The need for closer cooperation with a renewed approach and with a more stable “synchronization” of the EU countries, among them Greece, with Turkey, with the aim of addressing and exploiting the modern economic challenges and opportunities in the wider region , Turkey’s deputy foreign minister pointed out Mehmet Kemal Bozai, at the Delphi Conference.

Mr Bozai also thanked Greece for the immediate response and its support during the devastating earthquakes in Turkey, while he recalled that the same had happened in the 1999 earthquakes in Turkey, when “the first phone call came from Greece”.

He pointed out the closer approach between the two countries through the “diplomacy of solidarity” during the recent earthquakes and underlined the communication that took place in a very short period of time and the contacts at the highest level with the state and political leadership of our country “with Ms. Sakellaropoulou, Mr. Mitsotakis, Mr. Dendias, Mr. Panagiotopoulos, Mr. Mitarakis and Mr. Stylianides”.

Mr. Bozai likened the modern world with a scene from an ancient Greek tragedywhere the “actors” are called to manage historical “temporities” and especially after the war in Ukraine, they seek to find their place in the international order.

“It is a time of uncertainty and this is due to the conflicts. There are different timings. Main actors are in different phases, depending on their priorities,” said the Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey, and after pointing out the need within this environment for closer cooperation, he added: “And this cooperation must start from the neighborhood.”

Mr. Bozai recalled how the “chaotic” conditions initially created by the coronavirus pandemic were overcome thanks to cooperation, through which the “limits of geography” were demonstrated in dealing with the crisis and in “building a better future for our and the next generations”.

He referred to actions taken through mixed working groups for EU consultation. and Turkey for a number of issues, supply, customs, transport, etc. to deal with the situation. He recalled how the processes of production and movement of goods from “off shoring” tactics (overseas), after the pandemic and the ship accident that temporarily blocked the Suez Canal, showed the need to transform to some extent into “near shoring”, so that we “have partial production in our neighborhood as well”. Underline, finally, the possibility, now with the new EU agenda for the “green” transition and “smart” development, this cooperation can be upgraded and evolve into another relationship, closer and friendlier, with more common arrangements and in a more lasting way.

“And I believe that the role of Turkey and its cooperation with all EU countries, including Greece, can be based on this new approach, in a stable way” said Mr. Bozai and added:

“We could find ways to strengthen and make these partnerships flourish. That is, to use the already existing framework of agreements, association, customs union, candidate member status. We can find ways to revitalize these processes.”

Speaking about international trade, Mr. Bozai noted the possibility of cooperation in the field of EU investments with Turkey, since as he said his country “is always part of the geography, our common geography with the EU” and “guardian of the gate for many geographies”, either to the east, to the west, or to the North Africa. He noted that after the war in Ukraine, the neighboring countries, especially the nearby ones, including Greece and Turkey, will be asked to contribute to the reconstruction efforts. He also pointed out that the USA and China already have an increased investment presence in the wider region and that the E.U. with its new “green” agenda and the new reality created by climate change, it will have to respond if it wants to be competitive. He pointed out that the observed “shift” of the economy from the west to the east can be “contained” in the Mediterranean region with good cooperation, by exploiting the “Mediterranean trade routes”, but also by building an “ecosystem” with the countries of North Africa and other countries, aiming at the prosperity and stability of the region.

“I think we have to work to find some synchronization in all these openings with the EU.” emphasized Mr. Bozai.

Mehmet Kemal Bozai was introduced by Simeon Tsomokos, founder and president of the Delphi Economic Forum, who emphasized: “Mr. Mehmet Kemal Bozai is coming to Delphi at a time when both countries are trying to recover from tragic events and are in pre-election period. The Delphi Forum promotes dialogue, which it considers to be the only way to solve the problems and is ready to discuss these issues.”