Tozun Bahcheli, professor of political science at King's College of the University of Western Ontario, will discuss troubled relations between Greece and Turkey in the OVC Room of the University Center. He is currently a research fellow at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, D.C., where he analyzes political and security issues affecting the two countries.
Relations between Greece and Turkey have been troubled for decades by disputes over the Aegean Sea and Cyprus, a small island off the coast of Turkey. Recently aggravated in part by unstable governments, the troubles escalated, and in January, the two NATO allies almost went to war. Because both countries are American allies in NATO, the United States may inevitably be drawn into the situation if conflict erupts.
Currently, about 80 percent of the Cypriots are Greek, and 20 percent are Turkish. Along with unstable political situations in both Greece and Turkey, this split culture has created a very dangerous situation that could unfold into war at any time, according to Michael Gunter, professor of political science, who organized the lecture. Both countries have managed to keep peace since the 1920s, except for an episode over Cyprus in 1974.
Bahcheli, who is Turkish, was born in Cyprus but has lived in Canada for more than 25 years. He has become an internationally recognized expert on the subject of Greek-Turkish relations after extensive publications. His book "Greek-Turkish Relations Since 1955," published in 1990, is regarded by scholars as the definitive analysis on the subject.
Bahcheli's talk is sponsored by the Options Program on International Security and the Department of Political Science. For more information, contact Gunter at Tennessee Tech at 615/372-3180.