Turkey says EU sanctions plan 'biased, unlawful'

Turkey says EU sanctions plan 'biased, unlawful'
2 min read
11 December, 2020
"Turkish unilateral and provocative activities in the Eastern Mediterranean are still taking place, including in Cyprus's exclusive economic zone."
Turkey is at loggerheads with EU members over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. [Getty]

Turkey on Friday dismissed as "biased" and "unlawful" an EU move to draw up a list of Turkish targets for sanctions in response to Ankara's drilling activities in the Mediterranean.  

Turkey is at loggerheads with EU members Greece and Cyprus over energy resources in the eastern Mediterranean. 

Ankara has been challenging Athens over maritime territory in the region by repeatedly sending a gas exploration vessel into disputed waters.

"We reject the biased and unlawful attitude which had to be inserted into the December 10 EU summit conclusions after the pressure of solidarity and veto," the foreign ministry said in a statement. 

After the marathon summit on Thursday, the bloc decided to draw up a list of Turkish targets for sanctions.

France, Greece, and Cyprus are pushing for action against Turkey, but other EU nations including Germany, Italy and Poland oppose slapping broad sanctions or an embargo on a fellow NATO member.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said some "countries in the EU with common sense displayed a positive approach and foiled this game," speaking to reporters in Istanbul.

"There is an expectation now to negotiate (any measures) at the March summit (of the EU). Let me put it clearly, it is not possible that anything will emerge" from this meeting, he said. 

"There are a lot of rights that should be given to Turkey by the EU countries from visa liberalisation to the customs exemption. I hope this process will be finalised in a fair manner," he added. 

"The council adopted sanctions in the face of Turkey's 'unilateral actions and provocations'," French European Affairs Minister Clement Beaune tweeted.

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