Building on 2023 progress

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis (r) greets the President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan (l), after the end of their meeting in Athens on December 7. [Dimitris Papamitsos/PM's Press Office]

Despite being an election year, 2023 did not see any turbulence in Greek-Turkish relations. Indeed, it was probably the calmest year since the abortive coup in Turkey in 2016. Already, before the disastrous earthquakes that hit east Turkey last February, a quiet effort to de-escalate the 2020-22 tensions had been under way with a meeting between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's close adviser Ibrahim Kalin and Ambassador Anna-Maria Boura, top diplomatic adviser to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, on Turkey's six submitted proposals. Thus, the earthquakes served as an accelerator, not a catalyst, in the de-escalation of Turkey's outbursts and the threats directed at Greece and Greek citizens.

The most distinctive development of the past 10 months is the suspension of overflights and violations of Greek airspace by Turkish fighter jets, an unprecedented hiatus since 1974....

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