was a violation o Greece’s treaty obligations. Similarly, Greeceexpanded the airspace o its Aegean islands rom six to ten miles,although its territorial waters only extended six miles. Again,the urkish response was initially to ignore the change, then toreuse to recognize it, and nally to challenge it. Tis is the basis o perennial Greek complaints that urkish military aircra violateits airspace. And this is why Greek and urkish warplanes engagein dangerous dogghts over the Aegean.Second, technical arrangements o a practical nature wereelevated to questions o security. Flight Inormation Region (FIR)or regulating international air trac, or example, evolved into aquestion o sovereignty and thereby security. Each country servedNotices to Airmen (NOAMs), used to alert pilots to aerialhazards, leaving parts o the Aegean closed to civilian ights orlong periods.Tird, developments in the international arena introduced newaspects o conict to the relationship. Te respective economiczones and continental shelves o urkey and Greece, or example,could not be demarcated in the Aegean since the parties ailed toagree on how to do this in a narrow sea containing small islandsand uninhabited rocks. Similarly, while the Greeks argued thatthe new International reaty on the Law o the Sea gave themthe right to extend their territorial waters to twelve miles, urkey argued that the Aegean was an exception, as twelve miles wouldrender the Aegean a Greek sea. urkey added that such an exten-sion would be considered a
. Tis mutual distrust led toexaggerated estimates regarding major oil and gas deposits in thecontested areas, thereby exacerbating disagreements.Fourth, Greece began to extend support to domestically-basedethnic terrorists in urkey. Greek support or the KurdistanWorkers’ Party, or PKK, included the provision o unds andmaterials; allowing the group to run training camps in Greece;hosting some o its leaders; and trying to mobilize internationalsupport or the organization in European Union councils andelsewhere.In this way, Cyprus had triggered a host o other disagreementswith Greece, compounding the erosion o trust between the twocountries and generating eelings o insecurity on both sides.Te poor state o urkish-Greek relations was always a cause orconcern in NAO during the Cold War. Open conict betweenthe two allies at best embarrassed and at worst imperiled the alli-ance. Despite mediation eforts disagreements were not solved,only contained, and always risked aring up into major conicts,as in the case o the 1995 Kardak/Imia Rocks crisis. Each country invested considerable unds to ramp up deenses against the other,and they oen worked to undermine each other in internationalcouncils.Tis tension-ridden relationship came to a head in late 1998 andearly 1999, when the PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan was orced toleave Syria upon urkey’s threat to intervene militarily. Greecehosted him and tried to nd a place or him to go. Aer travelingto several European capitals, Öcalan returned to Greece andwas sent to Kenya where he was hosted in the Greek Embassy.He was seized by urkish agents on his way to the airport andown to urkey. Tis series o events brought urkey and Greeceback to the brink o open hostilities. It also led to the removalo key gures in the Greek government and intelligence service.Especially noteworthy was the replacement o Foreign MinisterTeodoros Pangalos by Georgios Papandreou, who avored arapprochement with urkey.Papandreou’s desire or improved relations was reciprocated by the late Ismail Cem, urkey’s oreign minister at the time. Duringa series o visits, the two worked together to transorm the moodo urkish-Greek relations into one o riendliness. Te act thatGreece had become a member o the EU in 1981 had consider-ably allayed Greek eelings o insecurity in relation to urkey,while the commencement o Cyprus’ EU accession negotiationshad reduced Greek anxieties about the uture status o the island.Hence, conditions allowed Papandreou to pursue a new path. Inthe meantime, urkey, aspiring to become a member o the EUand trying to cope with economic challenges, was also not inter-ested in perpetuating the conict.Many issues plague the urkish-Greek relationship, and theirresolution is an accordingly complex matter. Negotiations area give-and-take process, and each side and its respective publicmust believe that it has obtained a good deal. Governments,opposition parties, and the general public keep close track o suchnegotiations to ensure that national interests are protected. Teattempt to resolve the many disputes between urkey and Greecethus necessarily took place behind closed doors, only to be madepublic once a nal agreement had been reached. eams led by therespective undersecretaries o the urkish and Greek ministrieso oreign afairs began exploratory talks under the leadership o Papandreou and Cem. While Cem’s departure rom oce aerthe 2002 elections did not prove critical, Papandreou’s departureaer the 2004 elections ended this low-key diplomatic process ora time.