The European Union has warned it could impose sanctions on Turkey if its “provocations and pressures” continue in the East Mediterranean.
According to the Commission’s President Ursula von der Leyen, a positive and constructive relationship with Turkey is needed, and this would be also be very much in Ankara’s interest.
She stated this after a meeting of the 27-nation bloc’s leaders in Belgium.
There are concerns that Turkey has slid towards authoritarianism under President Tayyip Erdogan but remains a strategically located partner the EU cannot ignore.
European Union President, Ursula Der Leyen said: “It is good that there is now a reliable dialogue between Turkey and Greece that has begun. However we deplore that Ankara has not made similar constructive gestures towards Cyprus. We are convinced that differences must be resolved through peaceful dialogue and in accordance with international law. We want a positive and a constructive relationship with Turkey. And this would also be very much in Ankara’s interest, but it will only work if the provocations and pressures stop.”
He also added that: “We therefore expect that Turkey from now on abstains from unilateral actions. In case of such renewed actions by Ankara – the EU will use all its instruments and options available. We have a toolbox that we can apply immediately. But this is not what we want. We want and would prefer to work on a new long-term EU-Turkey relationship.”