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Turkey wants “psychological change” in Greece ties May 18, 2010

Posted by Yilan in Turkey, Yunanistan.
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Davutoglu said, the visa exemption agreement between Turkey and Russia was a “revolutionary step”.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday the visa exemption agreement between Turkey and Russia that was signed on Wednesday was a “revolutionary step”.

Speaking on Haberturk TV channel, Davutoglu said that Russian tourists may come to Turkey without visa this summer.

Turkish businesspeople, intellectuals and tourists will be able to travel to Russia without a need for visa, Davutoglu said.

Four high level visits took place between Turkey and Russia in a year. Our relations were not competition but rather cooperation and economic integration, Davutoglu said.

In the past five years, the nature of Turkey-Russia relations went through a change. This change would make serious contributions to stability from the Balkans to China, Davutoglu said.

The model of “High Level Strategic Cooperation Council” was one developed by Turkey. In the event economic union is established with countries in such councils, the Turkish economy would benefit from such an entity, Davutoglu said.

Touching on energy agreements made with Russia, Davutoglu said that such agreements defeated the thesis that Turkey and Russia were in competition with each other in the field of energy.

We are establishing a model with Russia that shows how we are progressing into cooperation and (economic) integration rather than competition, Davutoglu said.

“Psychological change”

In regard to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s visit to Greece on Friday, Davutoglu said that the Turkish government was working to create an atmosphere of psychological change.

We are trying to change the perception that the two countries are in competition with each other, Davutoglu said.

Our goal in bilateral relations with Greece is not merely to minimize tensions. We have to maximize the number of areas in which cooperation may take place so that no notion of tension remains in minds, Davutoglu said.

We do want to reach economic integration with Greece. We plan to develop relations in areas ranging from economy to tourism, Davutoglu said.

In reference to Turkey’s relations with Armenia, Davutoglu stressed that no one would benefit if the protocols signed between Turkey and Armenia get suspended.

Turning back from the protocols is neither to the interest of Turkey nor Armenia, Davutoglu said.

Just as in the Balkans, Turkey will help realize “psychological revolution” in the Caucasus. We will turn the Caucasus into a region of peace and security, Davutoglu also said.

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