Turkey, Europe

'Turkey expects positive stance from Greece in talks'

Nothing can be achieved by taking stance against Turkey, says ruling party spokesman

Merve Aydogan   | 26.01.2021
'Turkey expects positive stance from Greece in talks'

ANKARA

Turkey expects Greece to take a positive stance in recently restarted exploratory talks meant to resolve several bilateral issues, a ruling party official said on Tuesday.

Nothing can be achieved in the talks by taking a stance against Turkey with other countries, Omer Celik, spokesman for the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party, told reporters in the capital Ankara during a meeting of the party's Central Executive Board.

His remarks came after a fresh round of exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece was held in Istanbul on Monday after a nearly five-year hiatus.

Turkey "as a diplomatic state" joined the talks in a positive matter, Celik said, stressing that Turkish diplomats work to "support peace and avert conflicts."

He also said Ankara aims to turn a new page in relations with Athens, adding: "We expect them to be careful about the language they use against Turkey."

In the talks in Istanbul, top Turkish and Greek officials evaluated the issues from previous rounds – which ended in 2016 – as well as the current situation, recent developments, and possible steps to be taken, said diplomatic sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking the media.

The parties also agreed that the Greek capital Athens would host the next meeting.

Exploratory talks between Turkey and Greece, meant to find fair and equitable settlements to issues in the Aegean, began in 2002.

After the 60th round of talks in March 2016, Athens suspended the meetings.

Bilateral talks continued in the form of political consultations but did not return to the exploratory framework.​​​​​​

Turkish leaders have repeatedly stressed that Ankara is in favor of resolving outstanding problems in the region through international law, good neighborly relations, dialogue, and negotiations.

Turkey hails Biden’s smooth inauguration in US

On Joe Biden’s swearing-in as the new US president last week, Celik said Turkey welcomes the "uneventful inauguration."

"We need to establish a will [with the Biden administration] to overcome racism, extremism, and Islamophobia all over the world," he said.

Turkey has many important duties to fulfill with the US, he said, and added: "There is no issue that we cannot solve with an alliance based on mutual respect."

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