Monday, July 23, 2007

Turkish news live from Athens

If you happened to switch on the tv on the weekend to watch the news, you may be excused if you thought you had woken up in Turkey somehow. That's because the news was focusing on the Turkish elections, by my watch 26 minutes out of a 30 minute programme.

Relations between Greece and Turkey are in an ever constant state of flux. There has been a feeling of distrust dating from the 400 years occupation from the Ottoman empire, there have been periods of rapprochement, occupation again - this time of Cyprus, to one of assistance such as the time when Greece lent aid following the disastrous earthquake Turkey suffered.
This has meant that many Greeks distrust Turks while at the same time they will give a kidney and go there for shopping or a holiday.

As a result of these tumultous events, Greece takes a keen interest in developments in Turkey. There is obviously concern as to whether the far right extremists would get into power, basically Greece is hoping for nice and calm neighbours. It seems as though a far right group which was throwing around hangman noose's at public rallies has entered parliament as a relatively strong force. One Greek academic mentioned that no matter who gets elected into parliament - the accountability that comes with the seats may temper the more outrageous comments.

For an interesting update on the elections check out http://www.internations.blogspot.com/ written by a Netherlander in Turkey.

Oh and if you did turn on the news and you actually are in Turkey but live in Greece and have no recollection of how you got there, I know the island parties can get wild but maybe you should consider laying off the booze...

2 comments:

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Thanks Vassili.
With Erdogan as PM, who has excellent relations with Karamanlis, I foresee more relaxed relations upcoming years.
Btw, my Greek friends call me 'their Dutch Man in Constantinople', and my Turkish friends 'Our Eyes and Ears over there'..))
I wrote a column about Cyprus: search in Turkish Daily News for my name...
kindest

Hans A.H.C. de Wit said...

Vassili, yesterday, a Greek notable his column was run by Turksih Daily, which has two excellent permanent Greek colmnists...
Its about the Patriarch.
Kindest