EU calls for further sanctions on Turkey
At the last European Council in October the EU discussed its relations with Turkey in light of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she had hoped, as part of the German presidency, to make relations with Turkey more constructive and regretted that the situation had not improved.
Greece and Cyprus asked for tough action on Turkey at the last European Council in October. The EU promised to come back to the issue in December, but since then Turkey has pursued further unilateral and provocative activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, particularly in the Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone. Just ahead of this week’s summit Turkey withdrew the Oruç Reis exploratory vessel. The EU has agreed to further targetted sanctions, focused on individuals.
Tensions were further heightened by Turkey’s unilateral steps to restore access to Varosha (a Greek-Cypriot resort that was abandoned in the Turkish/Cypriot conflict of 1974). The European Council supports the speedy resumption of negotiations, on a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem, within the UN framework.
A more in-depth report on Turkey, has been tabled for the next European Council. The report will cover all aspects of EU cooperation with Turkey and the region as a whole, for example, in Libya and Nagorny Karabakh.
Merkel said that she would still reach out to Turkey as there is “a certain strategic dependence on each other” pointing out that many EU countries were, like Turkey, NATO members. In this context, issues such as the delivery of armaments will be discussed in the NATO framework. Merkel said that this was also something that would be discussed with the new American administration.
Not a single word on human rights & rule of law situation in the country. https://t.co/slCiydU8Mn