ISSN 2330-717X

Turkey Advocates Macedonia Joining NATO


By Misko Taleski

Expanding membership is not on the agenda of next week’s NATO summit in Chicago, but Turkey is attempting to raise the issue through an indirect meeting at the summit for Macedonia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Georgia, with a special focus on Macedonia.

“Macedonia’s request for membership is very just and is a contribution to the peace and stability in the Balkans,” Cemil Cicek, president of Turkey’s parliament, said during his visit in Skopje on Thursday (May 17th).

Cicek said Turkey will do everything it can to put the question of Macedonia’s entry in NATO on the table.

“The newly-created situation after the ICJ’s verdict imposes the need at the forthcoming Chicago summit to redefine the conclusion from [the summit in] Bucharest which was a result of the illegal behaviour by Greece,” Macedonia President Georgi Ivanov said.

Greek diplomacy was jolted into action again, given the support Macedonia — and Turkey’s initiative — is receiving from Great Britain, Norway, Croatia and Slovenia.

“We do not have only a problem with Greece. Some leading countries in NATO solidarised with Greece’s unjust politics, and in calling on Macedonia to change its name, they are forcing Macedonia to capitulate. They are asking the impossible of a country dedicated to NATO and its missions,” Biljana Vankovska, professor at the Institute for Security, Defence and Peace Studies, told SETimes.

Given that Greece has no government and is facing a severe political-economic crisis, the country’s political parties met to formulate a common position for the summit.

According to the transcripts provided by Greek President Karolos Papoulias, the parties agreed not to change Greece’s position in the dispute it imposed on Macedonia.

“Our arguments should be smarter than those offered in 2008. We have to strengthen them more skillfully and more intelligently,” Evangelos Venizelos, leader of PASOK, said.

They announced if there is an attempt to pose the question of Macedonia’s membership, Greece will issue a new veto, regardless of the verdict of the UN’s International Court of Justice which classified the first 2008 veto illegal.

“We must not back down from the agreement in Bucharest. In case of a surprise, certainly there should be a veto that moment,” Andonis Samaras, leader of New Democracy, said.

Dimitar Mirchev, a former ambassador and senior adviser to Macedonia’s president, said he is surprised by Athens’ open announcements to use a veto in spite of international law and Greece’s obligations under international and bilateral agreements.

“If Greece uses a veto in Chicago, conditions will be created for a new lawsuit in The Hague. Greek politicians should be aware such a development will weaken Athens’ position in the international community and will contribute to the worsening of the security of the entire region,” Mirchev told SETimes.

Click here to have Eurasia Review's newsletter delivered via RSS, as an email newsletter, via mobile or on your personal news page.


The Southeast European Times Web site is a central source of news and information about Southeastern Europe in ten languages: Albanian, Bosnian, Bulgarian, Croatian, English, Greek, Macedonian, Romanian, Serbian and Turkish. The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command, the joint military command responsible for US operations in 52 countries. EUCOM is committed to promoting stability, co-operation and prosperity in the region.

7 thoughts on “Turkey Advocates Macedonia Joining NATO

  • May 19, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    The current Turkish goverment is full of BS. They very well know from Ottoman and cold war records there was no such thing as an “Ethnic Macedonian”. Despite a few “Macedonian” references by Bulgarian IMRO organization the creation this identity was primarily due to “communist demagoguery” (I quote the US state department in 1944)

    The very fact the Turkish government now plays stupid as FYROM has changed context of their Macedonians identity into “ancient Macedonians” is a testimonial to both their manipulations and bigotry towards Greeks. (effectively colluding in FYROM’s attempts to subtlely ethnically erase Greeks with word games). Have FYROM apologists already “forgotten” FYROM government’s past identity claims?

    ‘We are not related to the northern Greeks who produced leaders like Philip and Alexander the Great. We are a Slav people and our language is closely related to Bulgarian.’ – FYROM´s Ambassador to Canada Gyordan Veselinov, Ottawa Citizen Newspaper, February 24 1999

    “We are Slavs who came to this area in the sixth century … We are not descendants of the ancient Macedonians” – Kiro Gligorov, FYROM’s first President, Foreign Information Service Daily Report, Eastern Europe, February 26, 1992

    ‘We do not claim to be descendants of Alexander the Great.’ – FYROM’S Ambassador Ljubica Acevshka, speech to US representatives in Washington on January 22 1999

  • May 19, 2012 at 2:29 pm

    The patronizing trolls in the ICJ lost all moral credibility when they pretending not to notice FYROM’s irredentism and rebranding of themselves as “ancient Macedonians”. Identity is a human right – not identity theft. Those that collude with FYROM are evil ethnic cleansers of Greeks.

  • May 19, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Taxin Pasha (Turkish Commander of Thessaloniki in the negotiations for the surrender)

    “From the Greeks we took it, to the Greeks we will give it back’

    It’s funny how every one of FYROM’s apologists has developed a case of selective ammnesia. Surely no prejudices going on. Apparently ethnically erasing Greeks and substituting them with the former Yugoslavians/ethnic Bulgarians is “human rights” according to some.

    “The creation of the Macedonian nation, for almost half of a century, was done in a condition of single-party dictatorship. In those times, there was no difference between science and ideology, so the “Macedonian” historiography, unopposed by anybody, comfortably performed a selection of the historic material from which the “Macedonian” identity was created. There is nothing atypical here for the process of the creation of any modern nation, except when falsification from the type of substitution of the word “Bulgarian” with the word “Macedonian” were made.” (Denko Maleski, former Minister of foreign affairs of FYROM from 1991 to 1993 in an interview to FYROM newspaper Utrinski Vesnik)

  • May 19, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    “The Southeast European Times is sponsored by the US European Command”

    “This (US) Government considers talk of Macedonian “nation”, Macedonian “Fatherland”, or Macedonia “national consciousness” to be unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic nor political reality, and sees in its present revival a possible cloak for aggressive intentions against Greece” – US State Department Dec, 1944 (Foreign Relations Vol. VIII Washington D.C. Circular Airgram – 868.014/26)


  • May 21, 2012 at 7:23 am

    I find it amazing that a muslim country like Turkey pretend to support FYROM for NATO membership..
    Its ironic that FYROM dioes not recognise Greece as a country or its borders or its history and its people..
    Turkey has the same policy which is amazing..

  • May 21, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I don’t understand why is the question so complicated. Greek is Greek, Macedonian is Macedonian. Everyone that is literate will notice the difference.
    What amazes me is that Greece after so many years in the European Union has not made the least bit of an effort of reaching out to their neighbors and helping them. On the other side Greece has been receiving help for France and Germany for so many years.
    The real question is why are most of Greece’s neighbors still out of the European Union? Why isn’t Greece helping them get in, but instead making sure they stay out?
    This is not the idea of the European Union!

  • December 11, 2016 at 12:06 am

    “I don’t understand why is the question so complicated. Greek is Greek, Macedonian is Macedonian”

    How about we rename western German into Pariaians then… as they use the name Paris to claim German is actually the “parisian language”. usurp Parsian historical figures and claim 1/3 of France as their occupied homeland?

    I don’t understand what’s so confusing. Parisian is Parisian. French is French.


Leave a Reply to Anon Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *