Tuesday, May 11, 2021
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Turkey’s Erdogan brushes off threats of EU sanctions, says Brussels ‘by no means sincere’ with Ankara

Any potential financial sanctions the EU would possibly impose on Turkey don’t concern the nation a lot, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stated, accusing the bloc of by no means performing “truthfully” in direction of Ankara.

Talking forward of an EU leaders’ summit scheduled for Thursday, Erdogan stated Ankara will not be intimidated by threats of sanctions. On the similar time, he signaled that Turkey was prepared for negotiations in its spat with Greece over oil and fuel exploration within the Japanese Mediterranean – however shifted blame for lack of progress onto Athens.

“Any sanctions selections that may be taken towards Turkey don’t concern us a lot,” Erdogan instructed reporters on Wednesday, including that Greece has “run” away from negotiations. 




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“On the Japanese Mediterranean, we are going to proceed to guard no matter our rights there are,” he stated. “It’s by no means attainable for us to compromise right here. But when Greece actually acts truthfully as a neighbor, we are going to proceed to be accessible on the desk.”

Tensions between Turkey and the EU have soared in current months over Ankara’s actions in Japanese Mediterranean. Ankara has been engaged in exploration of oil and fuel sources in waters that are additionally claimed by Greece and Cyprus. 

Nonetheless, forward of the upcoming EU summit, it recalled its survey ship ‘Oruc Reis’ from the troubled waters. Ankara made an analogous transfer earlier than the earlier EU summit in October, recalling the vessel for “upkeep” solely to re-deploy it instantly after the occasion.




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The trick has apparently flopped already, because the chair of EU summits, Charles Michel, urged Ankara to cease taking part in “cat and mouse,” signaling that the withdrawal was not fooling anybody. 

Erdogan blamed the bloc for what he stated was a scarcity of honesty with Turkey, apparently referencing the long-stalled technique of integrating Turkey into the EU. 

The EU has by no means acted truthfully, it has by no means stored its guarantees. However… we have now all the time been affected person. We’re nonetheless being affected person.

Full-fledged EU membership was the centerpiece of Erdogan’s international coverage within the early 2000s, however no actual progress has been made since. Turkey has failed to satisfy the overwhelming majority of the EU’s necessities, significantly within the discipline of human rights and rule of regulation. As relations between Ankara and the bloc steadily worsened, some EU officers have even referred to as for an official suspension of membership talks.

Erdogan nonetheless has his eye on membership, nonetheless. He lately reiterated Turkey’s want to change into a full member of the EU, insisting that the nation sees itself as an “inseparable half” of Europe. Such soothing rhetoric, nonetheless, is unlikely to work, as EU international coverage chief Josep Borrell explicitly warned Ankara final month that its habits has been solely “widening its separation” from the bloc.

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