Borrell Fears Turkish Activities in Mediterranean Threaten Relations with EU


On Monday, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Josep Borell, said the exploration activities carried out by Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean region threaten Ankara’s relationship with the EU.

Borrell said that Turkey is an important EU neighbour and candidate country, but recent developments have put into question how relations will develop in the future.

“The situation in the Eastern Mediterranean requires our urgent engagement and immediate de-escalation,” Borrell said. “But it seems that Turkey’s behaviour in the recent period will cast doubts about the future of relations, and we see the imperative to find a quick way out,” he added.

Borrell also described the situation in the eastern Mediterranean as “unacceptable.”

He however noted that Turkey is an important ally that helps the EU on important issues, like the immigration crisis.

On Thursday, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted the leaders of six other EU states, including Turkey’s regional rival Greece, for a summit in Corsica.

Macron called for imposing sanctions on Turkey if Ankara continues to explore gas in the eastern Mediterranean.

One of the points of contention between the EU and Turkey is that a Turkish survey ship has been doing oil and gas exploration in regions of the eastern Mediterranean, over which Greece and Cyprus have claimed sovereignty.