Players of the football club Trabzonspor in Turkey wore shirts bearing a message of solidarity with Greece after the train disaster that claimed the lives of at least 57 people.
A message displayed by the Turkish and Greek flags said in both languages: “Get well neighbor!”
Two Greek footballers are currently playing for the Turkish club whose home ground is at Trabzon, a city in Pontus where thousands of Greeks used to live before the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922.
— Trabzonspor (@Trabzonspor) March 4, 2023
Greece Turkey relations warm up after earthquake and train disaster
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered condolences to his Greek counterpart, Katerina Sakellaropoulou and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Wednesday after the deadly train crash in Greece.
According to the Turkish Presidency, Erdogan — in his message to Sakellaropoulou and Mitsotakis — said he was “deeply saddened” by the loss of lives and wished a speedy recovery to those injured in the collision.
Tensions between the two NATO allies were running high until the Feb. 6 twin earthquakes that struck Turkey’s southern and eastern regions as well as northern Syria.
Dendias was the first European top diplomat to visit the country after the quakes that killed more than 50,000 people.
Athens swiftly dispatched one of the largest search and rescue teams to the country. Their work is enshrined in the hearts of Turks, who flooded social media with well wishes and condolence messages for their Greek neighbors over the accident.
Some Turkish social media users, meanwhile, praised Transport Minister Kostas Karamanlis’ resignation after the crash, blasting the Turkish government for not taking responsibility for the delayed quake response.
Prominent journalist Fatih Portakal lamented that no one even apologized in Turkey after the earthquakes let alone resigned.
Turkish movie producer and comedian Sahan Gokbakar also struck an ironic tone.
“The Greek Minister of Transport resigned out of respect for the dead. I don’t understand what kind of government there is in Greece?” he wrote.
Karamanlis said he was resigning out of “respect for the memory of the people who perished so unfairly.”