The Foreign Ministry has protested to neighboring Greece after a map showing Turkey's Southeast as part of a hypothetical Kurdish state was displayed at a seminar organized by the Greek General Staff, officials said.
Greek Ambassador in Ankara George Yennimatas was summoned to the Foreign Ministry, where Turkish diplomats expressed Ankara's concerns over the incident, ministry officials said. Further initiatives will be taken this week in Athens. Turkish Ambassador Tahsin Burcuğlu will convey Turkish unease to Greek authorities.
The seminar took place July 3-7 in Athens and was hosted by the Greek General Staff. A participant, identified as Professor Mazis, displayed a map of Turkey and the Middle East, showing Turkey's southeast as part of a "Free Kurdistan." It also showed Iraq divided into three and Israel in its pre-1967 borders. The same map caused tension in the past when it was shown in a NATO seminar.
Turkey's military attaché in Athens, Col. Atilla Şirin, who was also attending the seminar, walked out of the meeting, saying neither the map nor the presentation of Professor Mazis was based on facts.
Professor Mazis works for the Defense Analysis Institute, an organization supported and financed by the Greek General Staff and the Defense Ministry, private NTV said.
Relations between Turkey and Greece have been traditionally tense but an earthquake-triggered rapprochement since the last decade has helped the two countries begin tackling their problems, mostly relating to situation in Cyprus and territorial disputes in the Aegean.
"We want relations with Turkey to improve and get on track completely," Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis was quoted as saying in a speech over the weekend. "Greece wants its region to be a region of peace and stability and therefore wants good relations with Turkey."
Today's Zaman İstanbul