Ankara on Friday expressed its annoyance with Brussels after European Union foreign ministers meeting in Berlin agreed to consider tougher sanctions against Turkey if it does not cease illegal gas and oil prospecting in the Eastern Mediterranean.
In a statement on the Turkish Foreign Ministry website, Ankara accused Greece and Turkey of “maximalist actions and claims in contravention of international law,” and said that by granting them “unconditional support,” the EU “further escalates the tension.”
“It is not up to the EU to criticize Turkey’s hydrocarbon activities within its own continental shelf and to call for their termination. Because, as confirmed by the European Court of Justice, the EU has no jurisdiction on this matter. This call is contrary to the EU’s own acquis and international law,” the statement said.
“We invite the EU and EU member states not to support Greece’s maximalist claims in contravention of international law, under a pretext of union solidarity,” it added.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry warned that by talking about additional sanctions, the EU “will deteriorate the solution of current problems.”
“Such language will only strengthen Turkey’s determination. Turkey, despite all the unlawful alliances established against her, will continue to resolutely protect her and Turkish Cypriots’ rights and interests.”
It also called on Greece and Cyprus to “recognize that the situation at hand is no longer sustainable” and Brussels to “act impartially and be an honest broker, if it wishes for a solution in the Eastern Mediterranean.”