Greece’s luxury retailer Folli Follie and Turkish conglomerate Koc Holding have teamed up to operate a small marina on the Greek island of Lesbos, in a rare instance of cooperation between the long-standing rivals.
The deal, announced by both firms on Friday, comes as debt-laden Greece pins its hopes on tourism to kick-start an economy now in the fifth straight year of recession.
Greece and Turkey have come to the brink of war on several occasions, most recently in 1996 over territorial disputes in the Aegean, but relations have since improved.
Folli and Turkey’s Setur Servis Turistik, a unit of Koc Holding, have signed a contract to operate the marina on the Aegean island of Lesbos near Turkey for 40 years for 250,000 euros annually.
“I strongly believe in this cooperation which will yield the most for all the involved parties, since sea tourism in the Mediterranean has been on the rise in recent years,” said Ibrahim Tamer Hasimoglu, head of strategic planning for Koc Holding.
According to the Greek-Turkish Chamber of Northern Greece, the country ranks among the top five foreign investors in Turkey with more than 4.56 billion euros in the last five years. Its biggest investment was completed in 2007, when its largest lender National Bank acquired Finansbank, paying a total of about 4 billion euros.
Turkish investments in Greece are mainly in food retail and clothing.