European Union to impose sanctions on Turkey by end of year

ISTANBUL, Turkey (Reporting by Sardar Hadid for North Press Agency) – The European Union declared on Friday its intention to study the imposition of sanctions against Turkey at the end of this year.

These sanctions are due to Turkey’s unilateral provocations and resumption of gas exploration in eastern Mediterranean.

The declaration came at the end of the Brussels summit on Friday in which the European Union condemned the Turkish actions.

It stressed its intention to study the situation in December to impose sanctions on Turkey.

Turkey has engaged in seismic surveys to explore for gas in disputed territories in the eastern Mediterranean, and continued sending its military ships under the pretext of drilling for energy resources.

At the end of the summit, EU leaders expressed regret over Turkey’s renewed unilateral and provocative actions in the eastern Mediterranean, including recent oil drilling activities.

Once again, EU leaders called on Turkey to reverse its latest move, affirming their full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, both EU members.

The statement angered Turkey, to which Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy responded.

Aksoy said that Turkey supported dialogue and the reduction of tension in the eastern Mediterranean region, and that it has shown good faith and responded to calls for reducing tension and dialogue in the region.

He accused the European Union of being biased and based on prejudices that always ignored Turkey’s theses, as he described it.

“The EU has given Turkey a lot of chances and has delayed the imposition of sanctions several times in the hope that it will stop its policy of intransigence and provocation,” said Jawad Gul, a Turkish journalist based in Istanbul.

However, sending the drilling ship “Oruc Reis” back to the Mediterranean, and Turkey’s announcement that it is acting in accordance with international law, according to Gul, has upset the EU, which finds that “Turkey is acting unilaterally in the region and is singing out of the squadron.”

“European sanctions are coming,” Gul told North Press.

“We agreed that Turkey’s recent unilateral steps, which are provocative, evoke tensions rather than calm them,” German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the EU leaders’ meeting.

French President Emmanuel Macron hinted that Europe is ready to talk to Ankara.

“We will not give up anything in the face of these provocations,” Macron warned at the same time.

On October 14, the US administration criticized Turkey’s moves in the eastern Mediterranean and demanded Turkey “put an end to this deliberate provocation and immediately launch preliminary talks with Greece.”

“The thesis that Turkey wants to impose will lead to its isolation internationally, especially since countries no longer accept that thesis, whether in the eastern Mediterranean or in other regions,” observers said.

This article was originally published by the North Press Agency on 17 October 2020. The original can be found here