By James Ker-Lindsay

Whilst Abdullah Ocalan, chief of the Kurdistan employees' occasion (PKK), was once arrested in February 1999 it marked a turning aspect in family members among Greece and Turkey. because the country's so much sought after guy, his arrest was once greeted with jubilation all through so much of Turkey. although, it additionally ended in a public outcry whilst it emerged that he were captured leaving the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This was once visible as definitive facts that the Greek govt have been helping and abetting the PKK. within the days and weeks that the arrest, kin among the Aegean neighbours sank to their lowest point because the summer season of 1974, whilst Athens and Ankara had come to the threshold of conflict over Cyprus.Yet, through the top of the 12 months, the image couldn't were extra various. an incredible sequence of occasions that integrated a local clash, significant mess ups and the loss of life of a senior Greek baby-kisser had ended in a whole transformation within the kin among the 2 international locations. The crowning second of this modification got here in December while Greece dropped its long-standing competition to Turkish candidacy for european club. How did this notable switch turn up? Who should still take the credits? And what did it suggest for diplomatic kin within the jap Mediterranean? this can be the tale of ways nations begun down a route to peace after a long time of hysteria and hostility and the way, over the process one huge yr, family among Greece and Turkey went from the threshold of clash to an remarkable confirmation of friendship and unity.

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Extra resources for Crisis and Conciliation: A Year of Rapproachement Between Greece and Turkey

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Although this certainly produced a less hostile climate between the two countries, little of substance was achieved on the main issues of difference. However, in January the following year, 1988, Özal and Papandreou met with one another at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Despite the fact that most observers expected little of substance from the meeting, the two prime ministers showed a genuine desire to try to engage in dialogue and find common ground over a range of issues affecting bilateral relations, not least of all over the continental shelf issue.

Following Rome’s decision to expel him, he had made contact with a retired Greek naval commander. With the support of a group of other nationalists, and acting with the assistance of some members in the Greek security services, they had managed to transport him from Italy to the Greek island of Corfu. Soon after his arrival the Greek Government became aware of his presence. Realising the danger this had created, around 3 February it had flown him to Kenya. There he was installed in the Greek Embassy compound without the knowledge or authorisation of the Kenyan Government.

To many observers the meeting of the two Prime Ministers was seen as the first step towards normalising relations and resolving the disputes that had arisen between the two governments over the previous five years. Indeed, despite the fact that there were no agreements reached, the Greek Government felt that the talks had nonetheless managed to reduce tensions between the two countries. 40 However, the benefits achieved in Montreux were soon overshadowed by other events. In particular, the lifting of the US arms embargo against Turkey, which had been instituted in the aftermath of the Turkish action against Cyprus in 1974, proved to be a real source of concern for Athens, which now felt that 22 CRISIS AND CONCILIATION Ankara would re-arm and thus return to making claims in the basis of military threats.

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