US warns Turkey of imposing fresh sanctions over east Mediterranean crisis

Erdogan

ISTANBUL: The European Union (EU) has warned Turkey of fresh sanctions over the Eastern Mediterranean crisis.

The EU has threatened Turkey with sanctions including tough economic measures in case the situation with Greece and Cyprus in the Eastern Mediterranean is not improved. As per Josep Borrell, EU’s top diplomat, the bloc wanted to give Turkey a chance to resolve the issue through dialogue but is also extending support to its member states Greece and Cyprus in the crisis.

Turkey and Cyprus are facing a dispute over maritime borders and gas drilling rights near the island of Cyprus with two neighbors staging rival naval drills.

Borrell warned The EU’s measures intending to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could include individuals, ships, or the use of European ports. “We can go to measures related to sectoral activities … where the Turkish economy is related to the European economy. The EU would focus on everything related to activities we consider illegal,” Borrell said.

On the other hand, Turkey’s foreign ministry said the European Union had no basis for its stance and rejected Greek maritime claims. “It is beyond the limits of the EU to criticise the hydrocarbon activities of our country within our own continental shelf and demand that we stop them,” spokesman Hami Aksoy said.

Tensions escalated this month after Ankara dispatched the Oruc Reis seismic survey vessel in a disputed area following the pact between Athens and Cairo.

The agreement is seen as a response to a Turkish-Libyan accord signed in 2019 allowing Turkey access to areas in the region where large hydrocarbon deposits have been discovered.

On Thursday, the Turkish military issued an advisory, known as a Navtex, saying it will hold “gunnery exercises” in the Eastern Mediterranean off the coast of Iskenderun, northeast of Cyprus on 1st and 2nd September.

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