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Earthquake in Turkey: Greece’s solidarity with Turkey in the German media


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“Opportunity for peace: Greece shows solidarity with archenemy – How Turkey’s earthquake defuses Aegean conflict,” is the title of Stern magazine’s analysis

German media continue to refer to Greece’s offer of aid to Turkey after the deadly earthquakes, talking of an easing of tension between the two countries and the possibility of a revival of “earthquake diplomacy”. A commemorative event for the victims of the earthquakes was held in Berlin yesterday afternoon, during which the Turkish-born Minister of Agricultural Economy Cem Ezdemir stated that “Greece offered immediate assistance to Turkey and it may be time to put an end to the rivalry.”

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“Opportunity for peace: Greece shows solidarity with archenemy – How Turkey’s earthquake defuses Aegean conflict,” is the title of an analysis by Stern magazine, which notes that “the devastating earthquake sets aside hostile acts and perhaps enemies to even be able to become friends.” As emphasized in the article, Greece was one of the first countries to respond to Turkey’s call and help the earthquake victims. “The help from Greece is probably of great importance also because the rescuers are well trained and have the required experience, due to the frequent earthquakes in Greece”, the editor reports, adding that Greece has already sent dozens of tons of humanitarian aid to Turkey and Syria . In addition, special mention is given to social media posts with the Hashtag “teşekkürleryunanistan” (“Thank you Greece”). “The devastating earthquakes are perhaps an opportunity for a new beginning in the relationship between the two countries. As of this week, Mitsotakis and Erdogan have been talking again, after the Turkish president cut off all contact nearly ten months ago. It is far from certain that this will be enough to turn hostile neighbors into friends. However, today’s situation shows that, despite the difficult relationship, people in Greece care about the Turks and that solidarity trumps political differences. The narrative of “enemy Greece”, which Erdogan has invoked for years, is now likely to lose any basis thanks to the great solidarity shown by the Greeks. Especially since for Erdogan, the first concern will be to deal with the problems in his country and not the continuation, and much more the escalation, of the conflict with Athens”, concludes Stern’s article.

On the website of the second channel of the German public television ZDF, a report is published with the title “Help from Greece” and subtitle “Despite the many tensions, Greece sent rescue teams to Turkey. The support of citizens in Greece is great. President Erdogan and Prime Minister Mitsotakis spoke again.” The report, which was also shown on the station’s television program, documents the efforts of Greek rescuers in Turkey and the tons of humanitarian aid that have already been sent to the affected areas from Greece. “The political confrontation with Turkey, the military threats of the Turkish President are being put aside, given the magnitude of the disaster. The Greek Prime Minister’s tone was conciliatory even on the sidelines of the EU summit in Brussels”, it is pointed out. “Many remember the approach after the 1999 earthquakes. Then there was talk of ‘Earthquake Diplomacy.’ The great hope is now being expressed that there will be a rapprochement between Greeks and Turks this time as well. As improbable as it may seem, one thing people in the disaster area experience especially in these difficult days: That hope always dies last,” the publication emphasizes.

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The Stuttgarter Zeitung publishes an article under the title “Will enemies now become friends?” and talks about memories from 1999, when the earthquakes brought the two countries closer on a political level. “Is there a re-approach window now? This hope exists in both peoples, but tangible signs are lacking so far. Never in the last 50 years have the two sides taken such a tough stance as today. But the political staff in Ankara is also different from 1999. While Ismail Cem was connected with real friendship with Ellinas Papandreou, Mevlut Cavusoglu is one of the troublemakers in Ankara. The situation is different today and for the reason that President Erdogan needs Greece as an enemy at the beginning of the election campaign to attract the nationalist electorate – especially since he is currently under pressure due to the failure of the Turkish Civil Protection. In addition, the approach is more difficult, as the list of contentious issues is much longer today than in 1999,” the editor emphasizes in his analysis.

The Sueddeutsche Zeitung describes the rescue by Greek firefighters of a six-year-old girl and a photo of Greek and Turkish rescuers carrying the child. “And just a photo like this is a good sign in times of political tension between the two neighboring countries,” it said.


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