Turkish, Greek exchanges hold hope of entente cordiale

April 7, 2000

Turkish and Greek students will bury the hatchet when they meet in Ankara later this month in a cultural exchange designed to improve relations between them.

Twenty-two Greek students will visit Ankara, and a return Turkish visit to Athens is planned the following month. Academics and cultural figures are also participating in the programme. Topics for talks include music, sport, architecture and the cultural dimensions of language.

A spokesman for the Greek embassy in Ankara said the aim was to create a permanent exchange programme following a meeting between the rectors of the universities of Athens and Istanbul in February.

Both countries' media, along with some politicians, have played on tensions between Turkey and Greece, particularly over Cyprus.

But a rapprochement between the two began last year. The detente moved a step forward following last year's earthquakes, when both gave mutual aid.

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