Eastern Mediterranean crisis: EU threatens sanctions on Turkey
The European Union (EU) has threatened to impose new sanctions on Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean, including tough economic measures to reduce tensions with Greece and Cyprus.
According to foreign news agencies, Joseph Borrell, a senior EU diplomat, said the bloc wanted to provide a “serious opportunity for dialogue”, but would remain steadfast in its support of its member states Greece and Cyprus in the conflict.
Conflicts with Greece and Cyprus in the Turkish Mediterranean have increased the risk of a military confrontation.
Turkey has consistently opposed Greece’s efforts to designate small islands near the Turkish coast as a special economic zone because Turkey, which has the longest coastline in the Mediterranean, believes it is in its best interests.
Turkey has also said that energy resources near Cyprus should be fairly shared jointly between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and the Greek Cypriot administration in southern Cyprus.
Speaking at a news conference after a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Berlin in support of Greece, Joseph Borrell said EU measures were aimed at limiting Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in disputed waters. These measures could include restrictions on the use of individuals, ships and European shores.
Pointing to possible sanctions, he said: “We can go as far as measures related to sectoral activities, where the Turkish economy is linked to the European economy.”
“The European Union will focus on all the activities that we consider legal,” he said.
On the other hand, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said that there was no justification for the EU’s position and rejected Greece’s naval claims.
“It is beyond the EU’s purview to criticize and demand an end to our hydrocarbon activity on our own continent,” said Hami Aksoy, a spokesman for the Turkish Foreign Ministry.
It should be noted that a few days ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking at a ceremony marking a major victory of the Turkish army nearly a thousand years ago, said that Turkey will take whatever belongs to it in the Mediterranean, as well as Aegean and the Black Sea.
According to the details, Erdogan said in a ceremony held on Wednesday on the occasion of the 949th anniversary of the battle of Manzikert in the eastern Turkish city of Mus that Turkey has nothing to do with any other country’s territory, sovereignty or interests but Whatever is ours, we will not make any concessions on that.
Referring to the dispute with Greece over Turkey’s rights to maritime territory and energy resources, Erdogan said that Turkey urges everyone to refrain from taking wrong steps that could lead to disaster.
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