Alaturka Gazetesi

‘Turkey has never forgotten Greek atrocities’

By Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey has never forgotten the atrocities committed by Greece against Turks, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hami Aksoy said Friday.

“Greece systematically annihilated Turks and Muslims in the region during and after the period of independence from the Ottoman Empire,” Aksoy said regarding a statement made by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during his recent visit to Armenia.

“We witness that Greece continues to take side with the hostile circles against Turkey and support their baseless stance and allegations,” Aksoy said.

“We believe that favoring friendship and good neighborliness is the only way to promote peace, stability and welfare in our region.

“Even today, Greece continues its inhumane practices against its Turkish minorities, taking it as far as to punish Muftis with imprisonment for performing a Friday prayer,” he added.

Aksoy said that although Turkey is taking lessons of peace and fraternity rather than hostility from history, it is also “well aware of the said historical realities.”

He said Turkey’s position regarding the events of 1915 during the Ottoman Empire was clearly put forward by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in his statement on April 23, 2014 while serving as prime minister, so no further explanation is needed on the matter.

Turkey's position on the events is that the deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia took place when some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy in which both sides suffered casualties.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia plus international experts to examine the issue.


Greek president welcomes release of soldiers in Turkey

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AA) – President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on Wednesday welcomed the release of two Greek soldiers pending trial by a Turkish court.

“The release of the two Greek servicemen was a basic act of justice by the Turkish authorities, ” Pavlopoulos said in a statement from the island of Karpathos.

Pavlopoulos said that “this happy development ” shows the way Turkey should and can follow in order to restore friendly ties.

“We Greeks are aware of the Turkish people's problems. They are having difficult times and we know it, ” he added.

Greek Defense Minister Panos Kammenos also expressed his satisfaction at the soldiers’ release and extended an invitation to his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar.

“I hope that their release will be a new day in Greek-Turkish relations. We can live together peacefully, for the benefit of both our peoples, ” Kammenos said.

Lt. Aggelos Mitretodis and Sgt. Dimitros Kouklatzis were remanded in custody by a court in early March after they were detained near Pazarkule district of Turkey's northwestern Edirne province. According to the soldiers, they got lost due to bad weather and later came across local Turkish patrol units.

Turkish security sources said the Greek soldiers were accused of espionage and sending recordings on their smartphones to their superiors.

Alaturka Gazetesi

Turkey slams Greek president's remarks on Aegean issues

By Nazli Yuzbasioglu

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy on Wednesday responded to a statement by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos regarding EU’s environmental program “Natura 2000”.

In response to a question, Aksoy warned the EU “not to become a tool of Greece’s political exploitations “.

“It is well known that Greece has long been exploiting EU’s environmental programmes, primarily 'Natura 2000' with respect to the Aegean issues, ” the statement said, adding that the Foreign Ministry had released a statement regarding the matter on March 31.

“Turkey’s position on this issue was also explained last week to a representative of the EU Delegation,” it added.

The Greek president made a statement establishing a strained relationship between “Natura 2000” network and borders and territory, Aksoy said.

“These statements do not bear any legal effect.

“Moreover, such statements are of a confessional character demonstrating that Greece simply abuses EU’s environmental programmes such as “Natura 2000” according to its political expediency. ”

Aksoy said Turkey would not accept any possible fait accompli presented by Greece towards the geographical formations in the Aegean Sea, the legal status of which are disputed.

A decades-long dispute between Turkey and Greece over the uninhabited Aegean islets brought the two countries to the brink of armed conflict in 1996 and led to renewed tensions this year.

Alaturka Gazetesi

Prens Charles Yunanistan'da

ATİNA (AA) – İngiltere kraliyet tahtının varisi Galler Prensi Charles ve eşi Cornwall Düşesi Camilla, resmi ziyaret kapsamında Yunanistan'ın başkenti Atina'da Cumhurbaşkanı Prokopis Pavlopoulos ve Başbakan Aleksis Çipras ile bir araya geldi.

“Meçhul Asker Anıtına ” çelenk bırakarak ziyaretine başlayan Charles, Pavlopoulos tarafından resmi törenle karşılandı.

Ziyareti “tarihi ” olarak niteleyen Pavlopoulos, “Bu ziyaret, Yunanistan ve Birleşik Krallık arasındaki iyi ilişkiler zincirine bir halka daha ekliyor. ” ifadelerini kullandı.

Daha sonra Başbakanlık'a geçen Prens Charles, Çipras ile yaptığı görüşme öncesinde, “Güvenlik, göç meselesi ve karşılaştığımız tüm sorunlarda başarıya ulaşmak için uzun zamandır var olan bağlarımızı gelecekte de güçlendireceğimizi umuyorum. ” değerlendirmesinde bulundu.

Çipras da Prens Charles'ın birçok defa gayriresmi olarak Yunanistan'ı ziyaret ettiğini anımsatarak, “Bu demektir ki ülkemizi gerçekten çok seviyorsunuz. ” dedi.

İngiliz kraliyet ailesinden ilk kez Yunanistan'a bir resmi ziyaretin gerçekleştiğini belirten Çipras, “Bu çok önemli bir olay ve işbirliğimizi kuvvetlendirmenin yanı sıra özellikle günümüzde karşılaştığımız önemli zorlukları aşmak için bu ziyaretin bir dönüm noktası olacağına inanıyorum. ” şeklinde konuştu.

Atina'nın yanı sıra Girit Adası'nı da ziyaret edecek olan Prens Charles ve eşi Camilla, Yunanistan'dan cuma günü ayrılacak.


INFOGRAPHIC – 2nd presidential visit to Greece in Turkish history

By Meltem Bulur

ANKARA (AA) – Recep Tayyip Erdogan has become first Turkish president to visit Greece in 65 years.

President Celal Bayar was last Turkish head of state to pay official visit to Greece in November 1952. Earlier that year, King Paul and Queen Frederica visited Turkey.

Erdogan, who last visited Greece as prime minister in 2010, was invited by President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to pay a two-day visit.

He will also meet Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and ethnic Turks in Western Thrace.

– What’s on the agenda

Turkey and Greece established a High-Level Cooperation Council in 2010, which was last held in Izmir in March 2016 when Tsipras and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim signed 54 cooperation agreements.

Next council meeting expected to be held in Thessaloniki, Greece.

Erdogan expected to discuss future cooperation in areas such as counter-terrorism, trade, transport, energy, tourism, culture, Cyprus, migration. Issues affecting minorities in both countries, Turkey’s relationship with EU also due to be mentioned.

– Ethnic Turkish lawmakers in Greece

Greece’s 2015 general election saw four Turkish-Greek lawmakers returned to parliament.

Three – Ayhan Karayusuf, Mustafa Mustafa, Huseyin Zeybek – represent Tsipras’s Syriza coalition.

Syriza came first in Rhodope, Western Thrace, home to significant Turkish community.

Ilhan Ahmet, of The River party, was elected in Western Thrace’s Xanthi.

– Projects on table

Three planned projects will boost economic, transport ties between neighbors.

One focuses on passenger, goods ferries between Izmir, Thessaloniki. Another is a high-speed rail link between Istanbul, Thessaloniki. Third is construction of a river bridge between Kipoi in Greece, Turkey’s Ipsala.

– Economic relations

According to Turkish Central Bank, direct investment from Greece to Turkey was $6.9 billion between 2002 and August 2017. Turkish investment in Greece was $200 million over same period.

Trade volume fell by 47 percent in four years to $2.6 billion in 2016, down from $4.9 billion in 2012, according to Turkish Statistical Institute.

Decline mainly due to drop in Greek exports, which fell 66.5 percent to $1.2 billion, while Turkish exports to Greece rose 1.8 percent to $1.4 billion.

Turkey is fourth largest market for Greece exports, 12th largest importer to Greek market.

– Latest bilateral visits

Yildirim, Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci, Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan paid working visit to Athens in June.

Greek-born Deputy Prime Minister Hakan Cavusoglu visited in November, when he met ethnic Turks in Komotini, his hometown.

Pavlopoulos attended May’s Black Sea Economic Cooperation in Istanbul to mark organization’s 25th anniversary.

Greek Economy Minister Dimitri Papadimitriou attended Aegean Economic Forum in Izmir in October.

Also in October, Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias paid working visit to Ankara.

Alaturka Gazetesi

Fransa Cumhurbaşkanı Macron Atina’da

ATİNA (AA) – Fransa Cumhurbaşkanı Emmanuel Macron, Yunanistan’ı Avro Bölgesi’nde tutmak için çabalarını sürdüreceklerini söyledi.

Macron, iki günlük resmi ziyaret için geldiği Atina’da Yunanistan Cumhurbaşkanı Prokopis Pavlopoulos tarafından resmi törenle karşılandı.

Pavlopoulos, Macron’a devlet şeref madalyası takdim etti.

Daha sonra iki cumhurbaşkanı ortak basın toplantısı düzenledi.

Macron, Yunan hükümetinin baskılara rağmen Avro Bölgesi’nde kalmak için savaştığını belirterek, “Fransa yanınızda olmaya devam edecek. Fransız hükümeti ve bakanlarım, Yunanistan’ı Avro Bölgesi’nde tutmak için çabalarını sürdürecek.” ifadelerini kullandı.

Yunanistan’ın zor bir dönemden geçtiğini ve halkın büyük fedakarlıklarda bulunduğunu dile getiren Macron, Yunan hükümetinin gerçekleştirdiği reformların memnuniyet verici olduğunu söyledi.

Büyük bir işadamı grubunun kendisine eşlik ettiğini anımsatan Macron, iki ülke arasındaki ticari ilişkileri geliştirmek istediklerini kaydetti.

Pavlopoulos ise Yunanistan’ın geleceğinin AB dışında olmasının mümkün olmadığını vurguladı.

Yunanistan’ın kurtarma paketi kapsamındaki yükümlülüklerini yerine getireceğine dikkati çeken Pavlopoulos, “Ancak Avrupalı ortaklarımızın, Yunanistan’ın borcunun sürdürülebilirliğini garanti altına almak için üzerlerine düşen görevi yerine getirmeleri gerekiyor.” değerlendirmesine bulundu.

Avrupa’da sosyal hukuk devletinin korunması için Fransa’nın önemli rolü olduğunu belirten Pavlopoulos, “Avrupa’da feci sonuçlar doğurabilecek eşitsizliklerin büyümesine ve bunun yanı sıra popülist ve neo-nazi oluşumlara izin verilmemesi gerek.” şeklinde konuştu.


Turkey of ‘vital importance’ for Europe’s security: PM

By Idyli Tsakiri

ATHENS (AA) – Turkey’s full accession to the European Union is of “vital” importance for Europe’s security, visiting Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Monday.

“Turkey’s EU membership would not only benefit itself, but it is also of vital importance for the peace and security of Europe,” Yildirim told reporters ahead of a meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos in Athens.

Yildirim said Turkey did not only stop a “serious” refugee influx into Europe, stemming from the unrest and ongoing fighting in the Middle East, but also contributed “significantly” to the fight against terrorism.

“Therefore, we would like the European Union to appreciate this, and handle its relations with Turkey accordingly,” he added.

Greece supports Turkey’s European course, Pavlopoulos said, stressing that “we have always believed that Turkey must find its way to Europe”.

“In order for a state to belong to the European Family, it must fully respect international law as a whole and, of course, the European acquis,” the Greek President added.

Speaking on bilateral relations, Pavlopoulos said “there are more things that unite us than divide us,” to which Yildirim responded by saying that the two countries shared the same geography, and consequently, the same destiny.

“With that awareness in mind, I think there is a lot we can do in every regard on the basis of good neighborly relations and respect for sovereignty,” the Turkish premier added.

Yildirim arrived in Athens on Monday to attend meetings with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, Pavlopoulos, and opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis before departing for Komotini in northern Greece to attend an iftar, fast-breaking, dinner.

*Hale Turkes contributed to this story from Ankara


Yunanistan’da olimpiyat sporcuları ödüllendirildi

ATİNA (AA) – Yunanistan’ı 2016 Rio Olimpiyat Oyunları’nda temsil eden sporcular, başkent Atina’da özel bir törenle ödüllendirildi.

Cumhurbaşkanı Prokopis Pavlopulos’un katılımıyla Zapyon Sarayı’nda düzenlenen tören, siyaset ve spor dünyasından birçok ismi bir araya getirdi. Törende sporculara birer plaket verildi.

Yunanistan adına Rio 2016’da yer alan 93 sporcunun katıldığı törende konuşan Pavlopulos, sporcuların “azim ve mükemmeliyetin bir örneği” olduklarını belirterek, başarılarının kişisel olduğunu vurguladı.

Pavlopulos, Yunanistan’a atıcılıkta bir altın ve bir bronz olmak üzere iki madalya getirerek önemli bir başarıya imza atan Anna Korakaki’yi özel olarak tebrik etti.

Ekonomik kriz yaşayan Yunanistan, üçü altın, biri gümüş ve ikisi bronz olmak üzere toplam 6 madalya kazanarak, Rio Olimpiyatları’nı madalya sıralamasında 26. olarak bitirmişti.