One Hundred Years of Greek-Turkish Relations. The Human Dimension of an Ongoing Conflict

One Hundred Years of Greek-Turkish Relations

The Human Dimension of an Ongoing Conflict

Samim Akgönül

Contributions by Tiphaine Delenda

Edinburgh University Press

Explores the multifaceted relationship between Greeks and Turks

  • Closely examines the consequences of the compulsory exchange of populations in 1923 between Greece and Turkey
  • Highlights the moments of coexistence and mutual admiration between the two nations, despite periods of conflict
  • Explores the profound impact of historical and ongoing conflicts on individuals and communities, including physical harm, emotional trauma, displacement, and loss of livelihoods
  • Delves into the experiences of minority communities, specifically the Greek minority in Turkey and the Muslim-Turkish minority in Western Thrace, Greece
  • Investigates the cultural interaction between Greeks and Turks throughout history, encompassing elements such as cuisine, music, literature, and art

The relationship between Greece and Turkey has been fraught with tension for a century, with a range of issues including territorial disputes, cultural and political differences. Despite being NATO allies and neighbours, the two nations have a long history of conflict and mistrust, but also a sense of similarity and mutual admiration. In the 21st century, the situation has become increasingly complex, as we have seen a resurgence of nationalist sentiment on both sides, as well as an active engagement between the two nations through common initiatives, tourism, media and social sciences. This book analyses the human dimension of Greek-Turkish relations, using extensive primary data collected from interviews and archival research conducted over 30 years. It focuses on the topic of the compulsory exchange and its consequences, as well as the Greek minority in Turkey, the Turkish minority in Greece, and contemporary developments in the mutual, yet paradoxical, relationships between the two nations.




  1. Turks and Greeks: Of Partition and Separation
  2. Greek-Turkish war in Correspondance d'Orient, an 'Oriental' Journal published in Paris 1919-22
  3. ‘New Turks’: Turkey’s 1923 Muhacirs
  4. A Peculiar Group: Polites
  5. A Specific Branch of Turkish Diaspora andTtransnationality: Greece’s Muslims
  6. One Hundred Years of Greek-Turkish relations: Breaking Points, Evolutions and Continuity

Conclusion: Turkey, Greece and Complex Interdependence




Professor Samim Akgönül has long been one of the most important observers of Greek-Turkish relations. Exploring the intricate tapestry of relations between Greeks and Turks, this book is a remarkable journey through history, conflict and cultural coexistence. Akgönül's extensive research and personal narratives decipher the complexities of this enduring relationship, highlighting moments of unity amidst turmoil. A must-read for those seeking insight into this enigmatic yet natural bond.

– Baskın Oran, University of Ankara

This overview of the human dimension of the Greek-Turkish relations focused on the reciprocal minorities is a major contribution to overcoming dominant stereotypes about two countries perceived as inherently antagonistic. Essential reading that goes beyond the nation-centric narratives on minorities and the trauma of the population exchange.

– Konstantinos Tsitselikis, University of Macedonia