From pioneers of peace to facilitators of cooperation? Civil society in Turkish–Greek relations
This chapter examines a growing literature on peace-building evaluation, as well as from Rumelili's prior rich work on civil society’s involvement in Greek–Turkish relations. The 1974 war in Cyprus resulted in the multiplication of bilateral points of friction in the Aegean and brought about an almost complete freezing of cross-societal activity between Greece and Turkey. In January 1996, a near war between Turkey and Greece erupted over the uninhabited islets of Imia/Kardak in the Aegean Sea. The prospect of engagement in a Greek–Turkish war episode exacerbated the already existing tensions between nationalist and pro-peace segments of the societies in both countries. In a direct reaction to the nationalist craze over Imia/Kardak, a significant number of new initiatives sprang up in diverse fields of social life, from networks of women or journalists for peace to university students’ or businesspersons’ initiatives.