Do you want to know about the significance of Helsinki to relations between Greece and Turkey?? Why are Greek Turkish relations so important? If you want to know more about their political relationship then read our guide…
Greece and Turkey were part of the Ottoman Empire. Ever since Greece got independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1821, the relationship between the two countries has been marked with alternate periods of hostility and reconciliation. There were many wars in which the countries faced each other:
1. Greco-Turkish War in 1897
2. Balkan Wars in 1912 – 13
3. First World War
4. Greco-Turkish War in 1919-22
The relations between the two countries got a breather with the Helsinki Accord that is considered as a benchmark in the history of Greek-Turkish relations. The Republic of Cyprus was admitted into the EU and Greece was the catalyst which helped in this accession. This began a new era of healthy bilateral relations since the summer of 1999. There has been a remarkable improvement especially in the economic ties between the two countries whereby Greece is investing primarily into the banking sector.
Turkey is dealing with many domestic issues because of many power centers within the nation. The power centers work independently and often put down or crush modern theories or ideas. Turkey’s Foreign Policy is influenced by internal rivalry between the armed forces and the politicians.
This situation affects the relationship between Greece and Turkey in an adverse manner as now Greece has to pump in more money into maintaining its military.
Another impediment to improvement in Greek- Turkish relations is the existing dispute over Greece and Turkey’s territorial waters and continental shelf of the Aegean Sea.
New Helsinki Process is in Demand
In December 2004, The EU made its long awaited decision to start negotiations with Turkey about its full membership in the organization. The Greek government supported this decision and was involved in negotiations for Ankara’s entry in to EU. However, Turkey hadn’t given any commitments and this was seen as abandoning the Helsinki process. Therefore Greece needs a new Helsinki process in which it is seen that Turkey meets its obligation towards Greece. Obviously this gives a crystal clear message to Turkey that it has to considerably improve Greek-Turkish relations and start a new thread in Greek Turkish relations.