International media outlets reacted to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Greece, focusing on his calls for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty and the subsequent rebuke by both Greek President Pavlopoulos and PM Alexis Tsipras.
Turkey’s Erdogan calls for border treaty review in Greece visit
The first visit to Greece by a Turkish head of state in 65 years has got off to a tense start, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his host swapping pointed remarks.
Mr Erdogan said the 1923 treaty that settled Turkey’s borders after World War One was not being applied fairly.
But Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos rejected any change to the Treaty of Lausanne.
Relations between the two Nato members have been uneasy for decades.
Turkish president’s border comments draw rebuke from Greek hosts
A landmark treaty delineating the borders between Greece and Turkey, regarded as a cornerstone of regional peace, should be radically revised, according to the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The comments by the notoriously confrontational politician, who rarely travels to Europe, came on the eve of a historic visit to Greece that many had hoped would put fraught bilateral relations on a new footing.
Instead, Erdoğan’s words drew sharp rebukes from Greece’s president and head of state, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, and prime minister, Alexis Tsipras.
“The Treaty of Lausanne defines the territory and the sovereignty of Greece, and of the European Union, and this treaty is non-negotiable,” Pavlopoulos said as Erdoğan sat stony-faced next to him, surrounded by Greek and Turkish officials. “It has no flaws, it does not need to be reviewed, or updated.”
The row appeared to intensify when Erdoğan insisted that Athens would not have been able to join Nato had it not been for the support of the Turkish government.
Attempting to ameliorate the frosty atmosphere, Tsipras told his guest in subsequent talks that respect for international law was the basis of solid ties between the two neighbours.
“Differences have always existed and [they exist] today,” the leftist leader said. “It is important … that we express our disagreements in a constructive way, without being provocative.”
Despite the altercation, Erdoğan was given red-carpet treatment from the moment he stepped off his plane at the start of the first official trip a Turkish head of state has made to Greece, both a rival and Nato ally, in 65 years. Two thousand eight hundred police officers have been deployed around the capital as apart of a US presidential-level security operation to guard Erdoğan.
Greece and Turkey trade accusations at start of Erdogan visit
Greece and Turkey squared up over old disputes on Thursday during a state visit to Athens by Tayyip Erdogan that quickly descended into verbal sparring over a list of historical grievances.
Designed to boost relations between the two nations, the first visit of a Turkish president in 65 years quickly turned into a blunt grudge-fest between the NATO allies.
The two countries agreed to revive a consultation process for confidence-building measures, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said.