As ties warm, Turkey's president says Greece may be able to benefit from a Turkish power plant

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, right, and Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan applaud after their statements at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is visiting Greece in an effort to mend strained relations and reset ties with Western allies. (AP Photo/Michael Varaklas)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey is considering allowing neighboring Greece to benefit from a nuclear power plant it plans to build near its Black Sea coast, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying on Friday.

Erdogan made the comments on his return from a visit to Athens on Thursday, where longtime regional rivals Greece and Turkey took significant steps toward mending their troubled ties.

“We strive to develop and expand cooperation with Greece not only in the field of energy but also in all areas, including nuclear energy,” Erdogan told a group of journalists on his flight back. “For example, we can provide Greece the opportunity (to benefit) from energy from our nuclear power plant to be built in Sinop (Province).”

His comments were reported by state-run Anadolu and other media on Friday.

During Erdogan’s visit on Thursday, Greece and Turkey signed more than a dozen cooperation deals on trade, energy and education and announced a roadmap for future high-level consultations aimed at avoiding crises.

Erdogan traveled to Greece promising to pursue a “win-win” approach that could lay the foundation for broader cooperation.

“I believe that my visit, which took place in a very positive atmosphere, will open a new page in Turkey-Greece relations,” Erdogan said.

Longstanding disputes have led Athens and Ankara to the brink of war three times in the past 50 years.

The latest flare-up occurred in 2020, when Greek and Turkish navy ships shadowed each other in the eastern Mediterranean over a dispute about maritime boundaries and exploration rights for resources.

Erdogan was cited as saying he believes that a fair sharing of the natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean is possible “as long as we build the groundwork that will ensure this, work out a roadmap and not allow provocations.”