Erdogan's visit to Greece - peak of Turkish diplomacy
Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 23
By Rufiz Hafizoglu – Trend:
This year can be attributed to the most dynamic periods in Turkey’s diplomatic history.
It's safe to say that within almost 11 months of 2017, there wasn't a single month so that Turkish officials wouldn't visit a particular country.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to visit Athens in the coming days.
According to the Turkish media, Erdogan’s expected visit to Athens is very important as none of the Turkish presidents visited Greece over the past 65 years. For the last time, Turkish President Jelal Bayar visited Athens in 1952.
In principle, there are a lot of topics for discussion between Turkey and Greece. This is primarily the issue of the settlement of the Cyprus conflict, as earlier, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu hinted that the conflict was always the main topic of the talks between Turkey and Greece.
During Erdogan’s upcoming visit to Athens, Ankara is also expected to demand the extradition of over 900 Turkish citizens, involved in the military coup attempt in Turkey, from Athens.
However, along with political issues, a number of transport projects are also expected to be discussed. Among the first projects are the opening of sea voyages to transport cargo and passengers from Turkey’s Izmir province to Greece’s Thessaloniki city.
Another project to be included into the agenda during Erdogan's visit will be the construction of a high-speed railway from Istanbul to Thessaloniki.
Perhaps, Erdogan will review the construction of the first cathedral mosque in Athens, which was launched in February 2017. This mosque is expected to be finished in April 2018.
Today it would be difficult to predict the concrete results which Ankara and Athens can achieve following Erdogan's historical visit to Greece, but it is possible to say that this visit can certainly be seen as the peak of Turkish diplomacy.
Rufiz Hafizoglu is the head of Trend Agency's Arabic news service, follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu