The first step toward the imposition of new sanctions on Turkey was decided on Monday by EU foreign ministers at their meeting in Luxembourg, in response to Ankara’s unilateral actions in the town of Varosha in occupied northern Cyprus and and the harassment of the Nautical Geo research ship within Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.
EU High Representative Josep Borrell said after the meeting that EU ministers had decided in the summer that if such activities continued, they would ask the European External Action Service to prepare an options paper, which is both an analysis of the situation and a proposal for a series of measures the Council could consider if it wishes to take a decision.
This document, he said, is the first step in considering decision making in this regard.
Borrell referred to what he described as Turkey’s unacceptable intervention against European ships.
Meanwhile, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay threatened both Greece and Cyprus on Monday.
“They used a ship of French interests with the flag of Malta and are trying to send the research ship to our continental shelf for investigations. Those that confused their course in the eastern Mediterranean will receive an answer,” he warned, while denouncing the defence assistance agreements signed by Greece.
“It does not matter what kind of agreements they make. We want to remind once again, Greece and the Greek Cypriots, that if they act, they know that they will receive a very clear answer today, in the future, as they did in the past.”
Cyprus, he added, “has been Turkish since 1571” and derided the Greek Cypriots as “invaders.”
(A version of this article was originally published by the Kathimerini newspaper and is reproduced by permission.)