“Greek-Turkish friendship must be based on mutual respect, international law and the territorial integrity of the two countries”

Statements by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, at their meeting at Maximos Mansion

Statements by Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and the President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, during their meeting at Maximos Mansion

A.Tsipras: Mr. President, I would like to welcome you once again here in Greece

It is of high importance to welcome you here as, it is the first time after 65 years for a Turkish President to visit Greece. You are well aware that my wish is, the relations of the two countries to be in a framework of cooperation and good-neighborly relations and I strongly believe in the Greek-Turkish friendship of the two countries as I have proven as Prime Minister.

Specifically during these difficult times in our region with tensions and challenges, such as the refugee crisis, the crisis in Syria and the tension in the relationship between Turkey and Europe.

And I believe it is our responsibility to establish understanding and dialogue in order to find solution to complex problems and challenges.

This was the reason that I urged the President to invite you as it is not a historic event only your visit but also the invitation aiming at building bridges and not to rise walls.

I want to believe that this is your aim as well, but allow me to say that, because I am an engineer, I know that in order to build bridges we need solid foundation.

And this means that they must be based on mutual respect, international law, respect for international treaties and the territorial integrity of the two countries.

Differences between the two countries have always been present, your views are known as well as our views are known and clear. The most important is beyond the differences to try and find convergences and express our disagreement in a constructive manner, without provocation, but with mutual respect.

I believe that if here today together we achieve this, I believe that your visit will be historic and can open another important chapter regarding the relationship of our people and our countries.

With these thoughts, I welcome you once again in Greece.


R.T Erdoğan:I would also like to thank you Mr. President and I wish to say that it is a great pleasure to be in this building once again and I am very pleased to meet with you here in the Presidential Mansion.

When I was a Prime Minister I had meetings with 3 different Greek misters and today I meet with you.

After the official visit by the late President Celâl Bayar, it is an honor to be the second President to visit Greece.

As I said during the meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic, I believe that both Turkey and Greece must believe in something. They must believe that they must focus on the part of the glass that is full and not the empty part .We need to build our discussions on this idea.

Our peoples have very much common. But we need to set aside those with ideological obstinacy. We never, as a country, the Turkey Republic, covet another country’s territory.

We are two countries, two peoples that used to live very close with each other. Therefore, there are many expatriates living in your country. As well as many Greek expatriates living in Turkey

I wish that the mistakes had not made by previous policies that led to the departure of citizens who were members of the minority in Turkey and that we had not been in the situation we are today.

But I believe that the mistakes made are part of History and we must build the future based on what you have said on strong foundation. And I believe there are many things that can be done to lay strong foundation. If we could agree based on certain principles of mutual reason, common ground, if we can form a common rhetoric, I think we can solve many of the problems.

Firstly I would like to thank you and then as a representative of my people at this meeting, I wish to say that we are grateful to the Greek people and you personally.