Bestami S. Bilgiç

Keywords: Atatürk, Venizelos, Turkey, Greece

Abstract

The Turkish Republic was founded after an arduous struggle against invading Greek forces between the years of 1919 and 1922. With the conclusion of the Lausanne Treaty in 1923, Ankara and Athens aimed at establishing peace amongst them. Even though a treaty was signed, normalization of bilateral relations did not ensue. Tense atmosphere persisted mainly due to problems that arose during the implementation of the exchange of populations which was part of the larger Lausanne settlement. Later on, nonetheless, starting with the year of 1930, good neighborly relations between the two countries were established mainly thanks to endeavors of two statesmen, namely Mustafa Kemal Atatürk and Eleftherios Venizelos. Until Atatürk passed away in 1938, Turkey and Greece did not spare any efforts for the institutionalization of peace firstly amongst them and later amongst other Balkan powers.