Greece and Turkey will meet tomorrow for the 60th time to map out the differences between them. That list of disagreements is long: from the borders drawn in the last century to the status of Cyprus. They will not resolve the issue, but may be come to some solutions.
The biggest point of pain between the two countries, ‘if we do not go back more than a century’, is border disputes and what follows from them. After the First World War, borders were drawn between Greece and Turkey, at the time they were satisfied with that, in recent years the Turks are no longer happy. Erdogan in particular dreams of other boundaries.
In line with these border disputes, Turkish claims to islands in the Aegean Sea are gaining weight since oil and gas were found under the seabed ten years ago. Another, no less serious, conflict has been going on since 1974 when the Turks invaded the island of Cyprus in response to the ambition of the Greek colonels regime to pull the island under Greek control. Since then, Cyprus has been a shared island between (European) Cyprus and Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which isn’t recognized by anyone except Turkey.
A good sign is that both countries are at least sitting at one table for consultation. Unnoticed by the international press, but widely reported in both countries, there have been some incidents in the Aegean in recent weeks in which a Greek research vessel, which wanted to explore a route for a future oil and gas pipeline, has been driven out twice by the Turkish navy. First near Crete, then off the Cypriot coast.