Sep 1 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

Why are Greek-Turkish relations so tense?

In August 2020 it was announced that both Greece and Turkey are to conduct naval exercises off the cost of Crete, following a row over a Turkish oil-surveying vessel being escorted by Turkish Naval battle ships in waters claimed by both nations. However the two countries have a long history of friction, looking back at the history of Greek and Turkish relations may shine light on this huge diplomatic issue that goes far beyond the two countries energy needs. What factors have affected the Greece-Turkey dispute? How has the situation become so serious? What is making Greek-Turkish relations so tense?
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Greek/Turkish relations have always been tense
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Greek/Turkish relations have always been tense

The history of fraught relations between Greece and Turkey goes back before the very existence of both countries, since the 10th century Byzantine and Selijuq armies fought countless battles and wars. These conflicts perpetuated between the Byzantines and Ottomans in the 13th century and have continued since Greece won independence from the Ottoman Empire in 1830. Greece fought four major wars with the Ottomans and then the Turkish National Movement, the 1897 Greco-Turkish War, the 1912 First Balkan War, the First World War from 1914 to 1918 and finally the Greco-Turkish War from 1919–22. In fact friendly relations are probably easier to count in the history of both countries, a couple of decades around the Second World War and another decade in the “earthquake diplomacy” years following a number of successive earthquakes that ravaged both countries in 1999. However in the modern era, relations were probably most strongly defined by the Istanbul pogrom of 1955, where a hysterical mob killed dozens of ethnic Greeks in Istanbul following media misinformation, and of course the Cyprus issue of the 1950s-1970s that remains unresolved.

greekcitytimes.com/2020/08/14/tensions-in-the-aegean-greek-frigate-rams-and-damages-turkish-war-ship greeka.com/greece-history/ottomans-period historynet.com/greco-turkish-war-1919-22.htm

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