European Union, EU and Turkey

Erdoğan: ”The EU has never been honest with Turkey”

Erdoğan accuses countries like France or Greece of putting pressure on other European countries for their own interests.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has accused the EU of never having been honest or keeping its promises with Turkey, while ruling out that any sanction imposed by the 27 on Ankara for its dispute with Greece in the Mediterranean will have a significant impact, recalling that Brussels has been imposing sanctions on the Eurasian country since 1963, the date of the signing of the so-called Ankara Agreement.

“Any sanction against Turkey will not worry us too much. In other words, they have been constantly applying sanctions to us since 1963,” the Turkish leader said during an appearance to journalists at Ankara’s Esenboğa airport, shortly before leaving for Azerbaijan, where he is scheduled to attend a military parade to celebrate the Azeri victory in Karabakh.

The European Union has never been honest with Turkey. The European Union has never kept its promises, but we have always been patient since then, and we still are,” the Turkish president insisted.

On 7 December, EU foreign ministers accused Turkey of failing to resolve the dispute with Greece and Cyprus – both members of the Union – over the exploitation of natural gas resources in Eastern Mediterranean, and it is planned that tomorrow Thursday they will study possible sanctions against Ankara at proposal of Greece, whose prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis claims to have all 27 on his side.

”It is the Greeks who always abandon the negotiations”

However, Erdoğan has salid that there is no consensus on the application of sanctions and that there are “honest leaders” in the EU who oppose them and are against the belligerent stance with Turkey that Greece or France are adopting. They support the sanctions against Turkey not just for the conflict in the Mediterranean – where France fears the influence of Turkey in countries like Libya, Syria or Lebanon – but also for the alleged Turkish intervention in Karabakh.

Referring precisely to Mitsotakis’ statements, the Turkish president assured that it has been the government of Athens the one that at all times has refused dialogue to resolve the disputes between the two countries. “In fact, they are the ones who always leave the negotiating table,” Erdoğan recalled, adding that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg has made repeated calls in recent months to mediate the conflict in the Mediterranean.

However, the Greek representatives have refused to continue with the negotiations in the Atlantic Alliance – where Greece has less power of pressure as Turkey is also a member country – and have insisted on taking the dispute to the EU. According to sources from the Turkish government, the Greek representatives have not attended the NATO-sponsored talks on the dispute in the Mediterranean since last October 9, and have also rejected other similar initiatives.

Finally, and despite these actions by Greece and the possibility of sanctions by the EU, Erdoğan stressed once again that Turkey will not stop defending its rights and those of the Turkish Cypriot minority in the Eastern Mediterranean.