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This dataset is under construction. The project is funded by British Academy grant R1856PAI - SG - 47278. For policy papers and further information please contact Dr. Neophytos Loizides at n.loizides@kent.ac.uk

Negotiations and Crises

Brief Description of Event Crisis

T-CyprTRNC83

Turkey on Cyprus over “TRNC” crisis (1983)

G-CypTRNC83

Greece on Cyprus over “TRNC” crisis (1983)

G-CypNeg84-86

Greece on Cypriot negotiations (1984-86)

T-CypNeg84-86

Turkey on Cypriot negotiations (1984-86)

G-AegeanOil87

Greece on Aegean oil crisis with Turkey (1987)

T- AegeanOil87

Turkey on Aegean oil crisis with Turkey (1987)

T-BulgMinorit87

Turkey on minority in Bulgaria (1987)

T-BulgMinorit89

Turkey on minority in Bulgaria (1989)

G-AlbMinorit90

Greece on minority in Albania (1990)

T-ThracMin90

Turkey on minority in Western Thrace, Greece (1990)

G-ThracMin90

Greece on minority in Western Thrace, Greece (1990)

T-NorthernIraq91

Turkey on Kurds in Iraq (1991)  

G-CyprusNeg92

Greece on Cypriot negotiations (1992)

T-CyprusNeg92

Turkey on Cypriot negotiations (1992)

G-MacName92

Greece on crises/negotiations over name ‘Macedonia’ (1992)

T-BosnWar92-95

Turkey on war in Bosnia (1992-5)

T-ArmenNagor93

Turkey on war in Nagorno-Karabakh (1993)

G-MacEmbarg94

Greece on crisis/embargo over name ‘Macedonia’ (1994)

G-AlbanOmoni94

Greece on minority in Albania (1994)

T-KurdsDEP94

Turkey on Kurdish minority party crisis (1994)

G-MacFyrom95

Greece on Macedonia negotiations (1995)

T-IraqPKK95

Turkey Iraqi crisis and invasion (1995) 

G-AegeanImia96

Greece on Imia-Kardak islet crisis with Turkey (1996)

T-AegKardak96

Turkey on Imia-Kardak islet crisis with Turkey (1996)

G-CypDerynia96

Greece on Cyprus Derynia killings (1996)

T-CypDerynia96

Turkey on Cyprus Derynia killings (1996)

G-EULuxemb97

Greece on Turkey’s EU bid in Luxemburg (1997)   

T- EULuxemb97

Turkey on its EU bid in Luxemburg (1997)   

T-SyriaÖcalan98

Turkey on Syria over PKK and Ocalan (1998)

T-ItalyÖcalan98

Turkey on Italy over PKK and Ocalan (1998)

G-CyprusS30098

Greece on S-300 missile deployment in Cyprus (1998)

T-CyprusS30098

Turkey on S-300 missile deployment in Cyprus (1998)

G- EUHelsinki99

Greece on Turkey’s EU bid in Helsinki (1999)   

T-EUHelsinki99

Turkey on its EU bid in Helsinki (1999)

T-ArmenGen01

Turkey on France over Armenian genocide (2001)

T-CypEU02

Turkey on Cyprus-EU accession and negotiations  (2002)

G-CypEU02

Greece on Cyprus-EU accession and negotiations  (2002)

T-NorthernIraq03

Turkey on federalization of Iraq (2003)

T-CyprTRNC83

Turkey on Cyprus over “TRNC” crisis (1983) 

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset ,Queen's University Belfast.

In November 16, 1983 the Turkish Cypriot authorities, with the backing of Turkey, declare the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).[i] The international community is worried that Greece under Papandreou will resort to retaliatory measures,[ii] while Turkish PM Turgut Özal describes Cyprus as “a knife pointed at the middle of Turkey, much like the U.S. case with Cuba,” and argues that the present Greek administration, especially PM Papandreou, is full of contradictions.[iii]Turkey ignores a decisive UN resolution condemning the declaration of the ‘TRNC,’ and continues to be the only country recognizing the breakaway regime in the North. In a full text search for keywords “Cyprus” and “crisis,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 76 results for the period 11/15/1983- 12/15/1983 (under category European News Sources). 

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies :  0

Is it better for Turkey to declare TRNC as an independent state or to postpone this move? Turkey does not receive any firm promises for outside support before proceeding. The fact that nobody else has recognized the TRNC since 1983 clearly demonstrates that this is a wrong decision. Moreover, there are no “windows of opportunity’ which can justify the decision to declare TRNC now rather than later. For example, the declaration could have happened in 1985 after a failure in negotiations caused by Greek Cypriots. Finally, Turkey does not gain any major political advantage in the negotiations for the settlement of the Cyprus issue and its image deteriorates even further among Greeks and Greek Cypriots, not to mention the international community. No prior changes in the security dynamics among Greece, Turkey, and Cyprus can explain the unilateral declaration of the TRNC.  

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

The Greek government considers the declaration to be an offensive move aimed at the permanent partition of Cyprus, while the newly elected Özal government and the Turkish Cypriots argue that the TRNC was declared in order to protect Turkish Cypriots until the two communities reach a final settlement.[iv] However, given the overwhelming military superiority of Turkey in the island, it is not possible to make the argument that Turkish Cypriots need more security. In addition, none of Papandreou’s Cyprus policies is interpreted as threatening by Turkish leaders (although they are often characterized as controversial).[v]  Nor does the Turkish side provide any evidence of how the declaration will serve the goal of reunification. At the same time, the international community overwhelmingly rejects the Turkish point of view. Especially after the UN resolutions, the TRNC declaration is clearly defined by neutral parties as illegal and therefore offensive with no elements of indistinguishability recognized by third parties.

Domestic Challenge: 1

The economy is “stagnant,”[vi] the internal setting is unstable, and the democratization process under PM Turgut Özal has just begun, with his surprise victory in the Turkish elections.[vii] But there is no way for Özal to reverse decisions already made by the military without facing the risk of a new coup. Rather, he has to endorse a nationalist rhetoric when dealing with Cyprus and Greece in order to placate the Turkish Generals (whose Nationalist Democracy Party lost the November 6, 1983 elections[viii]). Denktas sees a great opportunity to advance his own agenda while the new government is weak and vulnerable.[ix] The Turkish military endorses the declaration in order to keep Rauf Denktas in power, since TRNC can now introduce a new constitution allowing the incumbent Turkish Cypriot leader to run again for the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community (a previous Turkish Cypriot constitution of 1975 restricted his re-election for more than eight years). Thus, succession games and incumbent government vulnerability are in play.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries” resulting primarily from the 1974 invasion, nine years earlier.

Confrontational Policies: 1

The recognition and support of the creation of an illegal state, in defiance of an UN resolution, is coded as a confrontational policy.[x] Turkey violates UN Security Council resolution 541 by recognizing TRNC. The case confirms the predictions of the diversionary theory. 


[i] “Radio Bayrak” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition, Source”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 18, 1983.

[ii] Marvine Howe, “Greek Cypriots are Worried but Expect no Drastic Steps”, The New York Times, November 18, 1983, p.10.

[iii] “We Are a Good Ally of the United States: Interview With Turgut Ozal Prime Minister-Elect of Turkey”, U.S. News & World Report, December 12, 1983, p. 46.

[iv] “Radio Bayrak” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition, Source”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 18, 1983.

[v] Henry Kamm, “Papandreou: The Politics of Anti-Americanism,” The New York Times Magazine, April 7, 1985, p. 21.

[vi] Marvine Howe, “Victor in Turkish Election to Try to Expand Economy,” The New York Times, November 11,1983, p. 3.

[vii] The Economist, Will the Generals Leave Ozal Alone?” November 19, 1983p.63.

[viii] “Ozal Forms Government”, Facts on File ( World News Digest), December 16, 1983, p. 945; Sam Cohen, “Turkey's Soon-to-be Leader: Cyprus can still Become Unified Nation,” Christian Science Monitor, November 30, 1983, p. 9.

[ix] Kim Rogal, Andrew Nagorski, Patricia Seth, “A New State of Tension”, Newsweek, November 28, 1983, p. 58.

[x] Ibid

G-CyprTRNC83

Greece on Cyprus over “TRNC” crisis (1983)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

On November 16, 1983, the Turkish Cypriot authorities, with the backing of Turkey, declare the independence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).[i] Following the declaration, Greek PM Andreas Papandreou expresses his determination not to back down on the issue. [ii]  Greece has to act quickly to prevent the recognition of the TRNC, as well as to secure relevant UN resolutions condemning this act. The international community is worried that Greece under Prime Minister Papandreou will resort to retaliatory measures against Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. Possible scenarios include the militarization of the Greek Cypriots to match the Turkish occupation forces, and taking measures against the Turkish Cypriots, such as cutting water, electricity, or sewage lines between the two sides.[iii] In a full text search for keywords “Cyprus” and “crisis,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 76 results for the period 11/15/1983- 12/15/1983 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Offensive measures, such as a Greek military build-up, can help Cyprus very little in its defense, and might put Greek Cypriots at greater military risk, if Turkey retaliates. They might also weaken overall Greek deterrence of Turkey on other fronts (e.g. Aegean, Thrace), since Greece has a significantly smaller army. Moreover, it can minimize international support for Greece and Cyprus. Finally, given that the EEC, the UN, and the US make diplomatic efforts to prevent the recognition of the TRNC, it becomes unnecessary for Greece to introduce confrontational measures against Turkey. There is no prior change in the security dynamics between the players that could potentially explain a strong Greek reaction to the TRNC declaration.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

The Greek government considers the declaration an offensive move, while the newly-appointed Özal government and the Turkish Cypriots argue that the TRNC was declared in order to protect the Turkish Cypriots until the two communities reach a settlement. [iv] The Turkish side provides no arguments about how the recognition will serve this goal, while the international community overwhelmingly rejects the Turkish point of view. Especially after the UN resolutions, the TRNC declaration is clearly defined by neutral parties as illegal and therefore offensive with no elements of indistinguishability recognized by third parties.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries” resulting primarily from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus nine years earlier in 1974.

Domestic Challenges0

Papandreou’s power in Greece is almost undisputable, and therefore, there is very little internal political competition. Parliamentary elections are also very far away. There is no major economic crisis in Greece in 1983-4. A 1982 poll finds that only 1 Greek in 10 thinks Papandreou is doing a bad job.[v]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Some demonstrations are held in Cyprus but not in mainland Greece,[vi] and no additional Greek military forces are sent to Cyprus. The Greek government does not encourage the GCs to retaliate against Turkish Cypriots. For example, there are no moves to cut the water, electricity, or sewage lines between the Greek Cypriots and the breakaway Turkish Cypriots in the North.[vii] Greek reactions to the unilateral declaration of TRNC are not confrontational. 


[i] “Radio Bayrak” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition, Source”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 18, 1983.

[ii] “Ozal Forms Government December” Facts on File ( World News Digest 16, 1983, p. 945; Sam Cohen, “Turkey's Soon-to-be Leader: Cyprus can still Become Unified Nation,” Christian Science Monitor, November 30, 1983, p. 9.

[iii] Marvine Howe, “Greek Cypriots are Worried but Expect no Drastic Steps”, The New York Times, November 18, 1983, p.10.

[iv] “Radio Bayrak” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition, Source”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 18, 1983.

[v] “Allaghi, Greece: Socialism in one country--a survey; Survey”, The Economist, July 3, 1982, p3.  

[vi] “100,000 Greek Cypriots Protest Turkish State”, U.P.I., November 21, 1983. However, few months later, a huge rally occurred in Thessaloniki (northern Greece) attended by 400,000 thousand people but in the context of scheduled European elections and not specifically targeting Turkey. Andriana Ierodiakonou, “Papandreou Rejects Talks to End Row with Turkey”, Financial Times, May 8, 1984, p. 2.

[vii] Marvine Howe, “Greek Cypriots are Worried but Expect no Drastic Steps”, The New York Times, November 18, 1983, p.10.

G-CypNeg84-86

Greece on Cypriot negotiations (1984-86)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation. A round of negotiations takes place between 1984 and 1986.  The GC side rejects two of the three draft plans, and the TC side rejects one. In January 1985, the UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar organizes a high-level meeting in New York, with the expectation of concluding a settlement on the basis of an earlier draft plan. The TC representative, Rauf Denktas accepts the document as a whole and as providing adequate direction to the working groups, but to the surprise of de Cuellar, the GC representative Spyros Kyprianou only endorses the document as a basis for further negotiations, thus reopening all major issues.[i] While negotiations take place between Cypriots, the Greek PM creates a crisis atmosphere by arguing that the plan will threaten fundamental Greek national interests. [ii] One month before the critical January 1985 meeting, Greece changes its defense doctrine and moves troops from the Bulgarian to the Turkish border.[iii] In mid-1996, Turkish troops practice landing exercises in the Aegean, within sight of the Greek islands. [iv]

The negative influence of Papandreou on Cypriot Kyprianou is crucial to his rejection of the plan.[v] Most political forces within the GC community support the plan, and in fact, the two biggest parties in Cyprus, the center-right Democratic Rally and leftist AKEL, accuse Kyprianou of being a hardliner and agree to bring him down in parliamentary elections.[vi]    In a full text search for keywords “Cyprus” and “negotiations,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 37 results for the period 1/1/1985-2/1/1985 (under category European News Sources). 

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies :  0

On the Greek side, there is no superiority of offensive (rejecting the plan) over defensive action (accepting the plan). Greece has an incentive to reach an agreement sooner rather than later in Cyprus, before Turkey consolidates the effects of its 1974 invasion. The longer the occupation, the harder it becomes to reverse the effects of resettlement for the Greek Cypriot refugees and the Turkish Anatolian settlers.

No prior changes in the security dynamics among Greece, Turkey and Cyprus can explain the Greek attitude in the negotiations.

There are reports in the international press that Greece prevents the Greek Cypriots from reaching a settlement in order to stop additional US military aid to Turkey (after a possible settlement), which is seen as threatening to the balance of power in the region.[vii] However, this “conspiratorial” scenario seems unconvincing, because the advantages of a settlement in terms of security for Greece are more numerous than any negative effects from a possible improvement in US-Turkey relations.

Finally, Papandreou’s own rational for rejecting the plan seems unconvincing. Papandreou argues that Turkey will renege on its commitment, maintain its troops in Cyprus, and eventually threaten the Aegean.[viii] Yet Papandreou provides no evidence to support these arguments. In particular, he fails to demonstrate how the status quo in the island is better security-wise than it would be in the proposed settlement.  Moreover, if Turkey intends to renege on its commitments, and the Greek government is sure about this, it makes no sense for Greece and the Greek Cypriots to negotiate at all, unless of course, they want to use the negotiations for other domestic purposes.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The Greek government considers the plan and the mediation efforts as threatening for Greek Cypriot as well as Greek security. An important bone of contention is the plan’s security arrangements, particularly whether the final agreement will include Turkish guarantees or the full and timely withdrawal of Turkish troops. The two sides have diametrically-opposed views on security, something that is reported in this and other rounds of negotiations. Neutral observers recognize the overlapping legitimacy of these concerns.[ix]

Domestic Setting1

By 1985, Papandreou has lost his undisputable control of Greek political life. His promises for a better economy and a more independent foreign policy are yet to materialize, and he is facing elections, which take place in July 1985 - six months after the January 1985 rejection of the UN draft plan.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries” resulting primarily from the non-settlement of the Cyprus issue and the unilateral declaration of the TRNC. 

Confrontational Policies: 1

A negative stance to UN efforts to settle the Cyprus issue is coded as a confrontational policy.  The case confirms the diversionary theory but not the security dilemma. While Papandreou himself justifies his position on security grounds, this is not enough, particularly because he fails to show how rejecting the UN plans is better for security reasons than is maintaining the current status quo in Cyprus.


[i] Ronald Fisher “Cyprus: The Failure of Mediation and the Escalation of an Identity-Based Conflict to an Adversarial Impasse”, Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 3, 2001, pp. 307- 326. 

[ii] Andeas Papandreou said the following: “We must clearly tell the Cypriot people that if they accept a timetable for withdrawal – meaning the Turks will never withdraw - we will regard this as harmful to Greece's national interest. Legalizing the Turkish occupation of Cyprus will constitute a direct and harsh threat to the Aegean.”   Athens home service 0905 gmt 6 Dec 85, “Excerpts from relay of speech to Chamber of Deputies, Greek Prime Minister's Address to Parliament”, The British Broadcasting Corporation, December 11, 1985.

[iii] “Greece To Redeploy Forces From North To East,” The Associated Press,  December 17, 1984

[iv] “Greece and Turkey; you say I'm going to hit you?” The Economist, July 12, 1986, p.59.

[v] The Times report that among other reasons that Kyprianou’s last-minute intransigence was dictated by the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Papandreou see A Chance for Cyprus / Prospects for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,” Times , July 16, 1985; The Guardian quotes a UN diplomat saying that “Papandreou’s pressure on the Greek Cypriots was so heavy that we are now afraid it might not be possible to solve Cyprus except in the context of the Greek-Turkish conflict” see Jane Rosen, “UN chief still hopeful after collapse of Cyprus talks: Greek pressure is blamed for failure of New York meeting”, The Guardian, January 22, 1985.

[vi] “Cyprus; with a bound, he was free”, The Economist, December 14, 1985, p. 50.

[vii] Henry Kamn, “Athens Fears Rise in Arms for Turks”, The New York Times, January 18, 1985p.3.

[viii]  Athens home service 0905 gmt 6 Dec 85 Excerpts from relay of speech to Chamber of Deputies, Greek Prime Minister's Address to Parliament The British Broadcasting Corporation, December 11, 1985.

[ix] Nick Ludington, “Outlines of New Cyprus Federation Emerge But Problems Remain” The Associated Press, January 10, 1985.

G-CypNeg84-86

Turkey on Cypriot negotiations (1984-86)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation. A round of negotiations takes place between 1984 and 1986.  The GC side rejects two of the three draft plans, while the TC side rejects one. In January 1985, the UN Secretary-General Perez de Cuellar organizes a high-level meeting in New York, with the expectation of concluding a settlement on the basis of an earlier draft plan. The TC representative, Rauf Denktas accepts the document as a whole and as providing adequate direction to the working groups, but to the surprise of de Cuellar, the GC representative Spyros Kyprianou would only endorse the document as a basis for further negotiations, thus reopening all major issues. While the negotiations take place between Cypriots, the Greek PM Papandreou creates a crisis atmosphere by arguing that the plan will threaten fundamental Greek national interests.[i] One month before the critical January 1985 meeting, Greece changes its defense doctrine and moves troops from the Bulgarian to the Turkish border.[ii] In mid-1996, Turkish troops practice landing exercises in the Aegean, within sight of the Greek islands.[iii] In a full text search for keywords “Cyprus” and “negotiations,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 37 results for the period 1/1/1985-2/1/1985 (under category European News Sources). 

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies:   1

Accepting the plan (defensive strategy) is not a better strategy than rejecting it (offensive strategy). Turkey has an interest in preserving the occupation of Cyprus, because this could help to the consolidation of the 1974 effects of the Turkish invasion. Until Turkey receives something in return (e.g. related to EU membership), it is more beneficial not to settle the Cyprus issue. There is no change in the security dynamics between the players which can explain any shift in policy.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

An important issue in the Cyprus negotiations is the security arrangements in the plan, particularly whether the final agreement will include unilateral Turkish guarantees and the withdrawal of Turkish troops from the island. The two sides have diametrically-opposed views, both citing their own needs for security. Neutral observers recognize the overlapping legitimacy of these concerns.[iv] The unpredictable nature of Papandreou, as noted by many international observers, adds another element of ambiguity to Greek motives.[v]

Domestic Setting0

The Özal government does not face any major political challenge.[vi]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries” resulting primarily from the 1983 TRNC crisis and the 1974 Turkish invasion. 

Confrontational Policies: 1

Turkey and Denktas reject the plan. They only accept it in those instances when the Greek Cypriots say “no,” for obvious tactical reasons. Greece and the GCs make it clear prior to the January 1985 meeting that they will not accept the plan. Not surprisingly, these signals reassure Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leader, Denktas, that his acceptance of the plan will not lead to a settlement, since GCs will reject the plan anyway. Later, the Turkish Cypriot leader admits that he has been bluffing. The case is coded as confrontational, confirming the security dilemma. 


[i] Athens home service 0905 gmt 6 Dec 85 Excerpts from relay of speech to Chamber of Deputies, Greek Prime Minister's Address to Parliament The British Broadcasting Corporation, December 11, 1985.

[ii] “Greece To Redeploy Forces From North To East,” The Associated Press, December 17, 1984.

[iii] “Greece and Turkey; You say I'm going to hit you?” The Economist, July 12, 1986 p59

[iv] Nick Ludington, “Outlines of New Cyprus Federation Emerge But Problems Remain,  The Associated Press, January 10, 1985.

[v] Henery Giniger and Milt Freudenheim, “Four More Years for Papandreou and Uncertainty,” The New York Times, June 9, 1985, p2.

[vi] David Barchard, “Opposition Efforts Fail to Loosen Ozal's Grip on Political Power”, Financial Times,  January 15, 1986, p.2

G-AegeanOil87

Greece on Aegean Oil Crisis with Turkey (1986)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study looks into Greek reactions to the Aegean oil crisis with Turkey in March 1987. A crisis over the demarcation of oil-search and oil-drilling rights in offshore waters between the Greek islands of the north-eastern Aegean and the Turkish coastline has been simmering since at least November 1973. Additionally, in a border clash in December 1986, two Turkish and one Greek guard are killed. The March 1987 crisis is caused by a dispute over oil-drilling rights in the North Aegean, off the island of Thassos, where a Greek-based international consortium is planning to start drilling. The Turkish government claims that these operations contravene the Berne Agreement of 1976 between the two countries.[i] The two countries agree in 1976, in a secret meeting in Bern, Switzerland, on a formula to deal with disputes arising over the Aegean, but later on Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou renounces this agreement.[ii] Turkey's National Security Council, headed by President Kenan Evren and dominated by soldiers, orders the oil exploration vessel Sismik-1 to sail through the Dardanelles under naval escort. In Greece, Papandreou vows to stop Sismik-1 by force. PM Özal who is still on his way home from a heart operation in Texas, cancels Sismik-1operations and diffuses the crisis after securing an assurance from the Greek government that it will also refrain from drilling in disputed areas.[iii] In a full text search for keywords “Greece” and “Turkey and “crisis,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 45 results for the period 3/1/1987- 4/1/1987 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies : 1

Despite its relatively smaller size, Greece has a number of political and military advantages. Firstly, it receives the indirect backing of neighboring Bulgaria. Secondly, it successfully mobilizes its air and naval forces. Thirdly, it orders the closure of the US base at Nea Makri – thus forcing NATO and the US to intervene on its side (eventually US and NATO officials press the Turkish Government not to continue with the Sismik-1 challenge, and to back down). Finally, with forward deployment of its newly-acquired interceptors, and by moving first, the Greek air force can win a limited victory in the Aegean (this according to a retired USAF expert familiar with both sides in the conflict).[iv]

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

This is a classic case of indistiguishability of offensive from defensive action, recognized here by third parties. According to the New York Times, there is little readiness on either side to read the other's signals. The Greek government wants to take control of a Canadian consortium to prevent it from causing an international incident by drilling oil in disputed waters, 11 miles east of the Greek island of Thassos. Turkish officials, however, interpret the Greek move as evidence of Athens's intention to drill. So when Turkey issues licenses to its own state oil company to explore in disputed waters, Ankara depicts its action as a response to the Greek ones, while the Greeks read it as aggression.[v]

Domestic Challenge: 1

When national elections take place in 1985, the government of Andreas Papandreou faces a number of domestic challenges. It institutes an unpopular package of economic stabilization at the end of 1985 following high levels of inflation, and successfully defends the package against the worst series of strikes in its 5.5 years in power; these strikes are organized by both leftist and right-wing trade unions (January and February 1987). Then, the Chernobyl nuclear accident contaminates Greece's entire 1986 production of wheat, while in the fall of 1986, an earthquake in the southern port city of Kalamata leaves thousands of inhabitants homeless.[vi] In addition to economic problems and strikes[vii] Papandreou faces a trial of strength with Greece's Orthodox Church over plans to seize church land.[viii]

Enduring Rivalries1

There is an element of “enduring rivalries” between Greece and Turkey resulting from the events of 1974, the unilateral declaration of TRNC in 1983 and the failure of Cyprus negotiations to produce a settlement.

Confrontational Policies: 1

The Papandreou policies towards Turkey are confrontational at the level of both rhetoric and policy. This is particularly true because of the Greek insistence not to negotiate on the Berne agreement (a reversal of a previous agreement) and its decision to destroy Turkish vessels (threat of war).[ix] The case confirms the diversionary theory and the security dilemma. 


[i] Robert Mauthner, “More Obliging To Friends Now”, Financial Times, April 6, 1987, p. 19.

[ii] Jim Anderson, “How war was avoided between Greece and Turkey,” UPI Spot News Weekender April 5, 1987

[iii] “Greece and Turkey: A Nasty Squall in the Aegean”, The Economist, April 4, 1987, p. 50.

[iv] “The Aegean dispute and the Middle East”, MidEast Markets, April 13, 1987.

[v] Alan Cowell, “Greek Leader’s Gambit”, The New York Times, March 30, 1987, p.2.

[vi] Andriana Ierodiaconou, “Greece, Pragmatism Pays Off”,  Financial Times, April 6, 1987, p. 17.

[vii] Kerin Hope, “Nationwide Strike Brings Greece to Standstill,” Associated Press, January 15, 1987.

[viii] “Greece and Turkey: A Nasty Squall in the Aegean”, The Economist April 4, 1987, p. 50.

[ix] The New York Times reports that Greek PM Andreas Papandreou stirs nationalist feelings against Turkey and the U.S. in order to bolster his internal political position and calls for responsible Greeks to restrain their volatile Prime Minister, or better, in their own interest, find a statesman to replace him. Flora Lewis, “To the Brink in Athens”, The New York Times, March 30, 1987, p.19

T-AegeanOil87

Turkey on Aegean oil crisis with Turkey (1987)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

This case study looks into Turkish reactions to the Aegean oil crisis with Greece in March 1987. A crisis over the demarcation of oil-search and oil-drilling rights in offshore waters between the Greek islands of the north-eastern Aegean and the Turkish coast line  has been simmering since at least November 1973. Additionally, in a border clash in December 1986, two Turkish and one Greek guard are killed. The March 1987 crisis is caused by a dispute over oil-drilling rights in the North Aegean, off the island of Thassos, where a Greek-based international consortium is planning to start drilling. The Turkish government claims that these operations contravene the Berne Agreement of 1976 between the two countries.[i] The two countries agree in 1976, in a secret meeting in Bern, Switzerland, on a formula to deal with disputes arising over the Aegean, but Greek Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou renounces that agreement, using an international legal loophole known as force majeure. Essentially, the term means that an earlier contract or treaty has been rendered invalid by outside conditions not foreseen at the time the treaty was signed.[ii] Turkey's National Security Council, headed by President Kenan Evren and dominated by soldiers, orders the oil exploration vessel Sismik-1 to sail through the Dardanelles, under naval escort. In Greece, Papandreou vows to stop Sismik-1 by force. PM Turgut Özal warns, “If the Greeks intervene against our ship we will intervene in exactly the same way. This may be cause of a war which we do not at all want.”[iii] Eventually, PM Özal who is on his way home from a heart operation in Texas, cancels Sismik-1operations and diffuses the crisis after securing an assurance from the Greek government that it will also refrain from drilling in disputed areas.[iv] In a full text search for keywords “Greece” and “Turkey and “crisis,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 45 results for the period 3/1/1987- 4/1/1987 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies : 1

Does Turkey have any offensive capabilities? Being a larger country, with a stronger army, Turkey has an advantage, especially if it moves first. In addition, Turkey has an undisputed advantage in Cyprus, where its troops can easily occupy a large segment of the island. Its effectiveness in the Aegean or Cyprus depends largely on acting quickly, and before Greece.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

This is a classic case of indistiguishability of offensive from defensive action, which is recognized also by third parties. According to the New York Times, there is little readiness on either side to read the other's signals. The Greek government wants to take control of a Canadian consortium to prevent it from causing an international incident by drilling oil in disputed waters, 11 miles east of the Greek island of Thassos. Turkish officials, however, interpret the Greek move as evidence of Athens's intention to drill. So when Turkey issues licenses to its own state oil company to explore in disputed waters, Ankara depicts its action as a response to the Greek ones, while the Greeks project it as aggression.[v] Finally, Greek rejection of the Berne agreement and increasing anti-Turkish rhetoric play a part in the perception of Greek actions as offensive.

Domestic Challenge: 1

There is talk about imminent elections, which take place in November 1987.[vi]  During the crisis, the Turkish Generals and hardliners on the National Security Council take charge in the absence of Mr. Özal. The Turkish PM’s health problems and his physical absence from Turkey contribute to the worsening of the domestic political setting.

Enduring Rivalries1

There is an element of “enduring rivalries” between Greece and Turkey, resulting from the events of 1974, the unilateral declaration of TRNC in 1983, and the failure of Cyprus negotiations to produce a settlement.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Turkey makes a confrontational move by threatening a war in the Aegean. The case confirms the predictions of the diversionary theory and the security dilemma.  


[i] Robert Mauthner, “More Obliging To Friends Now”, Financial Times, April 6, 1987, p. 19.

[ii] Jim Anderson, “How war was avoided between Greece and Turkey,” UPI Spot News Weekender April 5, 1987.

[iii] , “War feared as Turkish, Greek forces go on alert”, The Toronto Star March 28, 1987, p.1.

[iv] “Greece and Turkey: A Nasty Squall in the Aegean”, The Economist, April 4, 1987, p. 50.

[v] Alan Cowell, “Greek Leader’s Gambit”, The New York Times, March 30, 1987, p.2

[vi] John Roberts, “Turkey in Ozal's Second Term”, Defense & Foreign Affairs, February, 1988, p. 8.

T-BulgMinorit87

Turkey on minority in Bulgaria (1987)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

This case study examines Turkish response to the treatment of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria. During the second half of the 1980s, the Bulgarian government initiates a program of forced assimilation for the Muslim minorities of the country (mostly Turkish and Pomak). In 1984, the hard-line Communist leader, Todor Zhivkov, introduces measures that prohibit ethnic Turks from speaking Turkish, practicing Islamic rites, or even using Muslim names (instead of the Slavic ones). In 1986, Amnesty International officially states it has received the names of more than 100 ethnic Turks reported to have been killed and of more than 250 arrested.[i] Observers are unable to penetrate the affected areas, and relevant information is sketchy. The Turkish parliament in Ankara holds a secret session in February 1985, and eventually takes a number of diplomatic measures to diffuse the crisis, but to no effect.[ii] The conflict escalates dangerously when Turgut Özal makes a campaign speech in Bursa in August 18, 1987, in which he suggests that Ankara will deal with Bulgaria as it has with Cyprus.[iii] In a full text search for keywords “Bulgaria” and “Turkey” and “minority,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 28 results for the period 2/14/1985- 3/14/1985 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of offensive policies :  0

None of Turkey’s confrontational policies can be seen as effective. The war threat of 1987 makes the Bulgarians more aggressive[iv]: Turkey might be superior militarily to Bulgaria, but the latter enjoys the protection of the Soviet Union. It is very unlikely that NATO, particularly Greece, will side with Turkey in this conflict.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Minority issues often contain this element of indistinguishability. Policies aiming to defend the minority can be perceived as threatening to the other side, such as, for example, Özal’s threat of war against Bulgaria.

Domestic Challenge : 1

Özal makes his threat against Bulgaria in a campaign speech in Bursa on August 18, 1987. He faces elections in November 1987.[v]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There is an element of rivalry resulting from the fact that since 1984 Turks in Bulgaria have been severely repressed. The Financial Times reports that as many as 500 ethnic Turks have been killed resisting Bulgarian policies in 1985. [vi]

Confrontational Policies: 1

Prime Minister Özal warns that Ankara will deal with Bulgaria as it has with Cyprus.[vii] This is coded as a threat of war, since Turkey invaded and occupied Cyprus in 1974. The case study confirms the diversionary theory of war. 


[i] Henry Kamm, “Bulgarian-Turkish Tensions on Minority Rise”, The New York Times, October 4, 1987, p.9.

[ii] , “A bizarre Balkan problem / Persecution of ethnic Turks in Bulgaria”,  The Guardian February 22, 1985,  

[iii] Henry Kamm, “Bulgarian-Turkish Tensions on Minority Rise”, The New York Times, October 4, 1987, p.9.

[iv] Bulgarian Telegraph Agency in English 1200 gmt 15 Sep 87, “Bulgarian comment on threats by Turkish Premier”, The British Broadcasting Corporation, September 17, 1987

[v]   Ozal's New Cabinet Installed”, Facts on File, December 31, 1987, p. 988.

[vi] David Barchard and David Buchan“Ankara tries to temper outcry over effort to 'Bulgarise' Turks,” Financial Times, February 20, 1985, p.2. 

[vii] Henry Kamm, “Bulgarian-Turkish Tensions on Minority Rise,” The New York Times, October 4, 1987, p.9.

T-BulgMinorit89

Turkey on minority in Bulgaria (1989)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

The Bulgarian-Turkish conflict reaches its peak in the summer of 1989, when Bulgaria allows ethnic Turks to abandon the country. Turkish President Kenan Evren states that Bulgaria is responsible for a “great human tragedy.” [i] Turkish Prime Minister Turgut Özal accuses Bulgaria of “genocide”[ii] and promises to welcome all refugees to Turkey. However, after the mass exodus of 300,000 people to Turkey, Özal is forced to close the border, as Turkey's none-too-healthy economy simply cannot take such a massive influx.[iii] In a full text search for keywords “Bulgaria” and “Turkey” and “minority,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 53 results for the period 6/1/1989- 7/1/1989 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Policies aiming to defend the minority can be perceived as threatening to the other side, such as, for example, Özal’s threat of war against Bulgaria in 1987. However, by 1989 Turkish politicians avoid making similar statements and emphasize the need for compromise. There is no international sympathy for the Bulgarian perspective and very little understanding of its need to defend itself. While Manchester Guardian Weekly argues that Ankara is quite legitimately raising an international uproar over this issue,[iv] other sources accuse Bulgaria of committing cultural and religious '”genocide”' against its Turkish minority.[v] Especially after the exodus of hundred of thousands of minority Turks from Bulgaria, the policies of the latter are clearly defined by neutral parties as inhumane and therefore offensive with no elements of indistinguishability present.

Effectiveness of offensive policies :  0

Given the overall support for the Turkish positions, there is no special need for Turkey to make a confrontational move against Bulgaria. Both Britain and the US intervene, and persuade Bulgaria to change its policies.[vi] Thus, it is more beneficial for Ankara to follow a number of diplomatic actions rather than to exercise pressure on Bulgaria, on either military or economic grounds. Introducing an embargo against Bulgaria will primarily harm Turkish products and migrant workers traveling from Germany to Turkey. A military intervention is out of the question, since Soviet intervention cannot be ruled out, even at the time of transition to a post-Cold war environment.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Özal becomes the president in November 1989, just at the time of the crisis, and in the midst of a legitimacy crisis, after facing an electoral defeat in the local elections.  [vii]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Ethnic rivalries date back to the Balkan wars, as well as the treatment of Turkish minorities in the years preceding the 1989 crisis. The Financial Times reports that as many as 500 ethnic Turks have been killed resisting Bulgarian policies in 1985. [viii]

Confrontational Policies: 0

Surprisingly, in this major crisis, Turkey does not manifest confrontational policies. Although some mobilizations occur (the largest protest of about 150,000 demonstrators in Taksim Square is organized by the governing Motherland Party and the opposition Social Democrat and True Path Parties),[ix] the Turkish government resists public pressure and does not issue any military warnings or economic measures against Bulgaria. An effort by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas, to settle refugees in Northern Cyprus also fails.[x] 


[i] Tim Kelsey, “Bulgaria's expulsions of Turks condemned”, The Toronto Star, June 15, 1989, p.24.

[ii] Ankara home service 1000 gmt 21 Jun 89 Text of report, “Turkish Prime Minister’s ‘Deep Indignation’ over Bulgarian Campaign against Turks”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, June 23, 1989. 

[iii] Christophe Chiclet, “Bulgaria staring at economic disaster and ethnic strife,” Le Monde Diplomatique, /Manchester, Guardian Weekly, December 31, 1989, p. 14; Mina Toksoz, “Euro-Turkey (The World in 1990), The Economist, January 1, 1990, p. 60.

[iv] “Talking Turkey”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, August 13, 1989, p. 12.

[v] John Holland, “Bulgarian-Turkish Feud over Religion”, United Press International, July 2, 1989.

[vi] Tim Kelsey, “Bulgaria's expulsions of Turks condemned”, The Toronto Star, June 15, 1989, p.24.

[vii] “My president, right or wrong”, The Economist, April 8, 1989, p. 57.

[viii] David Barchard and David Buchan, “Ankara tries to temper outcry over effort to 'Bulgarise' Turks,” Financial Times, February 20, 1985, p.2.

[ix] Vedat Erdaman, “Protest Denounces Expulsion of Ethnic Turks From BulgariaAssociated Press, June 24, 1989.

[x] “Abandoned city offered to Turks from Bulgaria” Globe and Mail, June 16, 1989, p.10. 

G-AlbanMinority90

Greece on minority in Albania (1990)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

A crisis erupts in 1990 over the treatment of the Greek minority in Albania. Greece claims the existence of up to 400,000 Greeks in Albania who are not allowed to move freely, to practice religion, or to study Greek in school. Four Greeks are allegedly tortured to death after an effort to seek refuge in Greece.[i]Despite Albania’s inaccessibility to foreign journalists, a full text search for keywords “Albania” and “Greece” and “minority,” in Lexis/ Nexis produces 25 results for the period 12/25/1989- 1/25/1990 (under category European News Sources).                   

Case Study Features:

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Minority issues often contain this element of indistinguishability. Policies aiming to defend the minority can be perceived as threatening to the other side, especially if the minority issues have been used in the past for other geopolitical games, including shaping the Greek-Albanian border. More confusion is added by the fact that there is very little knowledge of what is actually taking place in Albania, as the country is closed to foreign journalists. And finally, political unrest among rival Albanian groups required some measure of control (e.g. to prevent riots). Such measures to prevent social and political unrest were easily perceived as measures targeting the Greek minority.[ii] 

Effectiveness of offensive policies :  1

Greece is militarily superior to Albania. The latter has no allies during the Cold War, with the notable exception of China.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Greece is facing successive elections. At that time Greek political parties created a provisional government under the leadership of Xenophon Zolotas, 23 November 1989-11 April 1990.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Relations have been strained since the incorporation of Northern Epirus into Albania in 1916. Greece was denied Northern Epirus by its allies in the aftermath of WWI and WWII. During WWII, Italy invaded Greece through Albania, but Greek military forces defeated Italy and captured northern Epirus. Until 1987, the two countries were officially (but only in theory) in a state of war.[iii]

Confrontational Policies: 0

Greece does not make a war threat and does not introduce any type of embargo against Albania. Both the security dilemma and the diversionary theory, which predict confrontational policies, are disconfirmed. 


[i] Nikos Konstandaras, “10,000 Condemn Abuses in Albania; Report: State of Emergency Imposed”, The Associated Press, January 11, 1990.

[ii] , “Albania 'declares state of emergency'”, The Independent January 13, 1990, p. 1. 

[iii] New York Times, Greece at Peace with Albania, August 29, 1987.

T-ThracMin90

Turkey on minority in Western Thrace, Greece (1990)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Turkey’s responses to perceived Greek mistreatment of the Turkish minority in Western Thrace. In February 1990, clashes take place in northeastern Greece between Christian Greeks and ethnic Turkish Muslims, which leave one Greek dead and several wounded on both sides.[i] For the period 2/1/1990 – 3/1/1990, Lexis/Nexis provides 29 results for the terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

Minority issues are often characterized by this indistinguishability. On the one hand, Turkey invokes principles of human rights, and in reality, the Turkish community finds it almost impossible to buy or rent land, build their own houses, replace the leaking roof, get a loan from a Greek bank, or a job in the public sector.[ii] On the other, Greece invokes the principle of reciprocity (Istanbul Greeks were forced to abandon Turkey decades ago) and the fear of creating a second Cyprus (cited also in international press).[iii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  0

Turkey does not have a military advantage over Greece in the Thrace area. Unlike Cyprus and the Aegean region, the river dividing the two countries favors defensive strategies. Geography makes any offensive expedition for either of the two countries almost impossible. Moreover, Turkey has more to gain by raising the issue internationally, indirectly masking its own human rights violations in Cyprus, Western Thrace, and Kurdistan. 

Domestic Challenge: 0

The country does not face new elections or other equally important challenges to incumbent authority.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have yielded to PKK.

Confrontational Policies: 0

Turkey does not introduce any confrontational policy.


[i] Paul Anastasi, “Greece and Bulgaria Plan Anti-Turkey Strategies”, February 7, 1990, New York Times, p. 9.

[ii] David Hearst, “Europe: Driven down the dirt track - In three weeks, Greece deprived 500 ethnic Turksof citizenship. For the majority who remain in Thrace, life is a constant battle with bureaucracy:,  The Guardian, July 5, 1991 

[iii] “Race in Thrace”, Economist, March 2, 1991, p.50. 

G-ThracMin90

Greece on minority in Western Thrace, Greece (1990)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

This case study examines Greek responses to perceived Turkish interference in Western Thrace. In February 1990, clashes take place in northeastern Greece between Christian Greeks and ethnic Turkish Muslims, which leave one Greek dead and several wounded on both sides.[i] Greece and Turkey expel each other’s consuls in Thrace and Istanbul.[ii] For the period 2/1/1990 – 3/1/1990, Lexis/Nexis provides 29 results for the terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

Minority issues are often characterized by this indistinguishability.  On the one hand, Turkey invokes principles of human rights, and in reality, minority Turks find it almost impossible to buy or rent land, build their own houses, replace the leaking roof, get a loan from a Greek bank, or a job in the public sector.[iii]On the other, Greece invokes the principle of reciprocity (Istanbul Greeks protected by the same Lausanne treaty of 1923 were forced to abandon Turkey decades ago) and the fear of creating a second Cyprus (cited also in international press).[iv]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  0

Greece does not enjoy a military advantage over Turkey, especially in such areas as the Aegean islands and Cyprus.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Greece is governed by temporary or weak governments during this period. The Mitsotakis government has only a marginal majority in the parliament, making it extremely vulnerable to outside pressure from nationalist groupings.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from past crises in Cyprus and the Aegean.

Confrontational Policies: 0

No major escalation takes place on the Greek side at the time. Following the incidents, new PM Mitsotakis revokes old policies of discrimination. The progress is noticeable to local and outside observers. [v] The case study disconfirms the diversionary theory of war.


[i] Paul Anastasi, “Greece and Bulgaria Plan Anti-Turkey Strategies”, February 7, 1990, New York Times, p. 9.

[ii] “Greek Consul Expelled in Retaliation for Greek Expulsion of Turk”, The Associated Press, February 3, 1990.

[iii] David Hearst, “Driven down the dirt track - In three weeks, Greece deprived 500 ethnic Turks of citizenship. For the majority who remain in Thrace, life is a constant battle with bureaucracy”, The Guardian, July 5, 1991.

[iv] “Race in Thrace”, Economist, March 2, 1991, p.50. 

[v] Hugh Pope, “Turks grapple for their rights in Greece; The appointment of a Greek as a Muslim leader in a Turkish-dominated town sparked another court battle over minority rights,” The Independent,  June 30, 1994, p. 13.  

T-NorthernIraq91

Turkey on Kurds in Iraq (1991)  

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study examines Turkey’s response to the flow of Kurdish refugees into the country from neighboring Iraq. By April 1991, almost 400,000 refugees need emergency humanitarian aid, and some of these attempt to enter Turkey.[i] Lexis/Nexis provides 196 results for the terms “Turkey,” “Kurds,” “crisis” for the period 4/1/1991 to 5/1/1991 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Turkey gains tremendous positive support after the war, due to the humanitarian crisis.[ii] This crisis also offers Turkey a unique chance to consider controlling some important strategic areas in Iraq (areas needed to prevent the infiltration of PKK guerillas from Iraq). Turkey has to act now, and the use of military threat is the only way to prevent conflict in Iraq and to stem the flow of refugees.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The flow of Kurdish refugees is the result of the war in Iraq. However, Turkey feels that the refugee camps will provide shelter for PKK guerillas. Turkey is criticized for its treatment of Kurdish refugees. At the same time, foreign diplomats acknowledge that the Turkish fear of the consequences of accepting the refugees is legitimate and should be respected[iii]  while others criticized Turkey’s humanitarian motives in the international press.[iv]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Enduring rivalries result from PKK activities in the region since the mid-1980s.

Domestic Challenges1

New elections are expected in October 1991,[v] and the Yildirim Akbulut government is facing its lowest support ever.[vi] There is a growing internal competition in ANAP between incumbent Akbulut and his former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mesut Yilmaz.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey threatens to intervene militarily in Iraq to prevent the flow of Kurdish refugees.[vii] Threats to use military power are coded as confrontational, here confirming both the security dilemma and the diversionary theory of war. 


[i]Adam Sage, “Conspiracy of neglect that damned the Kurds; The West's safe havens are too late to save thousands of Kurds perishing in the mountains.” The Independent, April 21, 1991, p17. 

[ii] John Pearson, Juliette Rossant, Amy Borrus, “Turkey’s Gulf War Gamble may be paying off”, Business Week, April 22, 1991, p.47.

[iii] Blaine Harden, “Turkish Accord Sought on Drive to Aid Kurds,” The Washington Post, April 12, 1991, p.29.

[iv] Glenn Frankel, “Turkey Calls Criticism over Refugees Unfair; Ankara ‘Left Holding the Bag’ on Kurds”, Washington Post, April 21, 1991, p.21.

[v] “First lady elected branch head of Turkey's ruling party General Overseas”, Xinhua, News Service,” April 28, 1991.

[vi] John Murray Brown, “Leadership contested in Turkey”, Financial Times, June 15, 1991. p.3; The Independent, “Turkey's PM is sacked by party”, June 16, 1991, p.16. 

[vii] , “Turkey threatens retaliation over Iraqi attacks on Kurds,” The Toronto Star April 6, 1991, p.9.

G-CyprusNeg92

Greece on Cypriot negotiations (1992)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation. Greece is worried about prolonging the current situation, while Turkey, and particularly President Özal, is concerned about facing international sanctions because of Turkey’s prolonged occupation of northern Cyprus. Moreover, Greece is blocking any move toward closer integration with Europe until Turkey makes concessions on Cyprus. [i] In November 1992, a major round of Cyprus negotiations fails in New York. UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali blames the Turkish Cypriot side for the failure of the bicommunal negotiations.[ii] For the period 11/1/1992 – 12/1/1992, Lexis/Nexis provides 36 results for terms “Cyprus” and “Negotiations” (full text search under European News Sources). The failure of the negotiations results in the withdrawal of Canadian peacekeepers.

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

This element is present in many aspects of the Cyprus negotiations. Greek Cypriots look into an agreement that would give their 200,000 refugees the right to return to the North. The Turkish side, however, considers this position anathema, and as threatening to its security. This and similar issues are documented in UN reports on the Cyprus negotiations.[iii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  0

Greece does not have an offensive advantage with respect to Turkey. Greece is also pre-occupied with the Macedonian question.

Domestic Challenge: 1

The Mitsotakis government has only a marginal majority in the parliament, making it extremely vulnerable to outside pressure from nationalist groupings and the opposition. The chances for parliamentary defection are high.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from the crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Confrontational Policies: 0

The Greek government supports the negotiations. 


[i] Alan Cowell, “Turkey Puts on a New Face and Sidles Up to Europe More Coyly”, The New York Times, August 30, 1992, p.10.

[ii] “Cyprus president in re-election bid, slams Turkish proposal”, Agence France Presse, November 27, 1992.

[iii] Martin Marris, “U.N. Force in Cyprus Shrinks as Peace Efforts Founder”, The Associated Press, June 14, 1993.

G-MacName92

Greece on crises/negotiations over name ‘Macedonia’ (1992)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:  

Conflict over the name “Macedonia” as heritage and symbol of the ancient Macedonian Kingdombecomes a major issue of contention between Greece and the Macedonian Republic . G-Macname92 examines Greek crisis behavior over the Macedonian issue in 1992.  Lexis/Nexis provides 26 results for the terms “Greece,” “ Macedonia ,” and “crisis” for the period 1/15/1992 to 2/15/1992 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Greece enjoys a military advantage against its defenseless neighbor. It also has a geographic advantage over the Macedonian Republic , which is landlocked and highly dependent on Greek ports. Finally, Greece is stronger diplomatically and controls the recognition of the new republic within the EU.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Efforts to protect the new state entity such as foreign relations with Turkey and national identity for instance the use of name Macedonia have an unintended consequence of alarming Greece . Yet a closer look at the demographics of the Macedonian republic suggests that there were no grounds for a Turkish-Republic- Macedonian alliance due to the Albanian factor and other regional considerations. There were also clear statements from the Macedonian leadership favoring demilitarization of the republic.[i]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries result from the bitter wars over Macedonia in the 20th century and the Greek civil war (1946-1949).

Domestic Challenges : 1

The Mitsotakis government has only a marginal majority in the parliament, and references to new elections are being made in the press. [ii] The weak majority makes it extremely vulnerable to pressure from nationalists, especially the young and charismatic Minister of Foreign Affairs, Antonis Samaras. Because of this issue, ND MPs defect, while the Constantine Mitsotakis government loses power on October 13, 1993.  PM Andreas Papandreou wins his re-election by playing the nationalist card and outbidding all opponents in his defense of confrontational policies.[iii]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Between January 1992 and September 1992, Greece introduces an oil embargo against landlocked Macedonia .[iv] 


[i] Alan Ferguson, “Macedonians fear war with Serbia,” Toronto Star, May 26, 1992, p.14; Tony Barber, “Macedonia leader asks Greece to be 'rational,'”  The Independent, August 28, 1992, p 8 ; Excerpts Yugoslav News Agency in English 1241 gmt 30 Oct 92, “President Gligorov says Macedonia would ‘gladly become a demilitarised zone,’” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, November 3, 1992.

[ii] Tony Barber, “War clouds gather over Macedonia ”, The Independent, December 3, 1992, p.10.  

[iii] David B. Ottaway, “Greek Leader Plans 2-Tier Balkan Policy; Papandreou Vows Tough Stance on Macedonia,” The Washington Post, October 12, 1993, p. A12.

[iv] Tony Barber, “Greece lifts its blockade on oil to Macedonia ”, The Independent , September 23, 1992 , p.8.  

[v] Helena Smith, “Macedonia Boycott Hits EC Partners”, The Guardian, February 29, 1992 , p.10.

[vi] Liana Alexandri, “Rally Against Recognition for Yugoslav Republic Draws 1 Million”,   The Associated Press, February 14, 1992;  The Toronto Star, “Huge protest in Athens against Macedonia ”, December10, 1992 ,  p.18

Also during this period, an official consumer’s boycott takes place against Italian and Dutch products, because of the perceived anti-Greek policies of those two countries over the Macedonian issues. Minister Samaras argues that Greece has no need to apologize for the boycott.[v] Finally, two major demonstrations in Thessaloniki (February 14, 1992) and Athens (December 10, 1992) attract at least a million people each. [vi]

T- BosniaWar92-95

Turkey on war in Bosnia (1992-5)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

During the civil war in Bosnia, the local Muslim (Bosniaks) population asks repeatedly Turkey to intervene on its side. This case study examines Turkey’s response to the April 1992-November 1995 war in Bosnia. Several events during this period can prompt Turkey’s reaction. For the period 7/1/1995 – 8/1/1995 (during the time of the Srebrenica massacre), Lexis/Nexis provides 86 results for the terms “Srebrenica,” “Bosnia,” and “Turkey” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

In early 1992, Turkey does not seem to support the independence of Bosnia, fearing that a similar example might be replicated in its own Kurdish regions; nevertheless, a few months later Ankara follows the rest of Europe in recognizing the Yugoslav republics. [i] It is highly unlikely that Turkey can afford a major unilateral expedition in the Balkans. Bosnia is simply too far from Turkey, and neighbors between are too hostile to Turkey’s intentions.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Minority issues often contain this element of indistinguishability. Policies aiming to defend the Bosniaks can be perceived as threatening to other countries in the region. Apart from Serbia, Greece as well as Bulgaria will reject any Turkish move in the region.[ii] International observers suggest that Turkey is under pressure to support the 8-10 million Muslims in the Balkans.[iii]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries, resulting from several moves to expel ethnic Turks from the Balkans in the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Domestic Challenges1

During this period, there are a number of elections that give different groups (primarily pro-Islamist groups) the opportunity to attract public attention to the plight of the Bosniaks.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Turkey aligns its efforts with those of Western governments in taking multilateral actions to stop the war. Apart from some limited military assistance to Bosniaks, Turkey does not take a confrontational stance in this crisis.


[i]Lan Cowell, “Turkey Faces Moral Crisis Over Bosnia,”  The New York Times, July 11, 1992, p.4.

[ii]Bulgarian Radio, Sofia, in Bulgarian 1700 gmt 16 Feb 94, “President Zhelev writes to Turkey's Demirel explaining position on Bosnia”,  BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, February 18, 1994; Greek Radio, Athens 1130 gmt 17 Apr 93, “International Intervention; Greece rejects Turkey’s Request to use Greek Airspace for Operation Deny Flight”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, April 19, 1993.

[iii] Charles Miller, “Turkey ‘could intervene’ if Balkan Conflict Spreads” Press Association, September 20, 1993.

T-ArmenNagor93

Turkey on war in Nagorno-Karabakh (1993)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

The six-year (1987-1993) Nagorno-Karabakh conflict results in around 10,000 deaths and 750,000 Azeri refugees, a tenth of the national population of Azerbaijan.[i] At the end of the war Armenians occupy nearly 20 percent of the neighboring country (four times the area of Nagorno-Karabakh, the original source of conflict). President Özal argues that the issue is no longer a question of Nagorno-Karabakh alone: “It must be viewed as part of an attempt to create a Greater Armenia.” [ii] The crisis attracts the attention of international media, and LexisNexis (world news/ European News Sources) reports 31 results for search terms “Armenia,” “Turkey,” and “crisis” for September 1993.

Case Study Features:

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable:  1

The Armenian advances, primarily the support Armenia has gained from the US, Russia, and Iran, is a source of worry for Turkey. Azerbaijan is closely related culturally and linguistically to Turkey, and its military setbacks are being compared in the Turkish press to the slaughter of Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina. "We cannot and will not allow another Bosnia on our doorstep," is a common cry in Turkish newspapers, according to the Financial Times.[iii] It is difficult to distinguish between what is happening between Armenia and Azerbaijan and a future conflict between Turkey and Armenia. To this point, the Times suggest that the current conflict conjures up the specter of Armenian claims to much of Eastern Turkey, claims which helped to provoke the Turkish massacres of the Armenians in 1915, and which remain a source of contention between Turks and Armenians up to today. [iv] 

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  1

On the one hand, the possibility of Turkey being involved militarily in the conflict is very limited. There are explicit Russian warnings not to do so,[v] despite the fact that Turkey has a legal right to intervene in some affected areas, such as the Nakhichevan enclave close to its own border.[vi]  On the other hand, an economic embargo is not only effective (against landlocked Armenia), but also relatively costless for Turkey.  

Domestic Challenge: 1

Turkey faces a major political crisis after the sudden death of PM Özal on April 17, 1993.[vii] The parliament has to elect a new president and a government. The new government faces a series of scandals and needs the support of the military to survive politically.[viii]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

Rivalries exist over the Armenian demand for recognition of the 1915 genocide and Asala terrorism.[ix]

Confrontational Policies: 1

One of the criteria for defining confrontational policies is the presence of a unilateral embargo in violation of UN resolutions reported on May 1993.[x] Even though some leading figures rule out intervention in Azerbaijan,[xi] others insist on Turkey “showing its teeth” to Armenia.[xii] Newly-elected Prime Minister Tansu Çiller warns in an interview published by Turkish daily Hurriyet that if Armenia launches action against Nakhichevan, she will call on parliament to declare war and send in troops.[xiii]  Security dilemma and diversionary theory are present and confirmed.


 [i] Dilip Hiro, “Azerbaijan: Turkish Troops Build-Up Fuels”, Inter Press Service, September 7, 1993.

[ii] Anatol Lieven, “Turks Raise Prospect of Azerbaijan Alliance,” The Times April 15, 1993.

[iii] Andrew Borowiec, “Turkey's Female Prime Minister Turns to Military for Support,” The Washington Times, September 4, 1993, Pg. A7

[iv] Anatol Lieven, “Turks Raise Prospect of Azerbaijan Alliance,” The Times April 15, 1993.

[v] Dilip Hiro, “Azerbaijan: Turkish Troops Build-Up Fuels”, Inter Press Service, September 07, 1993; Sami Kohen, “Turkey Avoids Force in Armenia Strife,” The Christian Science Monitor, June 8, 1992, p. 6.

[vi]The Russian Information Agency, “Aliyev Does not Rule out Turkish Involvement in Crisis”, ITAR-TASS June 22, 1992.

[vii] “Turkey faces political crisis after death of President Ozal” Toronto Star, April 18, 1993, p.5. 

[viii] Andrew Borowiec, “Turkey's Female Prime Minister Turns to Military for Support,” The Washington Times, September 4, 1993, p.7.

[ix] Jean-Marc Theolleyre, “Bombing discredits Armenian cause”, Manchester Guardian Weekly/ Le Monde, July 24, 1983, p.1.

[x] “Turkey Accused of Violating U.N. Resolution,” Agence France Presse, May 20, 1993

[xi] “Demirel Rules out Turkish Troops Intervention in Azerbaijan enclave”, Agence France Presse May 20, 1992.

[xii] Hugh Pope, “Turkey 'must show its teeth' to Armenia” The Independent, April 7, 1993, p1.

[xiii] “Prime Minister's ‘Hurriyet’ Interview Warning Armenia of ‘Possibility of War’,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, September 7, 1993.

G-Macembarg94

Greece on crisis/embargo over name ‘Macedonia’ (1994)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

G-Macenbarg94 examines Greek crisis behavior over the Macedonian issue in 1994. Greece fails in its efforts to convince the Macedonian Republic and the rest of the world of its own position over the issue. Following the US recognition of Macedonia in February 1994, Greece hardens its policies by introducing a blockade against the landlocked republic. Lexis/Nexis provides 63 results for the terms “Greece,” “Macedonia,” and “crisis” for the period 16/2/1994 to 16/3/1994 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The embargo is a high risk policy. Greece might have diplomatic, military, and economic advantages over the issue, but it cannot face the reaction of the international community over the issue, particularly if the EU commission proves the embargo is illegal.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Greece argues that it introduces the embargo to defend its own security, but the policy receives no positive reactions from abroad and is being criticized by Greek intellectuals and activists. Moreover, it becomes clear that US recognition has to do with the need of stability in Macedonia itself rather than deliberately harming Greek interests.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Rivalries result from the bitter wars over Macedonia in the 20th century and the Greek civil war (1946-1949).

Domestic Challenges1

There is fear of imminent elections, due to the weak health of both PM Andreas Papandreou and President Karamanlis. Both are hospitalized, and if either dies, new party or national elections will have to take place. [i]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Greece introduces a frontier embargo against the Macedonian Republic on February 16, 1994 (Greek embargo excludes food and medicine). The international community condemns this move and criticizes Greece harshly. The European Commission threatens to take Greece before the European Court of Justice on the matter. [ii] 


 [i] Philip Jacobson, “Is Mimi the woman now running Europe? As the Greek socialist government prepares to take over the presidency of an increasingly fragile EC,” Daily Mail,  January 3, 1994, p.8; Kerin Hope, “Fear in Athens for health of the nation: Illness has become an obstacle to government”,  Financial Times, March 4, 1994,  p.2.

[ii] , “Greece pushes ahead with trade embargo against Macedonia” Agence France Presse March 02, 1994.

G-AlbanOmoni94

Greece on minority in Albania (1994)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Another crisis erupts in August 1994 over the treatment of the Greek minority in Albania. Members of the Greek minority group Omonia are accused of treason; if found guilty, they will receive the death penalty.[i]In a full text search for keywords “Albania” and “Greece” and “minority,” Lexis/ Nexis produces 168 results for the period 8/15/1994- 9/15/1994 (under category European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Minority issues often contain this element of indistinguishability. Policies aiming to defend the minority can be perceived as threatening to the other side, especially if the minority has been used in the past as an argument for changing the boundaries between the two states. Articles in the international press reflect this ambiguity in the motives of the two sides.[ii] The trial of ethnic Greeks is provoked by commando attacks leading to the death of two Albanian conscripts. Albania charges Greece with involvement, but Athens vigorously denies the charge, suggesting the armed men are probably members of an underground group.[iii]

Effectiveness of offensive policies :  1

Greece is militarily superior to Albania. In addition, it is in a position to expel illegal Albanian immigrants from Greece, as well as to block trade and EU aid to Albania. [iv]

Domestic Challenge: 1

There is fear of imminent elections, due to the weak health of both PM Andreas Papandreou and President Karamanlis. Both are hospitalized, and if either dies, new party or national elections will have to take place. [v]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Relations have been strained since the incorporation of Northern Epirus into Albania in 1916. Greece was denied Northern Epirus by its allies in the aftermath of WWI and WWII. During WWII, Italy invaded Greece through Albania, but Greek military forces defeated Italy and entered Northern Epirus. Until 1987, the two countries are in a state of war.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Confrontational measures take the form of massive human rights violations. Greece expels indiscriminately around 30,000 Albanian immigrants.[vi] The case study confirms the security dilemma.


[i] Helena Smith, “Greece turns on Illegal Albanians”, Guardian August 19, 1994, p. 7

[ii] “Greece v Albania; Elsewhere in the Balkans”, Economist,  September 17, 1994, p. 59

[iii] Ralph Joseph, “Greece deports 20,000 Albanians”, United Press International, August 26, 1994.

[iv] , “Greece clamps down after spy convictions”, Agence France Presse September 08, 1994.

[v] Philip Jacobson, “Is Mimi the woman now running Europe? As the Greek socialist government prepares to take over the presidency o an increasingly fragile EC,” Daily Mail, January 3, 1994, p.8; Kerin Hope, “Fear in Athens for health of the nation: Illness has become an obstacle to government”,  Financial Times, March 4, 1994,  p.2.

[vi] “Greece v Albania; Elsewhere in the Balkans”, Economist, September 17, 1994, p. 59.

T-KurdsDEP94

Turkey on Kurdish minority party crisis (1994)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study examines Turkish crisis behavior over politicized Kurdish identity in the mid-1990s. The ethnic Kurdish party HEP enters the parliament under the umbrella of the leftist SHP in the October 1991 elections. Due to later discrepancies with regard to government's handling of the Kurdish issues, 16 Kurdish deputies split from the SHP and create the Democracy Party (DEP), which is later renamed the People's Democracy Party (HADEP) when the DEP is banned in 1994. During the same year, Kurdish MPs are accused of “attempted violation of Turkey's territorial integrity,” and of “having links with guerrilla PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party).”[i] In March 1994, the parliament decides to lift the immunity of some of those MPs.[ii] Lexis/Nexis provides 33 results for the terms “Turkey,” “Kurds,” and “immunity” for the period 3/1/1994 to 4/1/1994 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Turkey has to act quickly to prevent the internationalization of the Kurdish question attempted by the Kurdish MPs. During their frequent trips abroad, the Kurdish MPs have successfully attracted sympathy for their cause. However, the imprisonment of the Kurdish MPs carries many risks for Turkey’s campaign for EU candidacy. Given that this prospect is far off, and that Turkey enjoys a favorable position as a Middle Eastern country and the only NATO neighbor of Iraq, Iran, and Syria, it feels it has the upper hand on the Kurdish issue.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Minority issues often contain this element of indistinguishability. Policies aiming to defend the minority can be perceived as threatening to the majority. In this case, the struggle of the MPs is purely defensive, and this is how it is portrayed by the international media. The ambiguity in incentives is not reflected by third party analyses.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Rivalries result from PKK activities since the mid-1980s.

Domestic Challenges1

The Turkish military threatens a coup.[iii] There are no national elections scheduled for the following six months, but local elections are taking place that month. [iv]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

DEP is banned, and Kurdish MPs are first expelled from the parliament and later imprisoned on terrorist charges.[v] 


[i] Nadire Mater and Bob Mantiri, “Turkey-Politics: Kurdish Deputies Anxiously Await Court’s Verdict”, IPS-Inter Press Service, December 7, 1994.

[ii] “Turkey lifts parliamentary immunity on Kurdish deputies”,  Agence France Presse, March 02, 1994.

[iii] Andrew Borowiec, “Turkey worn down by internal miseries; Dogmatic military watches, grows restless,” The Washington Times, March 23, 1994, p.14.

[iv] Zeynep Alemdar, “Ciller's Center-Right Party Heads For Win in Turkey”, The Associated Press, March 28, 1994.

[v] Alistair Bell, “Human rights groups protest over sentence on Kurdish MPs,” The Herald (Glasgow), December 9, 1994, p.6; Three of those MPs including internationally known Leyla Zayna were kept in prison until recently Helena Smith, “Kurd MPs freed as Turkey lifts broadcast ban,” The Guardian, June 10, 2004,  p. 15.

G-MacFyrom95

Greece on Macedonia negotiations (1995)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

On September 13, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) sign an Agreement intended to reach a compromise after four years of tension and to normalize political and commercial relations. Lexis/Nexis provides 65 results for the terms “Greece,” “ Macedonia", and “negotiations” for theperiod 9/1/1995 to 10/1/1995 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The continuation of the embargo carries enormous legal and political risks for Greece , particularly if the EU commission proves that the embargo is illegal.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

The “use” of the name Macedonia gradually loses its offensive character in Greece . Foreign observers point out that the ethnic Macedonian leadership and its actions are defensive and extremely conducive towards peace in the Southern Balkans. [i]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries result from the bitter wars over Macedonia in the 20th century and the Greek civil war (1946-1949).

Domestic Challenges : 1

There is fear of imminent elections, due to the weak health of PM Andreas Papandreou.[ii] The possibility of general elections has been avoided with the election of Kostis Stephanopoulos as president in March 1995, for a five-year term. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) remains in power, and the next general elections are expected in November 1997.[iii] However, Papandreou becomes the target of several attacks from within his own party to resign because of his failing health.[iv]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) reach an interim agreement on September 13, 1995. Although the two countries succeed in reaching a settlement on a number of issues, such as the 19-month-long trade embargo, they fail to reach a compromise on the name issue.[v] 


[i] Cord Meyer, “Macedonia, Greece come to terms”, The Washington Times, September 15, 1995, p.21.

[ii] Philip Jacobson, “Is Mimi the woman now running Europe? As the Greek socialist government prepares to take over the presidency o an increasingly fragile EC,”  Daily Mail,  January 3, 1994, p.8

[iii] “Greece: The long way to Maastricht ”, Janet Matthews Information Services, Quest Economics Database, Union Bank of Switzerland Country Report, October 1995, p.1

[iv] , “Pasok Suspends Papandreou Critic”, Facts on File World News Digest August 24, 1995 , p.620; Kerin Hope, “Pasok grows impatient with a reluctant Papandreou: Party fears for its prospects unless ailing leader names successor”, Financial Times, August 10, 1995, p.2.

[v] “Greece Lifts Macedonia Embargo”, Facts on File(World News Digest),   September 14, 1995 , p. 676

T-NorthernIraq95

Turkey Iraqi crisis and invasion (1995)    

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study examines Turkey’s relations with the Kurds of Northern Iraq. Turkey has carried out several anti-PKK cross-border operations in Northern Iraq (which has been outside Baghdad’s control since the 1991 Gulf War), on the grounds that the power vacuum in the area provides a safe haven for Kurdish rebels.[i] In March 1995, Turkey threatens to invade northern Iraq to prevent the infiltration of PKK guerillas into its territory. Lexis/Nexis provides 34 results for the terms “Turkey,” “Kurds,” and “crisis” for the period 3/1/1995 to 4/1/1995 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Western dependency on Turkish bases creates a relative feeling of immunity over the Kurdish issue. Possible pressure on Turkey might make the renewal of permission for Provide Comfort by the Turkish parliament less likely.[ii]

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Policies aiming to defend the country’s security contain this element of indistinguishability. However, in this case the ambiguity in incentives is not reflected in third party analyses, which overwhelmingly criticize Turkey for its operation.[iii]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

Rivalries result from PKK activities since the mid-1980s. \

Domestic Challenges1

Pressure for an Islamic state is on the rise, and the economy is in deep crisis (inflation problems).[iv]There are elections forthcoming in the next six months. [v]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Despite international efforts, Turkey invades Northern Iraq. [vi] 


[i] , “Turkey said to have launched military operation in northern Iraq”, Deutsche Presse-Agentur October 3, 1998,

[ii] Andrew Finkel, “Ankara appears ready to confront Kurds in Turkey,” The Times, March 31, 1995.

[iii]Sajid Rizvi, “Turkey risks isolation with Kurdish war”, United Press International, March 27, 1995.

[iv] Daniel J. Wakin, “Ataturk's Vision of Turkey is Fraying” The Associated Press, March 27, 1995.

[v] John Barham, “Turkey's Islamists enjoy growing appeal: The Refah party could be the biggest after the general election next month,” Financial Times, November 29, 1995, p.3.

[vi] Jonathan Rugman, “Turkey sends army in pursuit of Kurds,” Manchester Guardian Weekly, March 26, 1995, p. 3.

G-AegeanImia96

Greece on Imia-Kardak islet crisis with Turkey (1996)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

In January 1996, Greece and Turkey experience another crisis in the Aegean Sea, this time over the sovereignty of the uninhabited Aegean islet, Imia (Kardak in Turkish). Greece is alarmed by the fact that Turkey claims Greek territory for the first time ever. [i] This crisis that brings the two countries close to war, ends with the withdrawal of both Greek and Turkish troops from the islet. The Greek government claims that Italy ceded Imia to Greece under the 1947 settlement (along with the main Dodecanese islands off the Turkish coast). But Turkey argues that the islet and other similar rocks are not included in the 1947 accord, as they had already been granted by Italy to Turkey under an earlier 1932 convention, which stated that all the Aegean islets within 18 km of the coast belong to the nearest country. [ii] The final status of Imia/Kardak has not been settled since the January 1996 crisis, but the two countries have agreed to apply to the International Court in The Hague for mediation in the future. For the period 1/15/1996 – 2/15/1996, Lexis/Nexis provides 153 results for terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

Both Greece and Turkey claim that they are defending their national territory while the other country is attacking them. This argument resonates with both publics, even though neither has ever heard of the two islets before. International media and third governments find it difficult to take a definite position, since the conflict over this islet has not occurred in the past, and little is known of the geography of the region. Most sources talk about a crisis over an obscure, uninhabited islet.[iii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  1

Offensive action is superior to defensive in the Aegean Sea, because either of the two countries can create an accomplished fact by effectively seizing a “disputed islet” first.  The Greek side goes on the offensive by moving first and placing flag and soldiers on Imia. Although Greece does not have a military advantage over Turkey in case of a large-scale of war, it can harm Turkey in the EU politically.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Kostas Simitis is sworn in as Prime Minister on January 22, 1996 replacing Andreas Papandreou, who has been admitted to hospital in late November with lung and kidney problems. On January 18, Simitis is elected by Pasok deputies as party leader and Prime Minister with a narrow majority, while his opponents still control the ministry of defense.  Simitis faces both intra-party and nationwide challenges.[iv] In addition, he has to deal with the criticism of the Greek military for accepting a US-brokered compromise over the plans of the General Staff. [v] His public approval ratings sink from 80 percent to 36 percent after handling the crisis. [vi] 

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey resulting from the crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Greece follows a number of confrontational policies after the crisis, such as the use of threat of war against Turkey if it follows similar policies,[vii] the stalling of EU aid package for Ankara,[viii] and the cancellation of US mediation by State Department envoy Richard Holbrooke a month later. [ix]Top of Form The diversionary theory of war is confirmed. 


[i] “Greece: Turkish claim hinders relations”, United Press International, January 26, 1996.

[ii] Elizabeth Neuffer, “Greece Struggles in a Sea of Change: Turkish Rivalry a Turning Point,” The BostonGlobe, February 13, 1996.

[iii] Financial Times, “Moves to calm Aegean dispute”, January 31, 1996, p.2.

[iv] Agence France Presse, “Papandreou's return creates headaches for Simitis,” May 14, 1996; United Press International, “Greek Socialists move to elect new leader,” June 23, 1996.

[v] Anthee Carassavas, “Defense-leak scandal rocks”, United Press International, February 8, 1996.

[vi] Elizabeth Neuffer, “Greece Struggles in a Sea of Change: Turkish Rivalry a Turning Point,” The Boston Globe, February 13, 1996.

[vii] Elizabeth Neuffer, “Greece Struggles in a Sea of Change Turkish Rivalry a Turning Point,” The Boston Globe, February, 13, 1996; Greece warns Turkey over new island dispute, Agence France-Presse, June 06, 1996.

[viii] “Greece stalls EU aid for Turkey in islet row,” Agence France Presse, February 22, 1996; European Report, “EU/ Turkey: Greece Blocks Customs Union Funding”, February 24, 1996.

[ix] Stephen Weeks, “Greeks vent hurt pride on special envoy Holbrooke,” The Herald (Glasgow), February, 06, 1996, p. 8.

T-AegKardak96

Turkey on Imia-Kardak islet crisis with Turkey (1996)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

In January 1996, Greece and Turkey experience another crisis in the Aegean Sea, this time over the sovereignty of the uninhabited Aegean islet, Imia (Kardak in Turkish). Prime Minister Çiller pledges to do whatever is necessary to defend Turkish interests.[i] This crisis that brings the two countries close to war, ends with the withdrawal of both Greek and Turkish troops from the islet. The Greek government claims that Italy ceded Imia to Greece under the 1947 settlement (along with the main Dodecanese islands off the Turkish coast). But Turkey argues that the islet and other similar rocks are not included in the 1947 accord, as they had already been granted by Italy to Turkey under an earlier 1932 convention, which stated that all Aegean islets within 18 km of the coast belong to the nearest country. [ii] The final status of Imia/Kardak has not been settled since the January 1996 crisis, but the two countries have agreed to apply to the International Court in The Hague for mediation in the future. For the period 1/15/1996 – 2/15/1996, Lexis/Nexis provides 153 results for terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 1

Both Greece and Turkey claim to defend their national territory while the other country is attacking them. International media and third governments find it difficult to take a definite position. Most sources initially talk about a crisis over an obscure uninhabited islet;[iii] some indicate primary Turkish responsibility, but do so weeks after the incident takes place. [iv]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  1

Offensive action is superior to defensive in the Aegean Sea, because either of the two countries can create an accomplished fact by effectively seizing a “disputed islet.” The Turkish side has an incentive to place troops on a nearby islet once Greece does so. In addition to geography, Turkey has a military advantage over Greece.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Prime Minister Tansu Çiller resorts to confrontational policies to maintain his fading popular support. The December 1995 general elections are seen as a massive protest vote against established parties, especially the DYP, which is held responsible for the country's serious economic situation (the 1994 Turkish lira crisis causes a 6.1% contraction of the economy).  Ciller’s conservative DYP party ends up with only 135 seats, 33 fewer than in the 1991 parliament. The Islamist Refah wins a major victory, but falls short of becoming a majority in the parliament. Thus, after the elections of 1995, Turkey enters a period of political instability with the deeply divided Kemalist parties trying to create weak coalitions to exclude the Islamists.  At the time of the Imia/Kardak crisis, negotiations take place between various parties for the formation of a new center-right coalition.[v]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries: 1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean as well as the support Turkey claims Greece has given PKK.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Turkey follows confrontational policies during the crisis by using the threat of war against Greece. Both the security dilemma and the diversionary theory of war are confirmed.   


[i] “Ciller says Turkey will not tolerate a foreign flag on its soil,”  Agence France Presse, January 30, 1996.

[ii] Elizabeth Neuffer, “Greece Struggles in a Sea of Change Turkish Rivalry a Turning Point,” The BostonGlobe, February 13, 1996.

[iii] “UN Financial Times, Moves to calm Aegean dispute”, Reuter, January 31, 1996, p.2.

[iv] “Ms. Ciller Troubles the Waters”, The New York Times, February 17, 1996, p. 22.

[v] , “Yilmaz, Ciller sign Turkey coalition protocol”, Deutsche Presse-Agentur March 3, 1996.

G-CypDerynia96

Greece on Cyprus Derynia killings (1996)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Two Greek Cypriots are killed during demonstrations in the Green line in August 1996. Tassos Isaac is clubbed to death by Turkish counter-demonstrators and policemen when he becomes entangled in barbed wire in the buffer zone, while Solomos Solomou is shot while climbing a pole to remove a Turkish flag. UN peacekeepers say Turkish and Turkish Cypriot military personnel fire indiscriminately into the buffer zone, resulting in Solomou's death. Turkish troops, according to the UN, fire 25 to 50 rounds of ammunition into the crowd, a scene witnessed by the UN force commander. Greece 's foreign minister, Theodoros Pangalos, denounces the killings, while his Turkish counterpart, Tansu Çiller, declares: ‘Where we come from, no one lays a finger on the flag. If anybody has the nerve to do that, we will break their hands.’ [i] For the period 8/15/1996 – 9/15/1996, Lexis/Nexis provides 31 results for terms “Greece,” “Cyprus,” “ Turkey ,” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 0

The demonstrators are unarmed and the pose very little threat to Turkey or its soldiers in Cyprus . The Turkish government itself sees its actions as defensive, but third parties see very few defensive motives in the killings of the Greek Cypriots. For instance, in an unusually strong response to the Turkish PM’s justification of violence, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns argues, “Protection of a flag cannot excuse the horrible events of Aug. 14. Human life and the sanctity of human life are ultimately more important than protecting a piece of cloth.”[ii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense :  0

Greece can do very little militarily (especially in Cyprus ). 

Domestic Challenge :

The incidents take place only weeks before general elections in Greece . PM Simitis is facing his first elections as a leader of socialist Pasok. International media describe Simitis as a “political dwarf.” [iii]Simitis wins the September 22, 1996 elections with a narrow majority.[iv]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from the crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Confrontational Policies: 0

Despite early warnings, there is no confrontational response from Greece . While there are some riots against the Turkish consulates in Komotini and Rhodes, the Greek government allegedly apologizes for these events. [v]


[i] Mike Theodolou and Ed Vulliamy, “ Cyprus in Crisis: Divided island at breaking point”, The Observer, August 18, 1996. 

[ii] George Gedda, “US Assails Statement by Turkish Diplomat”, The Associated Press, August 08, 1996.

[iii] Lloyd's List , September 24, 1996 , p.2.

[iv] Facts on File (World News Digest) , October 10, 1996, p.745. 

[v] “Greeks riot in protests at Cyprus crisis”, Agence France-Presse, August 16, 1996.

[vi] Mike Theodolou and Ed Vulliamy, “ Cyprus in Crisis: Divided island at breaking point”, The Observer, August 18, 1996. 

There is also a warning from a senior Greek Cypriot official who announces that “any move by the Turks to the south will immediately mean war with Greece .” [vi] However, this warning is not confirmed by Greek officials. The diversionary theory of war expects confrontational policies and therefore is not confirmed by the Simitis’ government reaction.

T-CypDerynia96

Turkey on Cyprus Derynia killings (1996)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Two Greek Cypriots are killed during demonstrations in the Green line in August 1995. Tassos Isaac is clubbed to death by Turkish counter-demonstrators and policemen when he becomes entangled in barbed wire in the buffer zone, while Solomos Solomou is shot while climbing a pole to remove a Turkish flag. UN peacekeepers say Turkish and Turkish Cypriot military personnel fire indiscriminately into the buffer zone, resulting in Solomou's death. Turkish troops, according to the UN, fire 25 to 50 rounds of ammunition into the crowd, a scene witnessed by the UN force commander. Greece's foreign minister, Theodoros Pangalos, denounces the killings, while his Turkish counterpart, Tansu Çiller, declares: “Where we come from, no one lays a finger on the flag. If anybody has the nerve to do that, we will break their hands.” [i] For the period 8/15/1996 – 9/15/1996, Lexis/Nexis provides 31 results for the terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources). 

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 0

The demonstrators are unarmed, and the pose very little threat to Turkey or its soldiers in Cyprus. The Turkish government itself sees its actions as defensive, but third parties see very few defensive motives in the killings of the Greek Cypriots. For instance, in an unusually strong response to the Turkish PM’s justification of violence, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns argues, “Protection of a flag cannot excuse the horrible events of Aug. 14. Human life and the sanctity of human life are ultimately more important than protecting a piece of cloth.”[ii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense : 1

Turkey enjoys a military advantage in Cyprus. There are four times more Turkish soldiers in the island than Greek Cypriots.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Only a month before this crisis, a government is formed between Çiller’s DYP party and the Islamists headed by Erbakan. The military views this alliance with suspicion and a coup is already on the agenda.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Turkey uses indiscriminate violence against a non-threatening demonstration. Two Greek Cypriots die in front of the cameras of world media.

Two Greek Cypriots are killed during demonstrations in the Green line in August 1995. Tassos Isaac is clubbed to death by Turkish counter-demonstrators and policemen when he becomes entangled in barbed wire in the buffer zone, while Solomos Solomou is shot while climbing a pole to remove a Turkish flag. UN peacekeepers say Turkish and Turkish Cypriot military personnel fire indiscriminately into the buffer zone, resulting in Solomou's death. Turkish troops, according to the UN, fire 25 to 50 rounds of ammunition into the crowd, a scene witnessed by the UN force commander. Greece's foreign minister, Theodoros Pangalos, denounces the killings, while his Turkish counterpart, Tansu Çiller, declares: “Where we come from, no one lays a finger on the flag. If anybody has the nerve to do that, we will break their hands.” [i] For the period 8/15/1996 – 9/15/1996, Lexis/Nexis provides 31 results for the terms “Greece” and “Turkey” and “crisis” (full text search under European News Sources). 

Case Study Features:

Indistinguishability of Offensive vs. Defensive Action: 0

The demonstrators are unarmed, and the pose very little threat to Turkey or its soldiers in Cyprus. The Turkish government itself sees its actions as defensive, but third parties see very few defensive motives in the killings of the Greek Cypriots. For instance, in an unusually strong response to the Turkish PM’s justification of violence, State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns argues, “Protection of a flag cannot excuse the horrible events of Aug. 14. Human life and the sanctity of human life are ultimately more important than protecting a piece of cloth.”[ii]

Effectiveness of offense versus the defense : 1

Turkey enjoys a military advantage in Cyprus. There are four times more Turkish soldiers in the island than Greek Cypriots.

Domestic Challenge: 1

Only a month before this crisis, a government is formed between Çiller’s DYP party and the Islamists headed by Erbakan. The military views this alliance with suspicion and a coup is already on the agenda.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Confrontational Policies: 1

Turkey uses indiscriminate violence against a non-threatening demonstration. Two Greek Cypriots die in front of the cameras of world media. 


[i] Ibid.

[ii] George Gedda, “US Assails Statement by Turkish Diplomat”, The Associated Press, August 08, 1996.

G-EULuxemb97

Greece on Turkey’s EU bid in Luxemburg (1997)   

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean depends, to a large extent, on Turkish accession to the European Union. G-EULux examines Greek crisis behavior over Turkish accession in the EU at the Luxemburg Summit in December 1997. At this summit, Greece spearheads a movement in the EU Luxemburg Council to exclude Turkey from the enlarged Union.[i]  For the period 12/1/1997 – 1/1/1998, Lexis/Nexis provides 27 results for terms “Luxemburg,” “crisis,” “Greece,” and “ Turkey ” (full text search under European News Sources). In response, witnessing the progress of Cyprus towards inclusion in the EU, Ankara hardens its position on Cyprus , moving from accepting federation to demanding confederation.[ii] 

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Greece is in a position to harm Turkey in the EU, especially if at least one large country in the Union also supports its position.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

By blocking Turkey’s accession, Greece defends its own strategic interests in Cyprus and the Aegean. However, the Turkish president Süleyman Demirel sees this move as detrimental to regional peace [iii]and argues that Greece will pay a price for obscuring Turkey ’s EU membership bid.[iv] This indistinguishability in the actions of the two sides is acknowledged by outsiders to the conflict.[v]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries,” resulting primarily from the conflicts in Cyprus, Thrace and the Aegean.

Domestic Challenges : 0

There is no major threat against the Simitis government. 

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Greece leads the effort to exclude Turkey from the enlarged Union.[vi] 


[i] Edward Mortimer, “Last week's EU summit may look like a Greek triumph. But the price could be permanent partition of Cyprus ,” Financial Times, December 17, 1997, p. 20.

[ii] For statements in favor of federation, see “Radio Bayrak,” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts , November 18, 1983; for hardening positions towards confederation, see Radio Bayrak, Nicosia, in Turkish 1030 gmt 2 Sep 98, “Turkish Cypriot Party Leader Criticizes Denktas’s Confederation Proposal,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, September 3, 1998.

[iii] TRT TV, Ankara, in Turkish 0800 gmt 27 Dec 97, “Demirel says Greece ‘detrimental to regional peace’” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 30, 1997. 

[iv] , “Greece to pay for undermining Turkey : Turkish president” Agence France Presse December 27, 1997.

[v] Philip H. Gordon, “ Turkey Overreacts, but the EU Is Not Blameless”,  International Herald Tribune,December 20, 1997, p.6.

[vi] Edward Mortimer, “Last week's EU summit may look like a Greek triumph. But the price could be permanent partition of Cyprus ,” Financial Times, December 17, 1997, p. 20.

T-EULuxemb97

Turkey on its EU bid in Luxemburg (1997)    

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Stability in the Eastern Mediterranean depends, to a certain extent, on Turkish accession to the European Union. G-EULux examines Greek crisis behavior over Turkish accession to the EU at the Luxemburg Summit in December 1997. At this summit, Greece spearheads a movement in the EU Luxemburg Council to exclude Turkey from the enlarged Union.[i] For the period 12/1/1997 – 1/1/1998, Lexis/Nexis provides 27 results for the terms “Luxemburg,” “crisis,” “Greece,” and “ Turkey ” (full text search under European News Sources). In response, witnessing the progress of Cyprus towards inclusion in the EU, Ankara hardens its position on Cyprus , moving from accepting federation to demanding confederation.[ii]

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The threat to annex Northern Cyprus cannot be considered an effective policy. For one thing, Turkish Cypriot reactions make this threat non-credible. For another, if Turkey follows this policy it will irreversibly destroy its accession bid.[iii]

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

By blocking Turkey’s accession, Greece defends its own strategic interests in Cyprus and the Aegean. However, the Turkish president sees this move as detrimental to regional peace [iv] and argues that Greece will pay a price for obscuring Turkey ’s EU membership bid.[v] This indistinguishability in the actions of the two sides is acknowledged by outsiders to the conflict. [vi]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Domestic Challenges : 1

The new government in power, which “replaced” the Islamist Welfare Party in the government in June 1997, owes its presence to the support of the military. The Yilmaz government is facing a legitimacy crisis and little support in the parliament.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey retaliates by freezing political dialogue with the European Union. [vii] It also threatens to integrate the Turkish-held northern third of Cyprus, if Cyprus is invited to talks with the Union.[viii] 


[i] Ibid.

[ii] For statements in favor of federation, see “Radio Bayrak,” in Turkish 1530 gmt 16 Nov 83, “TRNC's Call for Recognition,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts , November 18, 1983; for hardening positions towards confederation, see Radio Bayrak, Nicosia, in Turkish 1030 gmt 2 Sep 98, “Turkish Cypriot Party Leader Criticizes Denktas’s Confederation Proposal,” BBC Worldwide Monitoring, September 3, 1998.

[iii] Philip H. Gordon, “ Turkey Overreacts, but the EU Is Not Blameless”, International Herald Tribune,December 20, 1997, p.6.

[iv] TRT TV, Ankara, in Turkish 0800 gmt 27 Dec 97, “Demirel says Greece ‘detrimental to regional peace’,” BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, December 30, 1997,

[v] “Greece to pay for undermining Turkey : Turkish president”, Agence France Presse, December 27, 1997.

[vi] Philip H. Gordon, “ Turkey Overreacts, but the EU Is Not Blameless”, International Herald Tribune,December 20, 1997, p.6.

[vii] Martin Walker “ Turkey taken off the EU members' menu”, Manchester Guardian Weekly, December 21, 1997, p.6.

[viii] “Greece, France, Germany unsettled as Turkey slams door to EU”, Agence France Presse,December 14, 1997.

T-SyriaÖcalan98

Turkey on Syria over PKK and Ocalan (1998)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

In October 1998, Turkey issues an ultimatum over Syria ’s support of the PKK and protection of its leader, Abdullah Öcalan. Lexis/Nexis provides 212 results for the terms “Turkey”, “Syria,” PKK, and “crisis” for the period 10/1/1998 to 11/1/1998 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Even though Israel does not take a position during the crisis, [i] Turkey’s increasing confidence with respect to Syria might be related to its military alliance with Israel two years ago.[ii] There is also a high cost of inaction for Turkey , as Kurdish nationalism is gaining ground and legitimacy.[iii] Finally, the Kurdish factions of Northern Iraq sign a peace deal in Washington on August 17, 1998, which can potentially limit Turkey ’s interventions in the region.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Turkey claims that it defends itself by fighting Syria-backed terrorists, while Syria claims Turkey’s alliance with Israel aims at encircling the whole Arab world. This ambiguity in incentives is reflected in the international press.[iv]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Turkey and Syria disputed areas include the support Syria has given to PKK, Turkey's damming of the headwaters of the Euphrates, its growing military alliance with Israel, and the disputed Turkish province of Hatay given to Turkey by the French 50 years ago.

Domestic Challenges : 1

PM Mesut Yilmaz, who faces scandals[v] and elections next April, needs an excuse to stay in power and postpone the elections. President Demirel aims to widen his powers.[vi]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

The military ultimatum against Syria is coded as confrontational policy.


[i] “Israel wants to stay clear of Turkish-Syrian crisis”, Agence France Presse, October 4, 1998; Efraim Inbar, “ Turkey deserves Israel 's support”, The Jerusalem Post, October 19, 1998, p.8.

[ii] David Hirst, “Bid to stop Turkey-Syria clash”, The Guardian, October 5, 1998. p.12.

[iii] Christopher de Bellaigue, “Turkey's generals spoiling for a fight with Kurds' 'protector': Ankara is desperate to finish off Kurdish guerrillas, even if it takes a war with Syria ,” Financial Times, October 10, 1998, p.03

[iv] David Hirst, “Bid to stop Turkey-Syria clash”, The Guardian, October 5, 1998, p.12; Roula Khalaf, “Turkey and Syria settle Kurds dispute”, Financial Times, October 22, 1998 , p.5.

[v] “Turkish government set to fall as political crisis comes to a head,”   Agence France Presse,November 23, 1998

[vi] Christopher de Bellaigue, “Turkey's generals spoiling for a fight with Kurds' 'protector': Ankara is desperate to finish off Kurdish guerrillas, even if it takes a war with Syria ,” Financial Times, October 10, 1998, p.3

T-ItalyÖcalan98

Turkey on Italy over PKK and Ocalan (1998)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Following the October 1998 Turkish ultimatum against Syria, Damascus gives in, and Öcalan leaves Syria for Russia . He is eventually arrested in Italy, which refuses to extradite him to Turkey . Lexis/Nexis provides 122 results for the terms “Turkey,” “ Italy ,” PKK, and “crisis” for the period 11/1/1998 to 12/1/1998 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

There is a high cost of inaction for Turkey , as Kurdish nationalism is gaining ground and legitimacy, especially in a large European country.[i] Turkey represents a large market for Italy , which seems extremely vulnerable to threats for a commercial boycott.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0 

Italy claims that its constitution cannot allow extradition of the PKK leader to a government that supports the death penalty (as Turkey does).[ii] Turkey claims that the arrest of the PKK leader is essential in fighting terrorism.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

 Rivalries result from PKK activities since the mid-1980s, as well as from the exclusion of Turkey from the enlarged EU.

Domestic Challenges : 1

PM Mesut Yilmaz, who faces scandals[iii] and elections next April, needs an excuse to stay in power and postpone the elections. President Demirel aims to widen his powers.[iv] Despite a domestic political crisis, PM Yilmaz can count on broad support in his standoff with Italy .[v]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Italy ’s policy causes the outrage of hundreds of thousands of Turkish citizens and the boycott of Italian products in the country.[vi] 


[i] Rana Dogar, Mark Dennis, Sami Kohen, Joseph Contreras, Stefan Theil, Barbie Nadeau, Carla Power, Amanda Bernard, “Turkey vs. Europe” Newsweek, November 30, 1998, p.9. 

[ii] Ibid. 

[iii] “Turkish government set to fall as political crisis comes to a head,” Agence France Presse, November 23, 1998. 

[iv] Christopher de Bellaigue, “Turkey's generals spoiling for a fight with Kurds' 'protector': Ankara is desperate to finish off Kurdish guerrillas, even if it takes a war with Syria ,” Financial Times, October 10, 1998, p.3. 

[v] Lucian Kim, “How the case of a Kurdish rebel divides NATO allies”, Christian Science Monitor, November 30, 1998, p.7.

[vi] Although the government does not organize itself the boycott, it helps initiate it through its political statements and its own boycott of Italian military equipment. Agence France Presse , “ Turkey threatens Italy with arms and trade boycott over Ocalan,” November 22, 1998.

G-CypS30098

Greece on S-300 missile deployment in Cyprus (1998)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study examines Greek crisis behavior over Turkish threats against Cyprus in retaliation to the deployment of the Russian S-300 missiles in the island. Turkish forces rehearse operations to destroy the missiles if they are deployed. Although such action can ignite a war between Greece and Turkey, according to the Washington Times, Turkey 's political leaders are reluctant to back down, particularly with parliamentary elections scheduled for April 1999.[i] For the period 12/1/1998 – 1/1/1999, Lexis/Nexis provides 43 results for terms “Cyprus,” “crisis,” “Greece,” and “ Turkey ” (full text search under European News Sources). In December 1998, Cyprus decides not to deploy the missiles.[ii]

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Offensive measures, such as the purchase of new missiles, can help Cyprus very little in its defense and might put Greek Cypriots at greater military risk, if Turkey retaliates before the deployment of the missiles.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

Armaments are a classic example of indistinguishability between offensive and defensive action. Actions to secure one side lead to unintended fears and escalations of conflict by the ethnic antagonists.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries,” resulting primarily from the Turkish invasion of Cyprus , and other issues. 

Domestic Challenges : 0

The Greek government does not face any major election or challenge at the time.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece puts an unprecedented amount of pressure on the Cyprus government to give up its deployment of the Russian missiles. 


[i] James H. Anderson and James Phillips, “Averting war between Greece and Turkey ”, The Washington Times, October 9, 1998, p.18.

[ii] Martin Hellicar, “ Cyprus abandons plans to deploy controversial S-300 missiles”, Agence France Presse, December 30, 1998.

T-CypS30098

Turkey on S-300 missile deployment in Cyprus (1998)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

The case study considers Turkish crisis behavior over Greek Cypriot intentions to deploy sophisticated S-300 missiles in the island. Turkish forces rehearse operations to destroy the missiles if they are deployed. Although such action can ignite a war between Greece and Turkey, according to the Washington Times, Turkey's political leaders are reluctant to back down, particularly with parliamentary elections scheduled for April 1999.[i] For the period 12/1/1998 – 1/1/1999, Lexis/Nexis provides 43 results for terms “Cyprus,” “crisis,” “Greece,” and “Turkey” (full text search under European News Sources). In December 1998, Cyprus decides not to deploy the missiles.[ii] 

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

Turkey has an offensive advantage in Cyprus. There are four times more Turkish soldiers in the island than Greek Cypriots.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

Armaments are a classic example of indistinguishability between offensive and defensive action. Actions to secure one side lead to unintended fears and escalations of conflict by the ethnic antagonists.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries,” resulting primarily from the conflicts in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Domestic Challenges1

The Yilmaz government faces a major scandal and imminent elections in April. [iii]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey threatens military action to destroy the missiles. [iv]


[i] James H. Anderson and James Phillips, “Averting war between Greece and Turkey”,  The Washington Times,  October 9, 1998, p.18.

[ii] Martin Hellicar, “Cyprus abandons plans to deploy controversial S-300 missiles”, Agence France Presse, December 30, 1998.

[iii] Susan Fraser, “Turkey's Cyprus hero returns to power”,  The Associated Press,  December 2, 1998.

[iv] “Cyprus to go ahead with missile deployment despite Turkish threats”, Agence France Presse, May 29, 1998.

G-Helsinki99

Greece on Turkey’s EU bid in Helsinki (1999)   

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

In December 1999, Turkey and the EU member countries negotiate over granting Turkey applicant member status. Turkish politicians, including the President of Turkey, Süleyman Demirel, threaten Greece with reprisals if the country vetoes Turkey’s accession bid again.[i] Turkey is asked to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court in The Hague concerning the Aegean disputes by 2004 at the latest and not to retaliate over the accession of Cyprus to the EU.[ii] Lexis/Nexis provides 59 results for the terms “Greece,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “negotiations” for the period 12/1/1999 to 1/1/2000 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Greece has more to gain by compromising with Turkey. The EU candidacy status comes with two conditions for Turkey that most Greeks and Greek Cypriots see as favoring themselves.[iii] Three major developments contribute to the shift in Greek foreign policy: 1) Turkey’s manifest desire to compromise; 2) Turkey’s accumulated anger over the Öcalan incident; 3) the willingness of all other EU countries to grant Turkey candidacy status.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The EU candidacy talks suffer from this indistinguishability. By blocking Turkey’s accession, Greece defends vital interests in Cyprus and the Aegean, but Turkish President Süleyman Demirel sees this as a hostile move against his country.[iv] This indistinguishability in the actions of the two sides is acknowledged by outsiders to the conflict. [v]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are “enduring ethnic rivalries,” resulting primarily from the conflicts in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Domestic Challenges1

The Greek government is due to face elections in September 2000 (elections take place in April 2000).[vi]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece endorses Turkey’s EU accession bid. 


[i] Peter Norman, “Better ties at risk, Turkey warns Greece, Helsinki Summit Warning over Athens-Imposed Hurdles to Ankara’s Candidacy for EU Membership,” Financial Times, December 10, 1999, p.2.

[ii] Wes Jonasson, “Politics-EU: ‘Constructive Ambiguity’ for Turkey, Greece and Cyprus,” IPS- Inter Press Service, December 13, 1999.

[iii] “Simitis - Greece has achieved all its objectives in Helsinki,” M2 Presswire, December 13, 1999; “Majority of Greeks Welcome Helsinki Decision on Turkey’s EU,” Xinhua General News Service,December 12, 1999; “Ecevit Yilmaz Deny Turkey Made Concessions,” Turkish Daily News, December 15, 1999.

[iv] “Warning to EU: Refusing Candidacy Status may Spoil Climate of Turkish-Greek Ties,” Turkish Daily News, December 7, 1999; Ilnur Cevik and Yusuf Kanli, “Exclusive Interview with President Demirel,” Turkish Daily News, December 10, 1999.

[v] “EU/Turkey: Intense Negotiations on Eve of Helsinki European Council”, December 1, European Report, 1999.

[vi]“An election that really makes a difference”, The Independent, April 11, 2000, p.3.

T-Helsinki99

Turkey on its EU bid in Helsinki (1999)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

In December 1999, Turkey and the EU member countries negotiate over granting Turkey an applicant member status. Turkish politicians, including the President of Turkey, Süleyman Demirel, threaten Greece with reprisals if the country vetoes Turkey’s accession bid again.[i] Turkey is asked to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court in The Hague concerning the Aegean disputes by 2004 at the latest and not to retaliate over the accession of Cyprus to the EU.[ii] Lexis/Nexis provides 59 results for the terms “Greece,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “negotiations” for the period 12/1/1999 to 1/1/2000 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Given the EU intention to support Turkey, the country does not have the luxury of engaging in confrontations with Greece and Cyprus. The interests of 65 million Turkish citizens depend largely on Turkey’s EU bid. 

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The EU candidacy talks suffer from this indistinguishability. By blocking Turkey’s accession, Greece defends vital interests in Cyprus and the Aegean, but Turkish President Süleyman Demirel sees this as a hostile move against his country.[iii] This indistinguishability in the actions of the two sides is acknowledged by outsiders to the conflict. [iv]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Domestic Challenges1

Turkey suffers the most devastating earthquake in its recent history, leading to a social outcry that threatens the state, its newly-revealed deficiencies, and incumbent political elites. The current coalition government headed by leftist Ecevit is supported by the ultra-nationalist MHP. Its leader Bacheli threatens to leave the government if concessions are made over Cyprus or the Aegean

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Turkey reaches a compromise with Greece at Helsinki. 


[i] Peter Norman, “Better ties at risk, Turkey warns Greece, Helsinki Summit Warning over Athens-Imposed Hurdles to Ankara’s Candidacy for EU Membership,” Financial Times, December 10, 1999, p.2.

[ii] Wes Jonasson, “Politics-EU: ‘Constructive Ambiguity’ for Turkey, Greece and Cyprus,” IPS- Inter Press Service, December 13, 1999.

[iii] “Warning to EU: Refusing Candidacy Status may Spoil Climate of Turkish-Greek Ties,” Turkish Daily News, December 7, 1999; Ilnur Cevik and Yusuf Kanli, “Exclusive Interview with President Demirel,” Turkish Daily News, December 10, 1999.

[iv] “EU/Turkey: Intense Negotiations on Eve of Helsinki European Council”, European Report, December 1, 1999.

[v] “Bahceli, Kutan: No Concessions on Cyprus and the Aegean,” Turkish Daily News, December 15, 1999

T-ArmenGen01

Turkey on France over Armenian genocide (2001)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

In January 2001 the French National Assembly decides on a bill recognizing the Armenian genocide of 1915. [i] Armenians maintain that 1.5 million people died in massacres and mass deportations between 1915 and 1917, while Turkey says some 300,000 Armenians and thousands of Turks were killed in internal fighting in the dissolution years of the Ottoman Empire.[ii]Lexis/Nexis provides 44 results for the terms “Armenia,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “ France ” for the period 1/1/2001 to 2/1/2001 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1 

Turkey is no in a position to harm France in any way other than boycotting French products. The French government quietly avoids any escalation of the conflict. Turkey does not have any immediate negotiations with the EU that might be damaged by this policy.[iii] The cost of inaction is high. Unless Turkey acts quickly against the first countries to recognize the genocide, others might follow suit.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1 

Turkey sees the recognition of the genocide as the first step towards territorial demands in Eastern Anatolia.[iv] Meanwhile, Armenians and others consider it a historic duty to have the genocide recognized.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries exist over the Armenian demand for recognition of the 1915 genocide and Asala terrorism.[v]France played a leading role in the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.

Domestic Challenges : 0

Political instability begins a month later, after a devastating economic crisis that marks the beginning of the end of the Ecevit coalition. [vi]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey recalls its envoy from Paris [vii] and cancels arms purchases from France ,[viii] while consumers in the country boycott French products.[ix]


[i] “ France recognizes Armenian massacre, invokes Turkish wrath”, Deutsche Presse-Agentur, May 29, 1998

[ii] Hande Culpan, “Turkey warns France of reprisals over Armenian genocide bill”, Agence France Presse, January 18, 2001.

[iii] “Turks angry with France over ‘genocide’ claim,” United Press International, January 18, 2001.

[iv] Anatolia news agency, Ankara , in Turkish 0720 gmt 14 Jan 01, “Armed forces web site assesses ‘Armenian issue’”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 17, 2001,

[v] Jean-Marc Theolleyre, “Bombing discredits Armenian cause”, Manchester Guardian Weekly/ Le Monde, July 24, 1983, p.1.

[vi] “ Turkey 's central bank governor resigns”, The Guardian, February 26, 2001, p21.

[vii] NTV television, Istanbul, in Turkish 1245 gmt 18 Jan 01, “Turkey recalls envoy from France over parliament's Armenian genocide vote”, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, January 20, 2001. 

[viii] Andrew Borowiec, “Armenia decree inflames tensions with Turkey ,” The Washington Times, February 9, 2001, p. 13.

[ix] “Turkey may boycott French wines, cheeses, veterinary vaccines,” AFX European Focus, January 25, 2001; “Anger Continues in Turkey after French Assembly Decision: Sezer believes that relations might be seriously hurt if the French Government fails to take any measure to render the resolution ineffective”, Turkish Daily News, January 20, 2001.

T-CypEU02

Turkey on Cyprus-EU accession and negotiations  (2002)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation between the two sides. Moreover, a lack of settlement in Cyprus might lead to Turkey’s exclusion from the EU, due to a Greek or Greek Cypriot veto.[i]  A year earlier the Turkish PM used the threat of annexing Northern Cyprus if the island is admitted to the EU. [ii] In the Copenhagen summit of December 2002, the EU fails to start negotiations for Turkey’s candidacy, and in return, Turkey fails to convince the Turkish Cypriot leadership to support the Annan plan settlement.[iii] Lexis/Nexis provides 57 results for the terms “Greece,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “Cyprus” for the period 12/1/2002 to 1/1/2003 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 1

The decision to postpone Turkey’s accession membership prompts Turkey’s hesitation to endorse the Annan plan. Turkey has an incentive to use Cyprus as a trump card for its future negotiations with the EU, even though this might eventually lead to a worse settlement for the Turkish Cypriots.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The EU candidacy talks suffer from this indistinguishability. An interpretation supported by commentators is that nobody is certain whether Turkey is excluded because of its human rights record and economic performance or simply because Turkey is a Muslim country.[iv] For this reason, Turkey is unwilling to make compromises in Cyprus without being granted an EU accession date.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries with Greece, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean, as well as the support that Turkey claims Greece and Cyprus have given PKK.

Domestic Challenges1

The new Islamist government elected a month earlier in November 2002, faces the suspicion of the military and the Kemalist establishment. [v]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 1

Turkey rejects the Annan plan and supports the Turkish Cypriot leadership on a similar decision, despite pro-peace mobilizations by thousands of Turkish Cypriots. A few months later, Turkey repeats this policy in The Hague Cyprus negotiations. This case study confirms both the diversionary theory and the security dilemma. 


[i] “Turkey's new team: Erdogan must act quickly on Cyprus to win EU backing”, Financial Times, November 21, 2002 p. 20; Clement Dodd, “Comment & Analysis: A shotgun deal for Cyprus that could backfire”, Financial Times, December 5, 2002, p.13

[ii] “Greek Cypriots say annexation threat is blackmail,” Agence France Presse, November 4, 2001.

[iii] Judy Dempsey, Robert Graham, George Parker and Stefan Wagstyl, “Setback for Turkey over EU entry Accession Talks EU Leaders’ Decision could Hamper Progress on UN Plan for Cyprus”, Financial Times, December 13, 2002, p.2

[iv] Donald Macintyre, “Europe must not turn its back on Turkey at such a pivotal moment” The Independent, December 5, 2002, p.20.

[v] “Eurofile: Big Issue-Turkish Elections”, The Independent, November 9, 2002, p.28. 

G-CypEU02

Greece on Cyprus-EU accession and negotiations  (2002)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

Given the nature of the Cyprus problem, any failed attempt to settle the issue increases the chance for future confrontation between the two sides. Moreover, a lack of settlement in Cyprus might lead to Turkey’s exclusion from the EU, due to a Greek or Greek Cypriot veto.[i]  A year earlier, the Turkish PM used the threat of annexing Northern Cyprus if the island is admitted to the EU. [ii] In the Copenhagen summit of December 2002, the EU fails to start negotiations for Turkey’s candidacy, and in return, Turkey fails to convince the Turkish Cypriot leadership to support the Annan plan settlement.[iii] Lexis/Nexis provides 57 results for the terms “Greece,” “Turkey,” “crisis,” and “Cyprus” for the period 12/1/2002 to 1/1/2003 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Does the Greek government have an incentive to follow confrontational policies and reject the Annan plan? The Simitis government looks favorably at the proposed Annan plan and is well aware that Greek Cypriot rejection might complicate the island’s accession to the EU.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

The EU candidacy talks with Turkey suffer from this indistinguishability. For one thing, Greece aims at a proper and fair settlement in Cyprus and the Aegean. Greek policies that promote these objectives might lead to a Greek veto of Turkey’s accession. For another, Turkey claims that it should not be excluded from the EU, because of the country’s large Muslim population.[iv] The absence of a secure path for Turkey in the European Union complicates the settlement of Cyprus and the Aegean dispute.

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries1

There are enduring rivalries with Turkey, resulting from crises in Cyprus, Thrace, and the Aegean.

Domestic Challenges0

There are no forthcoming elections.

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece accepts the Annan plan and supports the Greek Cypriot leadership on a similar decision. 


[i] “Turkey's new team: Erdogan must act quickly on Cyprus to win EU backing”, Financial Times, November 21, 2002 p. 20; Clement Dodd, “Comment & Analysis: A shotgun deal for Cyprus that could backfire”, Financial Times, December 5, 2002, p.13

[ii] “Greek Cypriots say annexation threat is blackmail,” Agence France Presse, November 4, 2001.

[iii] Judy Dempsey, Robert Graham, George Parker and Stefan Wagstyl, “Setback for Turkey over EU entry Accession Talks EU Leaders’ Decision could Hamper Progress on UN Plan for Cyprus, Financial Times, December 13, 2002, p.2

[iv] Donald Macintyre, “Europe must not turn its back on Turkey at such a pivotal moment” The Independent, December 5, 2002, p20.

T-NorthernIraq03

Turkey on federalization of Iraq (2003)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset, Queen's University Belfast.

Case Summary:

This case study examines Turkey’s crisis behavior over Northern Iraq in March 2003. The US invasion might fuel Kurdish nationalists within Turkey’s border,[i]Lexis/Nexis provides 84 results for the terms “Turkish invasion” and “ Iraq ” for the period 3/15/2003 to 4/15/2003 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

Turkey loses US support after its refusal to allow American troops in the country.[iv]

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 1

While Kurdish guerrillas in Turkey declare a unilateral cease-fire in 1999, the situation in Northern Iraq, where Kurdish groups fight against the repressive Saddam regime, is still tense. Since the first Gulf War, Turkish policymakers fear that a federated Kurdish entity in Iraq might become a model for the Kurds of Turkey in seeking their own autonomous status. International observers recognize the validity of these concerns.[vi]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries result from PKK activities since the mid-1980s.

Domestic Challenges : 1

The Kemalist establishment creates problems in the election of PM Tayyip Erdogan.[vii]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Despite earlier threats, Turkey does not intervene in Iraq .[viii]

 

[i]  Louis Meixler, “Turkey fears Iraq invasion would fuel Kurdish nationalists within its borders,” The Associated Press, December 3, 2002,

[ii] Patrick Cockburn, “The Iraq Conflict: Kurdish Victory Provokes Fears of Turkish Invasion: The Battle for Kirkuk”, The Independent,  April 11, 2003, p.4

[iii] Philip P. Pan, “ Turkish Officials Back Away From Threats to Invade Northern Iraq”,  The Washington Post, April 12, 2003, p.23

[iv] Ariel Cohen, “ Turkey 's geopolitical fiasco,” The Washington Times, March 30, 2003, p.4.

[v] “Bush warns Turkey against unilateral action in northern Iraq ”, AFX European Focus, 

March 16, 2003 ; Patrick Cockburn, “The Threat of War: US Special Forces Join Local Troops in Build-up on Northern Front”, The Independent, March 17, 2003 , p.3.

[vi] Ibid; Derk Kinnane Roelofsma, “Analysis: Iraq opposition to meet in Turkey ”, United Press International, March 15, 2003.

[vii] Jonny Dymond, “Turkish ruler wins seat in parliament,” Manchester Guardian Weekly, March 19, 2003 , p. 4.

[viii] Philip P. Pan, “Turkish Officials Back Away From Threats to Invade Northern Iraq” The Washington Post, April 12, 2003, p.23.