News World Turkey calls for a new chapter in relations with Greece

Turkey calls for a new chapter in relations with Greece

Turkey’s foreign minister called for a new chapter in testy diplomatic ties with Greece on Saturday, even as he berated the neighbouring country for providing a safe haven for Turkish “criminals.”

Eight Turkish commandos are seeking asylum in Greece after commandeering a helicopter to flee Turkey following a failed coup attempt against President Tayyip Erdogan in July 2016.

Turkey describes the fugitives as criminals involved in the coup plot, and has demanded that Greece hand them back. Greek courts have so far rejected Ankara’s requests.

“The situation in our relations today is not to the benefit of our countries. Building trust is important. We should open a new chapter in our relations,” Mevlut Cavusoglu told Ta Nea newspaper in an interview released on Saturday.

“We should continue the process of bilateral talks without any conditions. This is the way to solve our problems.”

He repeated demands, however, for the eight commandos to be sent to Turkey to face trial.

“The Greek justice system, contrary to the rules and the principles of the international law, is letting the culprits go unpunished and is violating the victims’ rights,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying.

“We remain determined in our effort to make sure that the fugitive coup perpetrators will be extradited and stand trial in Turkey,” he added.

Long-time regional rivals, the two neighbours have been at odds over a host of issues from ethnically divided Cyprus to rights in the Aegean Sea.

Rhetoric on both sides in recent months has taken a marked turn for the worse, particularly after the collapse of peace talks in Cyprus in July 2017.

The European Union depends on Turkey to keep a tight lid on immigration from the Middle East, where the war in Syria has killed hundreds of thousands and pushed millions from homes.

Under a 2016 deal, Ankara has to take back all migrants and refugees, including Syrians, who cross to Greece illegally across the sea. In return, the EU has to take in thousands of Syrian refugees directly from Turkey and reward it with more money, early visa-free travel and faster progress in EU membership talks.

Cavusoglu said Turkey respected the deal and that the EU should now keep its promises, including granting the visa-free travel, extending a second three billion-euro tranche for the Syrian refugees and making progress on EU accession talks.

Top Stories

234 new PCR cases announced on Monday

The Health Ministry also announced 234 new Coronavirus cases out of 5,167 PCR tests on Monday 23 November and another 70 out of 5,665...

Mobile emergency medical unit in Thessaloniki

The General Staff of the Army is proceeding with the creation of a mobile emergency medical unit in the courtyard of the 424 General...

State Health Organization: 170 nurses hired

The State Health Services Organization (OKYpY) noted that so far 170 nurses have been asked to sign contracts. This was said in reply to...

Negative record of confirmed COVID-19 cases from rapid tests in Fanagusta

Famagusta seems to have a negative record of confirmed COVID-19 cases found by antigen rabid tests, compared to other towns. From 16 November, when the...

yprus trade deficit declines in January – August 2020, affected by Covid-19

Cyprus’ trade deficit for the period of January – August 2020 declined by an annual 11.5%, with trade affected by the coronavirus pandemic. According to...


Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...


No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...