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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu at a joint news conference, Ankara, Turkey, Nov. 18, 2015 (AP photo by Burhan Ozbilici).

Greece, Turkey Thaw Ties, but Follow-Through Will Prove Difficult

Friday, Nov. 20, 2015

In his first visit to Turkey as prime minister, Greece’s Alexis Tsipras arrived in Ankara on Tuesday, with the refugee crisis topping the agenda. Both sides emphasized the need for cooperation on the crisis, as well as for improving relations more generally. Nevertheless, long-standing tensions between the neighbors were on display that evening during a soccer match between the Greek and Turkish national teams, attended by Tsipras and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, when Turkish fans booed the Greek national anthem and interrupted a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris.

The historic animosity between the two neighbors has been exacerbated in recent years by tensions over frequent airspace violations, an unsettled maritime dispute in the Aegean Sea and, especially, the conflict in Cyprus, all of which have combined to prevent closer ties. ...

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