Resolution and future prospects of the greek-turkish conflict
Μεταπτυχιακή διπλωματική εργασία
The Greek Turkish Conflict has endured for several decades ever since the 1930s between the two countries. This dispute has been the most important aspect of Greek foreign policy, as the borders of Greece are openly challenged. Therefore, it is important to study a period whereby the relations between the two countries took a positive turn i.e. in the late 1999s up to today. After decades of conflict between the two countries the relations between the two countries took a new turn with the signing of the Helsinki agreement in which a solution of the conflict was promised and as a result a new period of rapprochement started. This study analyses this new period as well as the future prospects of the relations of the two countries. The conflict between the two countries concerns mainly the boundaries of each neighbor. First, ever since the signing of the International Law of the Sea Turkey has refused to recognize it in its sea borders with Greece. This is because the International law of the sea sees that 12 miles off the coast of an island belongs to the sea border of the island. Second, there is a clash over the air space border in its relations to the sea borders of the country. Third, there is claim made by Turkey about the existence of a grey zone between the border of the Dodecanese islands and Turkey. This has resulted in the claim that the islands that are named in the treaty overseeing the relations between the two countries belong to Turkey. Lastly, Turkey claims that the status of the Dodecanese islands should be a demilitarized one something that Greece disagrees. As a result of the continued conflict between the two countries the question arises: Is there a prospect for the solution of the dispute? This question is especially important after the hot incident of Imia crisis whereby the Greek government adopted a new strategy of engagement with Turkey in finding a definite resolution to the conflict. This was done within the jurisdiction of the European Union (EU), as the European prospect of Turkey resulted in cooling down the relations. Moreover, the negotiations for a resolution to the conflict continued up until 2004 without though a definite solution. Therefore, this essay will examine whether there is a prospect for a resolution today or in the near future for a definite solution to the conflict. The method used for the examination of the aforementioned question will include several chapters. In the first chapter there will be an analysis of the dispute between the two countries since 1974 and the factors that led close to the resolution of the conflict both in 1999 and in 2004. In the second chapter the analysis will include the factors that resulted in the lack of achieving a resolution to the talks in both cases. The last chapter will examine the reasons as to why there is not prospect for a resolution since 2004. Conclusions will follow that entail a set of criteria that are deemed necessary for the resolution of the conflict.