Germany’s Foreign Minister Heiko Maas and his EU colleagues will discuss on Monday tough measures against Ankara as Brussels sees no de-escalation in Turkey’s conflict with Greece and Cyprus.
Turkey is at loggerheads with EU member states Cyprus and Greece over conflicting claims to territorial rights and exploration of potential energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean, and foreign ministers from the bloc will discuss the row at their meeting on Monday.
“Germany has worked hard to facilitate a dialogue between the European Union and Turkey over the past months,” Heiko Maas said before the meeting. “But there have been too many provocations, and tensions between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece have prevented any direct talks.”
The ministers will talk about “what consequences we should draw,” Maas said, adding that the issue will also be raised at the EU summit on December 10-11.
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Greece and Cyprus have called on EU member states to impose sanctions on Turkey during the upcoming summit. But President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned on Monday that Turkey will not bow to “threats and blackmailing” over the eastern Mediterranean and stressed that Ankara will not allow any “imperialist expansionism” in the sea.
“Turkey will not accept plans and maps that aim to confine country to its coasts off Antalya,” he told a workshop at Akdeniz University via a video message.
Erdogan reiterated that all regional actors could resolve the current issues at an international conference.
On November 30, Turkey announced that it recalled its seismic exploration vessel Oruc Reis from disputed Mediterranean waters. The move came less than two weeks before an EU summit which could discuss possible sanctions against Ankara, even if some Turkish experts claim they do not expect any “substantial” EU sanctions against the Turkish government.
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