Turkey slams EU over east Med remarks at council meet

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Turkey has slammed the European Union over its remarks on the Turkish drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean and called on Brussels to “stop being used” by Greece and Greek Cyprus in the name of archaic solidarity.

“We see once again that the eastern Mediterranean part of the conclusion of the EU Council meeting was written with the understanding of archaic solidarity. This section of the conclusion is yet another example of how the EU, contrary to international law and its own acquis, is being abused by the Greek Cypriot/Greek duo and becoming a tool for their maximalist policies,” read a statement issued by Hami Aksoy, the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, on April 24.

The EU leaders held a meeting late April 23 to formulate the European response to the pandemic and its economic consequences. Although the meeting was mainly on fighting the outbreak, the conclusion also mentioned an ongoing conflict between Turkey and Greece/Greek Cyprus on the hydrocarbon activities in the eastern Mediterranean.

“The illegal drilling activities by Turkey in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone were raised by some member states. We expressed our full solidarity with Cyprus and recalled and reaffirmed our previous conclusions on this matter,” read the conclusion.

Turkey has launched its own drilling activities in the region and dispatched its drilling vessels in reaction to Greek Cyprus’ denial of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots over the oil revenues. The issue has become a matter of conflict between Turkey and EU after Brussels claimed the Turkish drilling in the region was “illegal” although it has no jurisdiction.

“The EU should understand that it cannot achieve a result with this understanding. Our expectation from the EU is to encourage Greek Cyprus for a dialogue with the Turkish Cypriots and Greece with our country,” Aksoy said.

Turkey’s EU membership process should not be taken hostage by narrow-minded interests of the Greek/Greek Cypriot duo, he stated, adding Turkey will continue to protect its rights and the rights of the Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean.

Hurriyet Daily News

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