Turkish Foreign Minister  Hakan Fidan has again aired a handful of revisionist and outlandish Turkish claims vis-a-vis Greece, despite a recent “thaw” in bilateral relations after more than three years of systemic provocations and belligerence on the part of the Erdogan administration, including references to the “status” of Greek isles and their “demilitarization”.

Nevertheless, speaking in an interview with a Turkish media outlet on Monday, Fidan said he and his Greek counterpart, Giorgos Gerapetritis, are seeking ways to discuss “the problem from a new perspective.”

Fidan also referred to the long-standing Cyprus problem and even a subject considered as an internal domestic matter for Greece, namely, the Muslim minority in latter’s Thrace province, provocatively referring to “our kin.”

In response, Greek diplomatic sources emphasized the fact that while the two countries are trying to improve their relations, this doesn’t mean that serious differences of opinion on specific issues have vanished. “We promote mutually beneficial issues but don’t backtrack on fundamental positions, as precisely reflected in the Athens Declaration,” diplomatic sources in Athens maintained.

Sabre-rattling and inflammatory rhetoric by Ankara essentially ceased in the year since devastating earthquakes hit southeast Turkey and general elections in both countries, with political dialogue now squarely on the agenda. A new high-level meeting is expected on March 11 in Ankara between Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Alexandra Papadopoulou and her Turkish counterpart, Burak Akçapar.

As previously stated, both sides have agreed to focus on a “positive agenda” in such talks, avoiding, for the moment at least, any hint of negotiation on certain “hot button” issues.

Delimitating maritime zones and the Aegean’s continental shelf is the only outstanding issue recognized by Athens, with the latter repeatedly calling on Ankara to acquiesce to recourse at the International Court of Justice at The Hague.

A rapprochement between Athens and Ankara also comes amid the twin conflicts in the wider region, namely, Russia’s continuing invasion of Ukraine, and the Hamas-Israel war affecting the entire Middle East.