Famed composer Mikis Theodorakis issues impassioned plea for Greek-Turkish understanding

"Though due to my age I have withdrawn fro public affairs, the interview two days ago of Turkish-Cypriot leader Akinci with Ta Nea forces me to marshal my forces and speak again,» said famed composer and left-wing icon Mikis Theodorakis in an opinion piece that was widely discussed

"In 1986, I took the initiative along with other friends in Greece and in Turkey to form the first Greek-Turkey friendship committee in Constantinople which immediately received support from both peoples."

"Once I returned to Athens after the establishment of the committee, Pasok received me as a traitor. Not long afterwards, Andreas Papandreou invited me to his home in Kastri [north of Athens] to tell me "You are right. I had not seen things properly. That is why I called in the journalists who are awaiting us to admit that."

"Immediately thereafter, he called in the entire committee to ask us to convey to Turkey his own message of friendship."

"Hence, we went to Constantinople [Istanbul] to convey our message of friendship on behalf of Andreas Papandreou.

As I read his statement on camera for the then sole television station, the channel for the first time broadcast the image of the Greek PM.

"The next day in Ankara we held talks with all party leaders and naturally with PM Turgut Ozal. We conveyed to all the views of Andreas Papandreou about the start of a new era in bilateral relations and they were received enthusiastically."

In Greece, we found the same accceptance, particularly in the provinces, where local committees had started to be formed, beginning with Preveza and Ioannina.

Immediately after Andreas Papandreou, Constantine Mitsotakis became Prime Minister and he asked me to convey the same message of friendship and...

Continue reading on: