Davutoğlu calls for new Greek-Turkish 'paradigm'
Turkey does not perceive Greece as a threat and expects its Aegean neighbor to take a similar tack after decades of antagonism between the two countries, the Turkish foreign minister said Tuesday.
“We need a new paradigm in Turkish-Greek relations, a paradigm under which we can build a future together,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told reporters while visiting Greece for preparatory talks for the upcoming Turkey-Greece High Level Strategic Council meeting, which will be held in Istanbul in July.
During his visit, Davutoğlu held meetings in Athens with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and Foreign Minister Dimitrios Droutsas.
Prior to the meeting, Davutoğlu voiced Ankara’s expectation for a “peaceful style” to dominate bilateral relations between Ankara and Athens. Speaking to reporters on his way to Athens, the foreign minister said he would emphasize this paradigm in his talks with Greek officials.
“We should evaluate our common history not in a confrontational way, but rather in a peaceful fashion,” he said.
Papandreou was the last high-level Greek official to visit Turkey, making surprisingly critical statements during his visit to Erzurum in January. In his remarks, Papandreou used the word “invader” for Turkey, speaking about the presence of the Turkish army in northern Cyprus. He said this approach, if continued, would keep Turkey out of the European Union.