Greece and Turkey can talk openly on all levels and should improve their bilateral relations, Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Omer Celik told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency, at a get-acquainted dinner for Greek and Turkish journalists organized jointly by ANA and Anadolu news agency.
The dinner was held on the occasion of the historic visit to Greece of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who arrived on Thursday for high-level talks and is leaving on Friday after visiting Thrace. He is the first Turkish president to officially visit Greece in 65 years.
"This is a historic visit, 65 years (since the last Turkish president's visit)," Celik said. "As we can clearly see, we can talk openly with Greece on everything. Our two countries are neighbors and our bilateral relations must move forward. In the contacts we had today between (the Turkish) president and (Greek Prime Minister Alexis) Tsipras, everything was discussed in a friendly and very open way. There are problems between us, but there is also a willingness to resolve them, and expresses an optimistic view for the future."
The minister called on "getting younger generations to become used to our good neighborly relations by marginalizing those who use hostile speech." He stressed that "Greece is a neighboring and friendly country and we must never allow those who try to spread hostile speech any opportunities to do so. Our president has a strong intent of improving our relations further. In this framework, the more understanding political speech is, that more understanding the press be."
In his exclusive comments to ANA, Celik also said, "We must turn the Aegean into a lake of peace, to overcome our problems and turn to new pages for the benefit of both countries. We know that your agency, ANA, has this policy and we congratulate you for organizing this event."