Middle East Online

  In Middle East Online 

EU warns Turkey it faces sanctions if “provocations” don’t stop

The European Union could impose sanctions on Ankara if Turkish “provocations and pressures” continue in the East Mediterranean, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said on Friday after a meeting of the 27-nation bloc’s leaders.

“We want a positive and constructive relationship with Turkey, and this would also be very much in Ankara’s interest,” she told a news conference.

“But it will only work if the provocations and pressures stop. We therefore expect that Turkey from now on abstains from unilateral actions. In case of such renewed actions by Ankara the EU will use all its instruments and options available.”

EU leaders held a meeting in Brussels at which bloc member Cyprus has defied Germany and others to call for sanctions on Turkey over what it calls Ankara’s “gunboat diplomacy” and violations of the island nation’s maritime shelf.

A senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official said Turkey would be even more determined to protect its territorial rights in the Eastern Mediterranean if the European Union decides on Friday to impose sanctions on it over offshore exploration.

The official, who requested anonymity, said sanctions would not deter Turkey and suggested they could imperil dialogue planned as soon as this month between Ankara and Athens over disputed maritime boundaries and oil and gas rights. Source