The European Union will cut funding to Turkey by 145.8 million euros next year, as the first sanctions over Turkey’s illegal drilling activities on Cyprus’ EEZ were revealed.
A well-informed EU source also revealed that more measures would include the re-evaluation of the European Investment Bank’s activities in Turkey and a suspension of meetings between EU-Turkish officials.
The full list of sanctions against Turkey by the European Commission and the European External Action Service (EEAS) will be presented to the EU member states representatives on Wednesday. Final decisions would be taken by EU foreign ministers next week.
The European Commission said that Turkey’s plans for a second drill off Cyprus was unacceptable and violated the sovereignty of an EU member state.
European Commission vice president Frederica Mogherini called on Ankara to show good neighbourhood relations by refraining such actions and acting in accordance with the international law.
On its part, the Turkish occupied territory’s self proclaimed ‘Foreign Ministry’ on Tuesday described the EU’s approach as one of a ‘courtroom’ in clear violation of international law as it did not deliberate to reach a solution with advantages given to one party contrary to the principle of impartiality. The announcement added that permits have been granted to the Turkish-Cypriot authority and that its self-imposed government was recognised by Turkey.
“These announcements speak of the sovereign rights of Greek Cypriots to natural resources, but the rights of Turkish Cypriots are ignored by the same sources,” the announcement added.
Apart from the UK and France, Russia and Egypt have also called on Turkey to cease its illegal drilling in Cyprus’ EEZ following the arrival of a second drillship, the Yalvuz, on the northeastern coast of Cyprus on Monday. The Russian Foreign Ministry called on Turkey to show restraint, adding that such activities do not contribute towards finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Despite international calls, top Turkish officials have declared that they will continue to drill in what they believe to be their own continental shelf.