Turkey’s Erdogan calls for border treaty review in Greece visit

The first visit to Greece by a Turkish head of state in 65 years has got off to a tense start, with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his host swapping pointed remarks.

Mr Erdogan said the 1923 treaty that settled Turkey’s borders after World War One was not being applied fairly.

But Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos rejected any change to the Treaty of Lausanne.

Relations between the two Nato members have been uneasy for decades.

Long-standing disputes over uninhabited islands in the Aegean brought both countries to the brink of war in 1996.

They have also failed to reach a peace deal in divided Cyprus – the north of the island was invaded by Turkey in 1974 in response to a military coup backed by Athens.

Turkey also says the rights of the Muslim minority of Turkish origin in north-eastern Greece are not being respected. In Athens, Mr Erdogan said they were not allowed to chose their own mufti, or Islamic legal expert, with the role instead being appointed by Greece.

The Turkish government is also unhappy with Greece’s Supreme Court decision that blocked the extradition of eight Turkish soldiers who fled to the country after allegedly participating in last year’s failed coup.

Mr Erdogan said he urged the extradition of the group. (Courtesy BBC)


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