- Macron has said that the EU should join Greece and Cyprus in the dispute over the gas reserves near Cyprus
- Members of the EU are still divided on this issue.
- Disputes regarding F-16 airships increase tensions in region.
France’s President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said that Turkey wants action against itself . It does not want to understand the way of negotiations. France is also a member of NATO. Recently, France has opposed Turkey over Turkey’s role in NATO and Libya and its ambition for a gas reserve in the Mediterranean.
“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I have to be consistent in deeds and words,” Macron told reporters at a news conference.
“I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect that. If you say words that are not followed by acts. What France did this summer was important: it’s a red line policy. I did it in Syria,” he said referring to French air strikes against suspected chemical weapons sites in Syria.
Macron has said that the EU should join Greece and Cyprus in the dispute over the gas reserves near Cyprus and on the safety of the continental shelf of Cyprus. He said that the EU should think about banning the matter. However, the members of the EU are still divided on this issue.
A few months ago, France carried out airstrikes on suspected chemical weapons targets in Syria. In June this year, France had tried to investigate the Turkish ship in the wake of UN sanctions on selling arms to Libya, sparking controversy between France and Turkey since the incident.
Turkey has said that six F-16 warships from Greece, Crete Island tried to enter the area where Turkey is drilling, but Turkey’s F-16 warships stopped them. Turkey’s Defense Ministry released a video related to this on Friday evening. Turkey claims that in the video, Greek fighter jets can be seen approaching a Turkish ship engaged in a search for gas.
However, the Greek media has accused Turkey that its fighter jet was blocked by its F-16 aircraft returning to Crete. Both countries are members of NATO. Recently, the tension between the two has increased due to the campaign to find Turkey’s gas reserves in the Mediterranean. There is a dispute over the rights on the gas reserves of this area and the continental shelf of the countries.
Greece has been consistently opposing Turkey on these issues and France is with her in this matter. This week, while Turkey has sent its ship Oruk Reese to the eastern Mediterranean to search for gas reserves in the sea, the joint military exercise of France, Greece, Italy, and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean has also started this week.
On Friday, the European Union warned Turkey that it could impose strict economic sanctions if Turkey did not try to ease tensions with Greece and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. Josep Borel, the union’s head of diplomatic affairs, said the union wants to “resolve the matter through negotiations,” but the EU is with Greece and Cyprus in the matter, who have feared a military standoff in the area.
An important meeting of European Union foreign ministers took place in Berlin on Friday in which members of the countries agreed to Cyprus’ request to ban those associated with Turkey’s drilling operations. Cyprus claims its territory in the eastern Mediterranean, where Turkey is drilling.
Josep Borel told Turkey that negotiations on this issue should proceed. For this, “Turkey should avoid any unilateral action.” Germany wants to mediate this conversation to establish peace in the area.
Borel said that it has been agreed, if Turkey does not step forward in this matter, a list of sanctions will be prepared on which will be held at the European Council meeting on September 24-25.”
Giving information about the possible restrictions, Borel said that drilling vessels could be banned, as well as restrictions on the use of EU ports and economic activities related to drilling operations. However, he also said that if other steps to stop Turkish drilling are not effective, then the restrictions will be imposed.