Turkish Journal of International Relations

Turkish Journal of International Relations

Volume 1, Number 1, Spring 2002


The “enduring rivalry” between Greece and Turkey: can 'democratic peace' break it?
By Kemal Kirisci



The purpose of this paper is not to provide and evaluate the long list of inter-state disputes between Greece and Turkey. Instead, the paper will focus on how it might be possible to break out of this pattern of conflicts and break or undo a rivalry that has endured half a century of relentless efforts at conflict resolution. The first part of the paper will address the causes or rather the processes that make the rivalry so unrelenting. Why is it that Greece and Turkey can not cooperate? The second part of the paper, on the other hand, will explore the possibility of whether the notion of ‘democratic peace’ might be a possible path towards creating an environment conducive to cooperation. The paper will conclude that though techniques such as confidence building measures, inter-governmental dialogues, mediation, etc., are very important they may not succeed in achieving more than conflict reduction or manageme nt. What is really required is a sort of paradigmatic shift allowing a conducive environment for the notion of ‘democratic peace’ to take root.

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