IR & Politics


Turks and Greeks have lived together for centuries. Although they deny it, one is a part of the other. Most importantly, our friendship is closer than the other shore. The smiles of friendship on their faces taste like baklava, especially the bitter coffee drunk against the Aegean breeze that has a memory for many years. Whoever crosses the opposite shore enjoys crossing the bridge of friendship. This journey is a time of reckoning. Whatever emotions such as prejudice, grudge, hatred, and unhappiness make faces fade, disappear in the deep blue with the bridge of friendship. Friendship is the winner. The steps between the two shores become even more meaningful with songs of friendship. It doesn’t matter if you’re Turkish or Greek. The strings of bouzouki make hearts tremble like tying. At this point, the words fall silent, the tunes express the meaning of friendship. For both parties, the healing power of music is undeniable. A sponge is drawn to the past on a beautiful summer evening. It’s time for new beginnings. Now it’s time to talk about sirtaki and zeybek. Everyone is silent, they speak. Although the games played are different, it is the fire of friendship burning in the eyes of both parties. Zeybek salutes the sirtaki, and the sirtaki salutes the zeybek. Again, friendship is the winner. It seems that there has been a lot of cultural exchange over time. Bad memories are in the past. Our most beautiful memories have their breeze, and their most beautiful memories have our breeze. Our hearts beating for each other have further strengthened this friendship. The meaning of hello is increased with kalimera.

No matter what happens, the cultural exchange between the two shores will continue and many more friendly laughter will be heard from this shore. Throughout history, there have been great wars between nations and nations that have suffered great destruction have only been able to achieve peace with visionary leaders. One of the most important examples of this in our recent history is the peace between the Greek and Turkish people living on both sides of the Aegean, between our great leader Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Venizelos. Atatürk, the great statesman of his age and our age, who could say “Peace at home, peace in the world”, as the leader of a nation that invaded our country and suffered great pains, signed a peace treaty with Venizelos as soon as the war was over and gifted their people to live in friendship. Since our great leader Atatürk spent a long time on the battlefields, no one knows the meaning of peace as well as him. One of the best examples of these is the words he said about the Anzacs at the end of the Dardanelles war and took their place among the pages of history in golden letters, “Mothers, let your tears stop, they are the best.” After they were buried in this land, they became our children.” Even today, there is no leader in the world who can say these words. Friendships between people can only be established under the leadership of such leaders, after all, the friendship between the Greek people and the Turkish people, who have lived together for many years, played together, cried together, who have very close lifestyles from cuisine culture to customs and traditions, is very important, is in the interest of both people and has been beneficial. Today, we learned about Sponge making, which has a very important place in Bodrum’s maritime history, from the Greeks.

They cried together in tiny boats, laughed together, shared a bite, buried many of their friends who died in diving accidents on the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts, and shared such a friendly, brotherly life for centuries. When the imperialists intervened and made enemies of the people of the two countries by using visionless politicians, is when all these political conflicts began. There are very good friendships between people. These friendships are better consolidated, especially among sailors, because no one appreciates these friendships as much as seamen. I can give the closest example of Turkish-Greek friendship from myself. On the island of Kalymnos, one of the Dodecanese Islands of Greece, our family established friendships that have been going on for years and set an example for both communities. We have been maintaining our friendship for years, regardless of race, language or religion, and establishing a bond between the two countries. The only purpose of my family is to continue this friendship from generation to generation and to present an exemplary friendship to future generations. We are two nations that have learned to ignore the false news of the media and want only peace and tranquility. Our only wish is for our relations to go well and for the two nations to cooperate and live in peace. I hope that one day, the Aegean, one of the most magnificent seas on earth, will become a lake of peace and the people of both countries will live in prosperity and peace, and such a beautiful friendship suits both sides of the Aegean very well…

Ecenaz Değirmenci

Ms Ecenaz Değirmenci is studying political science and international relations. She is currently senior student at the Muğla Sıtkı Koçman University. Ecenaz makes researches about Balkans, Northern Cyprus and especially Greek- Turkey relations mostly but she is interested in any international issue.
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