By James Ker-Lindsay
Whilst Abdullah Ocalan, chief of the Kurdistan employees' social gathering (PKK), used to be arrested in February 1999 it marked a turning aspect in kinfolk among Greece and Turkey. because the country's such a lot sought after guy, his arrest was once greeted with jubilation all through such a lot of Turkey. in spite of the fact that, it additionally ended in a public outcry whilst it emerged that he were captured leaving the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. This used to be visible as definitive evidence that the Greek govt have been helping and abetting the PKK. within the days and weeks that the arrest, kinfolk among the Aegean neighbours sank to their lowest point because the summer season of 1974, whilst Athens and Ankara had come to the edge of conflict over Cyprus.Yet, by means of the tip of the 12 months, the image couldn't were extra various. a fantastic sequence of occasions that integrated a neighborhood clash, significant failures and the dying of a senior Greek baby-kisser had ended in a whole transformation within the family members among the 2 nations. The crowning second of this variation got here in December while Greece dropped its long-standing competition to Turkish candidacy for ecu club. How did this extraordinary swap take place? Who should still take the credits? And what did it suggest for diplomatic kin within the jap Mediterranean? this can be the tale of ways nations began down a route to peace after a long time of hysteria and hostility and the way, over the process one enormous yr, family members among Greece and Turkey went from the edge of clash to an extraordinary confirmation of friendship and unity.
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Additional info for Crisis and Conciliation: A Year of Rapproachement Between Greece and Turkey
Across the world there were numerous demonstrations against the arrest of the Kurdish leader. Some of the most vocal protests took place in Europe. Ironically, it appeared as if anger was being directed as much towards Greece as towards Turkey. This was no doubt a result of widespread belief that Öcalan must have been betrayed by the Greek Government. Kurdish protestors therefore stormed and occupied a number of Greek embassies, including the one in London. However, their anger was also directed towards other targets.
If this were not possible the point of demarcation would be the meridian line between the two. Greece signed up to the convention. But the Turkish Government, concerned about the implications of the agreements given the large number of Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, refused to agree. 33 Under this definition, the Turkish continental shelf stretched westwards into the Aegean past a number of Greek islands. At first this difference did not pose a problem. Given the good relations between the two countries, the matter remained dormant.
As a result of all of this, Öcalan had become Turkey’s most despised, and most wanted, man. But what was particularly galling for Ankara that he was not living a shadowy existence in some mountain hideout in Turkey or northern Iraq. 1 By late-1998 the Turkish Government had run out of patience and decided to act. In October, Turkey began to increase the number of troops close to the border in preparation for what was officially described as a major military exercise. In reality, many felt that Turkey was preparing for a full scale invasion of Syria.