Greece And Turkey II: History

Greece And Turkey I: Conflict

Greece and Turkey have witnessed an increase in mutual animosity in recent times, with issues like Hagia Sophia or research vessels adding to the strain. Let us have a look at the long-standing history of Greece and Turkey.

Crux of the Matter

What Happened In Recent?
Turkey recently sent Oruc Reis, a research vessel, in the disputed Mediterranean sea to search for oil and gas deposits. The disputed region is claimed by both Greece and Turkey as their own. In return, Greece would hold navy and airforce exercises starting near its Crete island.

Greece-Turkey History

  • According to Greek mythology Iliad, Greek queen Helen was abducted/escaped to Troy which initiated the famous Trojan War. Experts locate Troy in Turkey, with its modern-day name being Hisarlik.
  • 11th century AD: Conflicts between the Seljuq dynasty of Turkey and the Byzantine empire of Greece were initiated.
  • 1453: Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine empire, was captured by Ottoman Turks. Greece then came under Ottoman and Venetian rule.
  • 1714-18: Ottomans won the war against the Venetians with the aid of local Greek people. Ottoman control weakened in Greece after their defeat against Russia in the Ottoman-Russian war.
  • 1821-32: Greek war of freedom against the Ottoman empire occurred. Greece emerged victorious with British, French, and Russian aid.
  • 1919-22: War ensued between Greece and the Ottoman Empire after the latter was being partitioned following defeat in World War I. Greece lost the war, but relations between the two improved near World War II.
  • 1941: Turkey sent food supplies after a famine in Greece.
  • 1950s: Conflict regarding Cyprus started between Greece and Turkey after World War II. Turkey invaded northern Cyprus after Greece supported a military coup in the place. Consequently, Cyprus has been divided into 3 parts since 1974.
    The Northern part is controlled by the Turkish-Cypriot Government, while the Southern part under Greek Cypriot Government. The Middle buffer zone is controlled by the United Nations.
  • 1970-87: Greece and Turkey have been engaged in conflict over the sovereignty of the Aegean Sea. Tensions increased between the two in 1987, when Greece gave threats of war after a Turkish research ship entered the contested region of the Aegean Sea.
  • 2005: Greece supported Turkey’s European Union (EU) membership.
  • 2016: Several Turkish citizens took asylum in Greece after a failed coup in Turkey.
  • 2017: Recep Erdogan became the first Turkish President in 65 years to visit Greece. However, the visit turned hostile as a heated discussion ensued over several issues.
Curiopedia
  • The Iliad is an ancient Greek epic poem about the Trojan War traditionally attributed to Homer. It is set during the final weeks of the ten-year siege of the city of Troy (Ilium) by a coalition of Greek states. Various battles and the internal quarrel between King Agamemnon and the warrior Achilles are described.
  • The Crisis was the sovereign debt crisis faced by Greece in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007–08. The Greek economy suffered the longest recession of any advanced capitalist economy to date, overtaking the US Great Depression. 
  • Countries located on more than one continent are called transcontinental states or intercontinental states. Between Europe and Asia – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Turkey have territory in both the continents.
  • Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire, or Eastern Roman Empire. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.

Greece And Turkey I: Conflict

Greece And Turkey I: Conflict

Greece and Turkey have witnessed an increase in mutual animosity in recent times, with issues like Hagia Sophia or research vessels adding to the strain.

Crux of the Matter

What Happened?
Turkey recently sent Oruc Reis, a research vessel, in the disputed Mediterranean sea to search for oil and gas deposits. The disputed region in the Aegean Sea is claimed by both Greece and Turkey as their own. In return, Greece would hold navy and airforce exercises starting near its Crete island.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has refused to withdraw the search and claimed that “Greece will be the only one responsible for any negative development in the region”.

France has openly backed Greece in the conflict, while Germany says it will hold a meeting to diffuse the tension between Turkey and Greece. The US, Russia, and other nations recently deployed ships in the zone to check the increasing tensions.

Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was built in 6th century AD in Turkey under the Byzantine empire as a Christian cathedral. It was converted into a mosque in 1453 after the Turkish conquest. In 1935, it was opened to the public as a museum by President Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey.

In July 2020, Turkish President Recep Erdogan converted the monument back into a mosque. The move drew criticism from Greece as it considers the monument “central” to its Christian religion. Church bells tolled in mourning in Greece over the conversion of Hagia Sophia.

Erdogan added to modifications in Turkey as the Church of St. Saviour in Chora in Istanbul was converted into a mosque on 21 August 2020, which was a notable Byzantine monument containing artwork of the empire and was converted into a museum in 1945.

To know the history of Greece and Turkey, stay tuned to our channel!

Curiopedia
  • The Crisis was the sovereign debt crisis faced by Greece in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2007–08. The Greek economy suffered the longest recession of any advanced capitalist economy to date, overtaking the US Great Depression. 
  • Countries located on more than one continent are called transcontinental states or intercontinental states. Between Europe and Asia – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and the Republic of Turkey have territory in both the continents.
  • Byzantine architecture is the architecture of the Byzantine Empire, or Eastern Roman Empire. Hagia Sophia is one of the greatest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture.

About innocent refugees and apathetic Turkish – European governments

refugees

Thousands of migrants have assembled together at Turkey’s border with Greece. Reports suggest that the Turkish government allowed the refugees to passage to Europe last week, saying it had “reached its capacity.”
The move treads on a 2016 deal struck with the European Union to interrupt migrants traveling from the Middle East towards Europe. It is being seen as a Turkish way of grasping European support for its military operation in Syria after a Russia-backed airstrike killed 33 of its soldiers.

Crux of the Matter

What’s Cooking up between Turkey and Greece?
In 2016, the refugee flood had overflowed from Turkey to the EU and the two powers had struck a financial aid deal to stem the flow. However back then, Europe never lived up to it. Even when Turkey threatened to open its borders if it had to continue to support 3.5 million refugees, which were mostly from Syria.

The airstrike last week was the last straw, so now Turkey is using its huge refugee population as leverage against Europe and stopping Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces from gaining more territory inside Idlib, Syria.

What are the Refugees up to in Europe?
Reporters met new refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, Syria, Iraq, Morocco, and Somalia, who told them that they were taking this step in order to obtain a better life with opportunities. In hindsight, the ones who have been in Turkey for years, have struggled to find work, housing, and education for their children after the country’s economy took a downward spiral and the cost of living took an upward route.

Turkey claims that more than tens of thousands have already crossed into Greece, which is motivating more people to move towards the border but on the other side, Greece says that very few people are making it through.

Is Humanitarian Crisis in Store for Them ?
Currently, it seems unlikely that Europe will take the first step or any step for that matter. A situation has arisen where the lives of the most vulnerable are being used as pawns in the game of revenge. An attempt to control a humanitarian crisis in Syria could ultimately result in another emergency along its border with Greece. Thus things can go worse if the trajectory of decisions taken by the respective governments, goes on the same trail.

Curiopedia

Humanitarian crisis is defined as a singular event or a series of events that are threatening in terms of health, safety or well being of a community or large group of people. It may be an internal or external conflict and usually occurs throughout a large land area. Local, national and international responses are necessary in such events.
Each humanitarian disaster is caused by different factors and as a result, each different humanitarian crisis requires a unique response targeted towards the specific sectors affected. This can result in either short-term or long-term damage. Humanitarian crises can either be natural disasters, man-made disasters or complex emergencies. In such cases, complex emergencies occur as a result of several factors or events that prevent a large group of people from accessing their fundamental needs, such as food, clean water or safe shelter. More Info