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Turkey - EU decides to hold back on sanctions and crank up diplomacy

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The European Council reiterated its full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. European Council President Charles Michel said that leaders looked at the full range of issues in the Eastern Mediterranean region from energy to security, he said that the EU was taking a twin track approach: firmness and readiness to engage on the other hand. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the start of a dialogue between Greece and Turkey on Turkey's drilling activities in its exclusive economic zone. However, she said that the EU deplored that Ankara had not made similar constructive gestures towards Cyprus.

Von der Leyen underlined that the EU wanted a positive and a constructive relationship with Turkey, but that this could only occur if provocations and pressure stopped. In case of renewed unilateral actions she said that the EU would be ready to make use of all its tools immediately, but said she would prefer to work towards a new long term EU/Turkey relationship, including modernization of the customs union, stronger cooperation on migration on the basis of the 2016 EU/Turkey statement and coordinated action on COVID-19.

While sanctions have not been launched, there is a clear reference to the possibility that they might be used and the European Council will closely monitor developments and: " will take decisions as appropriate at the latest at its December meeting.” Finally, the European Council calls for a multilateral conference on the Eastern Mediterranean and invited the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, to engage in talks about its organisation. Modalities such as participation, scope and timeline to be agreed with all involved parties.

EU

Erdogan urges Turks to boycott French goods

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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan called on Monday (26 October) for Turks to boycott French goods and urged European Union leaders to halt French leader Emmanuel Macron’s “anti-Islam” agenda, write and

For a third day running Erdogan said that the French president needed a mental health check, repeating a rebuke that caused France to recall its ambassador from Ankara over the weekend, as he appealed to Turks to shun French products.

“Just like they say ‘Don’t buy good with Turkish brands’ in France, I am calling to all my citizens from here to never help French brands or buy them,” Erdogan said.

France is the 10th biggest source of imports into Turkey and the seventh biggest market for Turkey’s exports, according to Turkey’s statistical institute. Among major French imports, French autos are among the highest selling cars in Turkey.

“European leaders with foresight and morals must break down the walls of fear,” Erdogan said in a speech at the start of a week of activities in Turkey to commemorate the birthday of the Prophet Mohammad.

“They must put an end to the anti-Islam agenda and hate campaign that Macron is leading.”

Late on Monday, the French Embassy in Ankara issued a warning to French nationals living and travelling in Turkey to exercise “great vigilance” due to the “local and international” context, urging them to avoid any gathering or demonstration in public places.

Macron has pledged to fight “Islamist separatism”, saying it was threatening to take over some Muslim communities in France. The country has since been shaken by the beheading of a teacher by an Islamist militant, avenging the use of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad in a class on freedom of expression.

Turkey and France are both members of the NATO military alliance, but have been at odds over issues including Syria and Libya, maritime jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean, and the conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.

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EU

Turkey extends exploration in disputed Mediterranean area to 4 November

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Turkey said it was extending the seismic survey work of its Oruc Reis ship in a disputed area of the eastern Mediterranean until 4 November, taking a step which was set to fuel tensions in the region, writes Daren Butler.

NATO members Turkey and Greece are locked in a dispute over the extent of their continental shelves and conflicting claims to hydrocarbon resources in the eastern Mediterranean.

The row erupted in August when Turkey sent Oruc Reis into waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

Along with two other ships, the Ataman and Cengiz Han, Oruc Reis will continue work in an area south of the Greek island of Rhodes until 4 November, a Turkish naval maritime notice said late on Saturday (24 October).

A previous notice scheduled survey work in the area until 27 October.

Ankara withdrew Oruc Reis last month to allow for diplomacy before a European Union summit, where Cyprus sought sanctions against Turkey. It was sent back this month, prompting an angry response from Greece, France and Germany.

After the summit, the bloc said it would punish Turkey if it continued its operations in the region, in a move Ankara said further strained Turkey-EU ties. Turkey says its operations are within its continental shelf.

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EU

Turkey - EU decides to hold back on sanctions and crank up diplomacy

Published

on

The European Council reiterated its full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus. European Council President Charles Michel said that leaders looked at the full range of issues in the Eastern Mediterranean region from energy to security, he said that the EU was taking a twin track approach: firmness and readiness to engage on the other hand. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the start of a dialogue between Greece and Turkey on Turkey's drilling activities in its exclusive economic zone. However, she said that the EU deplored that Ankara had not made similar constructive gestures towards Cyprus.
Von der Leyen underlined that the EU wanted a positive and a constructive relationship with Turkey, but that this could only occur if provocations and pressure stopped. In case of renewed unilateral actions she said that the EU would be ready to make use of all its tools immediately, but said she would prefer to work towards a new long term EU/Turkey relationship, including modernization of the customs union, stronger cooperation on migration on the basis of the 2016 EU/Turkey statement and coordinated action on COVID-19.
While sanctions have not been launched, there is a clear reference to the possibility that they might be used and the European Council will closely monitor developments and: "Will take decisions as appropriate at the latest at its December meeting.” Finally, the European Council calls for a multilateral conference on the Eastern Mediterranean and invited the EU High Representative Josep Borrell, to engage in talks about its organisation. Modalities such as participation, scope and timeline to be agreed with all involved parties.

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