French President Emmanuel Macron has called for sanctions against Turkey for infringing on EU member states’ territorial waters. Whereas, Ankara has rejected such claims, saying Turkey is within its rights. European officials warned Turkey against pursuing a survey mission looking for gas reserves near Greek islands in the eastern Mediterranean. Greece and Cyprus have accused Turkey undermining their sovereignty by continuing to pursue energy resources within their territorial water.
“The government is underlining to all parties that Greece will not accept a violation of its sovereignty and will do whatever it finds comfortable to defend its rights,” said Greek government spokesman Stelios Petsas. French President Emmanuel Macron has called for sanctions against Turkey, saying it is “not acceptable that turkey would violate into other marine space.” Last year, the EU adopted a sanctions regime targeting Turkey over its unapproved gas drilling in Cypriot waters.
Turkey & Un-Authorized Drilling?
The instrument provides the EU to sanction people or entities responsible for, or involved in, unauthorized drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the eastern Mediterranean. However, Ankara has rejected claims that its energy-related activities in the region are transgressing Greek or Cypriot sovereignty. Therefore, the Turkish government has claimed that they are in their space and violating any rights.
“We need all natural resources in the eastern Mediterranean to be shared fairly,” said Turkish presidency spokesman Ibrahim Kalin. “We will never accept threats or sanctions. We do not accept Greece’s maximalist position.” Turkish survey ship Oruc Reis’s mission remains “valid and effective,”. According to the port in which it is currently anchored off has likely a mission to run through to August 2. US officials have chided Turkey for pursuing the mission despite several warnings.
“I want to echo, resound the clear and reasonable message from Washington and elsewhere in Europe, urging Turkish authorities to stop the operations that are raising tensions in the region. Moreover, Turkey plans to survey for natural resources in areas where Greece and Cyprus assert jurisdiction in the eastern Mediterranean,” said US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt. Europe cautions Ankara against petroleum gas crucial.