As a Turkish person whose family fled to the UK from Cyprus, I’m excited about Erdogan’s visit to Greece

 

My mother didn’t want to tell me about the war in Cyprus, so instead I found out one day when a girl at my primary school started yelling racist insults, telling me to ‘get out of Cyprus – it’s our country’

 

 

Next week Recep Erdogan will become the first sitting Turkish President to visit Greece in 65 years. Let that sink in: after decades of hostility and racial tension, Erdogan (the unlikely peacemaker) will be travelling to Athens for two days to talk about trade agreements.

There is much speculation about what this will mean for Turkish-Greek relations, and even though I cannot stand the Turkish President myself, I’m still pretty excited.

Like Erdogan, I will also be a Turk visiting Athens for the first time in my life next month. I’m the first person in my family for three generations to visit Greece, and he’s the first President in three generations of an entire country visiting Greece – granted, these two things don’t have quite the same global significance. Nevertheless, this holiday carries with it real political baggage for me – and I can’t even begin to imagine how much Erdogan will be carrying when he visits.

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