is not easy to succeed in the solution of the existing problems. The détente process, which was initiated at the end of 1990s no doubt, is important in the sense that it showed that the two people can cohabitate side by side despite the problems. The foreign trade between the two countries is about at 3 billion dollars on average in the last three years. [52] Even though a contraction is observed in 2009 in bilateral trade this could be deemed as normal when the global crisis is remembered. When the foreign trade figure of 2008 is regarded, a volume of 3.5 billion dollars is observed. If the 700 million dollars volume is taken into consideration in 1999, then the economic progress of the last decade can be easily comprehended. On the other hand, while a Turkish bank (Finansbank) is sold to Greek capitalists, in 2008 a Turkish bank (Ziraat Bankası) started to operate in Greece by opening branches in Athens and Komothini (Gümülcine). Nevertheless, the process is also difficult since new questions are being added to existing ones. The emergence of the new questions besides the old ones creates a web of increasingly complicated problems. Maritime jurisdiction dispute in the Eastern Mediterranean and the inclusion of the EUROCONTROL responsibility regions of the Mediterranean are one these and are prone to cause sovereignty disputes in relations with Greece and Cyprus.[53]

6. Conclusion

Security building measures, moderate dialogue, the détente and the anchor of European Union are not by themselves adequate in the development of relations in a firm ground. Although these are positive efforts, for a permanent solution more advanced and determined steps should be taken in fundamental problems.  Beyond creating a rapprochement/détente, the creation of “peaceful cohabitation” and “integration culture” in Turkish- Greek relations and provide its functionality requiers three fundamental phases. The first is creating the security building measures between the parties. The second phase, is the confidence building measures which the parties would refrain from any action which might cause escalation, that they develop their emphatic talents and enchance cooperation and mutual trust. The third phase is the direct negotiation phase which the parties tackle the disputes in a compromise plan. The negotiation process, even though it is a phase where bilateral problems might be solved by the political will of the parties, creates other peaceful solution options for the parties. As frequently emphasized by Turkey, in the disputed areas where the parties could not reach a solution, the parties might appeal to judiciary methods like the International Court of Justice and arbitration courts if the parties reconciliate on the existence of disputes. In the post-1999 process, even though progress has been recorded in the first two phases, still the direct negotiations phase is not reached. In the time being, this phase is full of traps which the political decision makers dare not to take steps.

In solving the disputes, moving from what kind of base would reach us consistent, just and permanent solution. It is possible to devise slightly different answers and proposals. In my opinion, the Lausanne Peace Treaty lies at the basis of the status quo and points of litigation. The Lausanne Peace Treaty is the fundamental legal document which establishes a balance and status quo concerning the rights and interests of the two countries. However, currently, some questions between the two countries are experienced because the status quo established by the Treaty is either unrealized or has been directly violated.

To give an example, the ambiguities concerning the maritime borders of the Aegean Sea which we experienced because of the Kardak/Imia Rocks is such a question. Since Lausanne, the two countries have not mapped-out the common maritime borders. Such a mapping-out (line of demarcation) was not realized when 3 miles territorial waters were applied, and it was also not done in the regulations of 6 miles-territorial waters applied by Greece in 1936 and by Turkey in 1964. In this process, both countries delineated the limits of their territorial waters in their own maps and declared. Thus appropriate grounds were created for the claims of disagreement and violations. Another parallel example might be the violations of rights and arguments regarding Turkish and Greek minorities. The Articles of Lausanne Treaty concerning minority issues are not fully complied with and/or implemented, instead, a ‘confusion’ policy was carried out, which led to an increase in the number of unfortunate incidents in both countries and such events were interpreted as violation of basic human rights. Another observation is that the Lausanne does not contain any verdicts concerning the contemporary rights of sovereignty. During the time being, since new definitions of rights emerged in international law, especially in maritime law, today there is the necessity of concluding a new agreement between Turkey and Greece as the littoral states of the Aegean. The parties must reach an agreement on a new legal/political status concerning continental shelf, exclusive economic zone, contiguous zone etc.

A third observation is that the Aegean Sea is a unique example in terms of both geographical formations and the distribution of sovereignty. In this sea, the islands which are situated more than three miles from the Anatolian coasts are left to Greece. This fact does not automatically mean that all the islands which are outside the realm of three miles are left to Greece, because according to Turkey’s opinion the islands transferred at Lausanne are listed by name. Those islands whose names are not listed belong to Turkey within the successor’s principle. If expressed in a wide interpretation, according the Lausanne Peace Treaty, the sovereignty of that kind of islands would be decided later by negotiations among the parties. If we return to the original argument, the fact that the Aegean constitutes a unique case makes it difficult of reaching an equitable solution in the distribution of jurisdiction and sovereignty in that sea. For instance, in case the territorial waters are extended beyond 6 miles Turkey would suffer irretrievable loss of rights.

Fourth observation is about the asymmetrical power balance between Turkey and Greece. The mentioned power balance is not the military balance of power per se, but at the same time the balance of power concerning the capability of economic, political and strategy forming. Although it could be said of Turkey’s superiority in terms of military balance of power, it can be said that Greece is –relatively- more advantaged than Turkey in terms of economic capacity, flexibility of forming political alliances and the talent of developing strategy. For instance, the active use of the Greek Diaspora and the lobbies, economic pressure and the manipulation of interest groups, the features like the full membership to EU can be listed in this regard.

As a result, despite the discords continuing for years, since the 2000s an environment of consensus shared by both countries has been developed in bilateral relations. However, both the features of the disagreements and national and international environment make difficult of carrying the negotiations in problem-solving phase. Nevertheless, for now the greatest accomplishment is that both parties regard dialogue instead of escalation in crises as the main axis of relations.


[1] Fuat Aksu is Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, Yildiz Technical University.

Thanks to my colleagues Gencer Özcan, Muhammed Ağcan and Evren İşbilen for their valuable contributions.

[2] It can be said that Turkey developed a relationship of conditionality with the organization in the process of EU membership. For an analysis of the impact of  this relationship of conditionality on Turkish foreign policy and Turkish-Greek bilateral relations consult .;  Aydın, Mustafa and Açıkmeşe, Sinem A.: “Europeanization through EU Conditionality: Understanding the New Era in Turkish Foreign Policy”, Journal of Southern Europe and the Balkans, 9:3, (2007),  269 – 272.

[3] For a detailed study of Turkish-Greek relations and the issues of disputes see: Aksu, Fuat (2001): Türk Yunan İlişkileri, Ankara: SAEMK Yayınları.

[4] For Bern Agreement, see;

[5] For a detailed examination in this topic see; Güldemir, Ufuk (1985): Kanat Operasyonu, İstanbul: Tekin Yayınevi;

Güldemir, states that the decision regarding Greece’s return to military wing of NATO was taken directly by President of the State (General) Kenan Evren without informing either the Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs or Permanent Representative in NATO. Güldemir, op.cit., pp.81-83.

[6] According to Andreas Papandreu the sole threat against Greece came not from the Warsaw Pact but from Turkey in the Agean. For details see; Aksu, op.cit., pp. 175-187.

[7] After the 1976 Bern Agreement, the Turkish-Greek dialogue process has been made functional and in 1978 Montreux negotiations the parties started to deal with problems. See; Gürün, Kamuran, (1995), Fırtınalı Yıllar, İstanbul: Ad Yayıncılık.

[8] In this topic see; Oran, Baskın (1986): Türk-Yunan İlişkilerinde Batı Trakya Sorunu, Ankara: Mülkiyeliler Birliği Vakfı Yayınları; See also; Oran, Baskın (1999): Yunanistan’ın Lozan İhlalleri, Ankara: SAEMK Yayınları.

[9] For details see; Akıman, Nazmi: “Türkiye – Yunanistan Arasında 1987 Mart Krizi ve Andreas Papandreou”, in Fırat, Turhan (ed.) ( 2005): Dış Politikamızın Perde Arkası: 23 Büyükelçinin Olaylara Bakışı, Ankara: Ümit Yayınları, pp.59-71.

[10] The establishment of Turkish-Greek Friendship Society, the forming of Abdi İpekçi Friendship and Peace Prize, the joint concerts by Turkish and Greek artists, mutual visits of journalists and writers can be listed in this respect.


[12] The paragraph of the decision which was intrepreted as casus belli  is as follows:

“Turkish Grand National Assembly, while hoping that Greece would not decide to extend her territorial waters beyond 6 miles as to abolish the balance established by the Lausanne Treaty, in such a case in order to protect and conserve the vital interests of our country has decided that all authority is conferred to the government of the Turkish Republic, including the militarily required ones, and decided that this situation is to be announced to Greek and world public with friendly feelings.”

[13] In the documents of The National Security Strategy Documents the existing problems with Greece and the Cyprus issue take part in “external threat” listing and this situation did not change in the up dating of the document in question. For example, in the 2005 version it is stated that “Turkey aims at enchancing its relations with Greece in peace” then it is suggested that “bilateral problems should not be permitted by Greece to bring to the European grounds” and “such problems should not be permitted to be perceived as a Turkey-EU problems”.  Also, it is said that the Agean Sea is of vital importance for Turkey’s security and economy and “Greece’s initiaves of extending their territoral waters which is 6 miles is unacceptable. We have to protect our deterrence concerning the casus belli declaration. Greece must not be permitted to create fait accomplies in the islets and rocks in the Agean.” See; Balbay, Mustafa: “İşte Siyaset Belgesi”, Cumhuriyet, 14 Kasım 2005 at

[14] See; Ayman, Gülden (2000): Tırmandırma Siyasetine Bir Örnek: S-300 Krizi. Ankara: Ankara Çalışmaları/Asam Yayınları.

[15] For details see; Aksu, Fuat (2008) Türk Dış Politikasında Zorlayıcı Diplomasi, İstanbul: Bağlam Yayınları.

[16] All three crisis are the ones which are solved by Turkey applying the strategy of coercive diplomacy. For details see; Aksu (2008), ibid, pp. 194-287.

[17] Cem, İsmail (2004): Türkiye Avrupa, Avrasya, Birinci Cilt, İstanbul: İstanbul Bilgi Üniversitesi Yayınları, pp. 88-96.

[18] In 1999, after PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was captured after hiding in the Greek embassy in Kenya, the Foreign Minister Theodoros Pangalos, Minister of Interior, Alekos Papadopoulos and the Minister of Public Order Filippos Petsalnikos had to resign because of the responsibilities in the crisis.

[19] For letters see;

[20] See; Rumelili,  Bahar: “Civil Society and the Europeanization of Greek–Turkish Cooperation”, South European Society & Politics, Vol. 10, No. 1, April 2005, pp. 45–56

[21] Indeed there are many instances of solidarity between Turkish and Greek people in times of need. For instance, during the 1939 Erzincan Earthquake the people in Greece had sent a sum of 2 million Drahmis of aid collected to the earthquake victims in Turkey. Similarly, it is known that Turkey had sent aid relief to the starving people in German occupied Greece during the Second World War by the ship named Kurtuluş. In this topic, see; Macar, Elçin (2009): İşte Geliyor Kurtuluş - Türkiye'nin 2. Dünya Savaşı'nda Yunanistan'a Yardımları 1940- 1942' İzmir: İZTO Yayınları.

[22] In this topic see; Kubicek, Paul: “The Earthquake, Europe, and Prospects for Political Change in Turkey”, Middle East Review of International Affairs, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Summer 2001)

Kubicek, Paul: “The Earthquake, Civil Society, and Political Change in Turkey: Assessment and Comparison with Eastern Europe”, Political Studies, Volume 50 Issue 4, pp. 761 – 778.

Keridis, Dimitris:  “Earthquakes, Diplomacy, and New Thinking in Foreign Policy; World Affairs, Vol. 30:1, (2006), pp. 207-214

Ker-Lindsay, James: “Greek-Turkish Rapprochement: the Impact of 'Disaster Diplomacy'?”, Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 14 (1). pp. 215-232.

[23] For a critical approach about the evaluation of the post-1999 Greek policy within the axis of “Europeanization” see; Tsardanidis, Charalambos & Stavridis,  Stelios: “The Europeanisation of Greek Foreign Policy: a Critical Appraisal”, European Integration, Vol. 27, No. 2, June 2005, pp. 217–239,

[24] For details, see; Aksu, Fuat: “Ege ve Kıbrıs Sorunlarının Çözümünde Avrupa Birliği’nin Tutumu”, Stratejik Araştırmalar Dergisi, Yıl 2, Sayı 3, Şubat 2004, pp. 103-132.

[25] In fact small crisis were witnessed in relations however these were able to be evaded with common sense. On 23 Mayıs 2006 during a “dog fight” Turkish and Greek planes had crashed, the planes fell and the Greek pilot had lost his life, and the Turkish pilot was saved wounded. For details see; Baykuş, Osman ve Savaş, Yüksel: “Ege’de Uçaklar Çarpıştı”, NTVMSNBC, at

[26]For details see;

[27] In this topic see; Aksu, Fuat: “Türkiye-Avrupa Birliği Tam Üyelik Müzakerelerinde Kıbrıs ve Ege Uyuşmazlıkları”, in Erol, Mehmet Seyfettin ve Efegil, Ertan (eds.) (2007): Türkiye – AB İlişkileri: Dış Politika ve İç Yapı Sorunsalları, Ankara: Alp Yay., pp. 25-59.

[28] For instance she supported the opening of the border gates to passages in Cyprus and showed that she is for reconciliation by applying the ECHR decisions in the Loizidou and Arsenis cases- even though it is against Turkey-. Similarly, changes were made in areas where the grievances of the non-Muslim minorities were intensified within the framework of the adjustment laws and the obstacles in front of the community foundations’ acquiring property were tried to be abolished in great extent.

[29] For details see;

[30] For details of the “Action Plan on Lifting of Restrictiıons in Cyprus”, see;

[31] For an evaluation in this respect see; Tsakonas, Panayotis J. “How Can the European Union Transform the Greek-Turkish Conflict?”, in Arvanitopoulos, C. (ed.) (2009): Turkey’s Accession to the European Union,  Berlin: Springer, pp. 117-119.

[32] Turkey officially only recognizes non-Muslims as “minority” within the framework of the Lausanne Peace Treaty. However, in the progress reports demands are made concerning the evaluation of Alewites, Kurds and Roma in this status. While Turkey resisted in these points, starting with the beginning of 2000’s steps are taken in the areas like community foundations, property rights where the grievances of non-Muslims are concentrated.

[33] It is possible to follow the fixity of the Greek position from the declarations of both the Karamanlis period and the Papandreu period. For instance, against the declaration of Karamanlis of January 2008 during his visit of Turkey about the continuation of their position of appealing to the International Court of Justice for the Agean Sea continental shelf, the Prime Minister Erdoğan stated that the aim is to reach comprhensive and inclusive solution. Similarly, the answer given to Prime Minister Erdoğan’s letter of 30 October 2009 sent to Prime Minister Papandreou clearly emphasizes that the continental shelf issue should be brought to International Court of Justice. For the news in this regard see; “Ege Denizi, Barış Denizi Olmalı”, CNN TÜRK, at ;

“Eski Talepleri Masaya Koydu”, Milliyet, 24 Ocak 2008, at

Kırbaki, Yorgo: “Ankara-Atina Hattında Yeni Dönemin Şifreleri”, Hürriyet, 27 Ocak 2010, at

“Papandreou Seeks Dialogue with Erdogan”, Ekathimerini, January 26, 2010, at  

[34] “Türkiye ile Avrupa Topluluğu Arasında Oluşturulan Gümrük Birliğinin Uygulanmasına İlişkin Esaslar Hakkında Kararda Değişiklik Yapılmasına Dair Karar”, at

[35] For the Additional Protocol and Declaration see;

[36] For the Additional Protocol and Declaration text see;

[37] “Enlargement: Turkey - Declaration by the European Community and its Member States”, at



[40] Ibid.



[43]For the details of  the 2008 Proggress Report see;

[44] For news concerning the visits see; “2008-01-23 Yunanistan Başbakanı Karamanlis'in Türkiye Ziyareti – Derleme”, at

Prime Minister Karamanlis’s visit is also important in the sense that it is the first official visit by a Prime Minister of Greece in 49 years.

[45] For the press declaration in this respect see;

[46] For details see; “Egemen Bağış Kıbrıs ve AB'yi karşılaştırdı”, CNNTURK, 8 Şubat 2010, at

[47] For details see; “Erdoğan AB'ye seslendi: Gözleriniz kör mü?”, Cumhuriyet, 11 Şubat 2010, at “Erdoğan lashes out at EU: Open your eyes on Cyprus”, Zaman, 12 February, 2010, at

[48] For a different evaluation in this topic see; Hasgüler, Mehmet: “Nereye Kıbrıs Nereye? Kıbrıs Türk Halkı bu Oyuna Gelmez”, USAK Stratejik Gündem, at

[49] For details see; Bilge, Ömer: “Rum Meclisinden Garantörlüğe ‘Hayır’ Kararı”, CNN TÜRK, at

“House – No Guarantees”, at

[50] In the press statement of the National Security Council which met in 19 February 2010 the need for a just and lasting solution in the island is mentioned and “Turkey will continue to fulfill her responsibilities towards the Turkish Cypriots within the framework of Turkey’s conventional rights and obligations concerning Cyprus” is emphasized. See;

[51] “'Garantilerin Vazgeçilmezliği' KKTC'de Kabul Edildi”, Cumhuriyet, 24 Şubat 2010, at


[53] These issues are dealt with in the 19 February 2010 statement of the NSC and their importance is underlined in terms of Turkey’s rights and interests of sovereignity.See.; ibid.

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