International Conference on Turkish-Greek Relations: For a Smooth Future

  • Date : 27/09/2023
  • Time : 15:30 : 18:30
  • End  : 27/09/2023
  • Address :

  • Moderator : Talha Köse, SETA, İbn Haldun University

    Maria-Nefeli Sarafoglou, Antenna Television
  • Speakers : 

    Zuhal Mert, Marmara University

    Paulina Lampsa, Greek Turkish Forum

    Yücel Acer, SETA, Yıldırım Beyazıt University

    Kostas Ifantis, Panteion University

    Constantinos Filis, The American College of Greece

    Çağrı Erhan, Altınbaş University

    Petros Liacouras, University of Piraeus

    Murat Aslan, SETA, Hasan Kalyoncu University



The emerging risks of the contemporary globe require state actors to address the common issues in question collectively. Political, military, and economic disputes may push the state actors to run a ‘relative’ thinking to obtain the most, though; the patterns of this age obligate them to focus on interdependent approaches to minimize the impacts of the challenges. In this sense, states do not have the capacity to struggle for overcoming human, societal, and humanitarian deprivations. For instance, environmental degradation and climate change appear to be the significant inputs that states, as the most established entities of international politics, are interdependent to eradicate the impacts of them, surpassing the borders of each. New phenomena such as pandemic outbreaks, wildfires, floods, earthquakes, or energy shortages may devastate the faith of the next generations that international politics should be based on the collaboration of not only states but all designated units and levels of analysis. Meanwhile, the expectation of the public in every country is to have a prosperous life that states correlate their acts to promote it.

The depicted realities of the new landscape in International Relations are not only about the new risks and developments of its emerging patterns. Russian aggression in Ukraine has clearly pointed out that new and old sorts of risks and threats may erupt in the meantime. Further global competition for a ‘Cold  Peace’ may provoke the ‘balance of power’ understanding of the post-Cold War era. In this sense, the globe may witness the integrated and complex kinds of conventional and unconventional, symmetric and asymmetric, regular and irregular, hybrid, proxy, or soft conflicts. Such a big picture of new complications in international politics will take the state actors on the horns of dilemmas. In other words, state actors will chest the traditional politics to rid of the accustomed risks whilst being prepared for the new unimaginable ones. On the other hand, the subjects of the states – individuals and society have the power of pushing states to overcome new hurdles and provide the ‘most’ security simultaneously.

The dual nature of international politics is no exception for the relations between Türkiye and Greece. Both countries have a history and a long list of political disputes, needless to put on this paper. The two countries occasionally mobilized their military assets in the past, as was lately witnessed in 2020. The abstracted lesson from the already experienced escalations is that any military strain is a military, economic, and human cost for both. In this context, the security dilemma perception of the last century increased military expenditures of both countries while the preparedness with a huge ‘alternative’ cost impeded the expected positive progress of either country. Despite the continuation of the disputes, two dynamics of this century inserted the requirement of shifting from a competitive posture toward a collaborative stance for Türkiye and Greece:

  • The developments at the global and regional levels,
  • The emerging risks that both countries jointly face.


The developments, to which Türkiye and Greece will be exposed to the impacts of them, appear to be the ones that either Türkiye or Greece could counter. Then it is nonsense who maximizes their gains or minimizes the losses. In this sense, the Russian – Ukrainian War was not within the initiative of Türkiye and Greece but both are exposed to the impacts of it. An American – Chinese competition, even across the Pacific, will dictate new terms of politics. Hence Türkiye and Greece are short of shaping the global, to some extent, regional situations. What makes both Türkiye and Greece share the same faith is that the two countries are the members of NATO Alliance and located in the neighboring geography. Furthermore, Greece is a member of the EU whilst Türkiye perceives the EU membership as a strategic objective. Hence, both countries, politically, are destined to act accordingly against global and regional developments.

The emerging risks are, again, common for both Türkiye and Greece. Natural disasters or new types of escalations – economic, societal, or environmental, require both countries to act in coordination and be prepared for assisting each other. The events of the last three decades may form a long list of such events. Once a natural, societal, or economic crisis erupted in either country, the responsibility of being a neighbor obligated the other to forget the political disputes and mobilize any available asset to assist the deprived, as were the cases during the February 6th Earthquakes in Türkiye or wildfires of the 2023 summer in Greece. Furthermore, both countries, and their publics, are concerned about the influx of illegal immigrants, terrorism, drug and human trafficking, and digital security.

The above-mentioned dynamics indicate another prerequisite for both countries. The long list of political disputes should be kept to a sustainable degree so that the new risk and threat patterns, depicted above, could not devastate either Türkiye or Greece. In this context, it is a timely attempt to scrutinize how both countries could improve their relations with a positive agenda and limit the impacts of shared concerns. It is the assumption of this conference that there should be mechanisms to respond to the shared risks and intend to smoothen the relations through well-designed and smart collaborative efforts. 



This conference aims at building an intellectual ground to portray why Türkiye and Greece could continue cooperating against the emerging risks and how both countries keep the political disputes manageable to jointly respond to all sorts of concerns. Given the global /regional developments and emerging threat types, the problem statement is “How can Türkiye and Greece keep up with positive agenda and collectively respond to the risks?”.



The conference is designed to promote the positive agenda of both countries. In this context, the first panel will delve into the potential areas of collaboration to reduce the risks because emerging risks require well-institutionalized cooperation of both countries. Meanwhile, the factors, which could ease the political disputes and facilitate the least terms of common understanding, will be scrutinized. The expectations of the public and relevant projections for future relations will be at the epicentre of discussions. The second panel, on the other hand, will review the political issues/challenges to pinpoint the stance of both countries within the mood of positive contribution.

The Conference will be held through virtual meetings. Each panel will have a moderator with his/her short intervention, and panelists will present their perspectives for participants’ critiques, comments, or contributions. The panelists will have the opportunity to have an open discussion period in parallel to the received questions. The language of the Conference is English. 



Panel I. Emerging  / Shared Concerns and Prerequisites for Türkiye and Greece


Moderator: Talha Köse


15.30 Moderator’s Introduction
15.40 Zuhal Mert How do you take it? What sort of shared concerns do we have? And how can we act together?
15.50 Paulina Lampsa
16.00 Yücel Acer
16.10 Kostas Ifantis
16.20 Discussion and Q&A


Panel II. Visions and Means to Manage the Political Incompatibilities of Türkiye and Greece


Moderator: Maria-Nefeli Sarafoglou


17.00 Moderator’s Introduction
17.10 Constantinos Filis How do you see the incompatibilities and probable ways to resolve them after a constructive dialogue process between Türkiye and Greece?
17.20 Çağrı Erhan
17.30 Petros Liacouras
17.40 Murat Aslan
17.50 Discussion and Q&A




 SETA Foundation, Ankara (TURKIYE)

Antenna TV

Institute of Global Affairs, Athens (GREECE), The American College of Athens (Greece)

Hasan Kalyoncu University (TURKIYE)

The American College of Greece (GREECE)

Event time: Ankara & Mogadishu & Moscow & Helsinki & Athens & Kyiv & Cairo 15:30 | CET 14:30 | PT: 05:30 | Tripoli & Stockholm & Paris & Berlin & Brussels 14:30 | Tunis & London 13:30 | Abu Dhabi & Baku 16:30 | Kabul: 17:00 | Tashkent: 17:30 | Beijing: 20:30 | Tokyo: 21:30 | Washington 08:30

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