Days after the re-election of Tayyip Erdogan as the Turkish president, the Greeks remain hopeful for an improvement in their historically strained relations with Turkey.
The director of the Institute of Global Affairs at the American College of Greece, Konstantinos Filis, emphasized that Turkish foreign policy is set, but the concern lies in how Erdogan’s autocratic system enables him to enforce decisions, even if they involve a significant policy shift.
The longstanding disputes between Greece and Turkey revolve around territorial claims in the Aegean Sea.
Before Erdogan’s rise to power in 2003, Turkey had already threatened Greece with war if it extended its territorial waters to 12 nautical miles off its islands, as allowed by the UN Law of the Sea.
Currently, both countries claim a territorial limit of 6 nautical miles.
Despite the strained relations, many Greeks still seem to prefer Erdogan over politicians from the secular opposition that previously held power.
They view Erdogan as less likely to engage in military actions and provoke conflict with Greece.
However, the Greek government, led by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, aims to discuss specific issues with Turkey, such as the delimitation of commercial exploitation rights in the sea bed and exclusive economic zone (EEZ).