News Local Turkey does not expect EU sanctions over east Med dispute

Turkey does not expect EU sanctions over east Med dispute

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Monday that Turkey does not expect the European Union to impose sanctions on it over a dispute with Greece over territorial claims in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The EU says it fully supports member states Greece and Cyprus in the dispute and has said it is drawing up potential sanctions if dialogue does not begin.

Cavusoglu repeated in the interview on NTV Turkey was open to talks without pre-conditions.

On Sunday, Turkey’s seismic research vessel Oruc Reis returned to waters near the southern province of Antalya – a move that Cyprus Greece said was a positive first step in easing tensions.

Tensions flared last month after Ankara sent Oruc Reis to map out possible oil and gas drilling prospects in waters claimed by Greece, Cyprus and Turkey.

Seismic surveys are part of preparatory work for potential hydrocarbon exploration.

Cyprus is still divided after a Turkish invasion in 1974 triggered by a brief Greek-inspired coup.

Its internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government represents the whole island in the European Union. North Cyprus is a breakaway Turkish Cypriot state recognised only by Ankara.

 

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