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Turkey and Greece cannot build future based on history - Erdogan

Turkey Materials 8 January 2011 02:59
The Turkish prime minister said on Friday that Turkey and Greece could not build a future based on history, Anadolu Agency reported.
Turkey and Greece cannot build future based on history - Erdogan

The Turkish prime minister said on Friday that Turkey and Greece could not build a future based on history, Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied to questions of reporters at a joint press conference with his Greek counterpart George Papandreou in eastern province of Erzurum.

Upon a question from a Greek reporter asking whether the strong mutual trust between Turkish and Greek premiers could be established between Turkish and Greek nations as well, Erdogan said, "History had already made us friends, however, several negativities that had happened in the past gave rise to the problems we are facing today. We cannot build the future based on these".

"Therefore, we need to establish our future on different grounds and we should create a new language to do that," he also said.

Noting that both countries might face provocations along the way, Erdogan said Turkey and Greece should ignore such provocative attempts, adding prime ministers of the two countries had the necessary will to achieve that.

Replying to a question on whether Greece's plan to build a fence along the Turkish-Greek border contradicted with the two countries' efforts to improve their relations, Erdogan said, Turkey and Greece had a 206 km border and the fence in question would be only 12.5 km long.

"This project is not an implementation against Turkey or Greece," he said.

Erdogan noted that there were currently 1 million illegal migrants in Greece and some of these people had crossed the border over the Maritsa river.

"It would be wrong to name this construction a wall. It is just a fence. We held our talks on the issue and we have full confidence towards each other," the prime minister said.

Erdogan also said that Maritsa river's overflow caused problems for all neighboring countries, adding environment ministers of Turkey, Greece and Bulgaria would soon get together to discuss this issue, and afterwards, prime ministers of the three countries would find a solution to the matter.

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