Turkey has condemned a decision by the European Union to impose sanctions on two senior members of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) over illegal drilling in waters off Cyprus, calling it an “example of [the bloc’s] biased and unlawful attitude under the pretext of union solidarity.”
The decision, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement Friday, “has no value for us and it is null and void.”
“This unfair policy against Turkey’s and Turkish Cypriots’ legitimate rights contradicts both the international law and the EU acquis,” it said.
The EU on Thursday imposed asset freezes and travel bans in Europe on TPAO Vice-President Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and Deputy Director of Exploration Ali Coscun Namoglu. EU citizens and companies are also banned from providing funds to the two men.
“Whatever decision it takes, it is a futile effort for the EU to dictate the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo’s maximalist maritime boundary claims on Turkey. The EU cannot act as an international court. It cannot portray undelimited and disputed maritime jurisdiction areas as final maritime boundaries,” the Turkish foreign ministry statement said.
“It is most unfortunate to see that the EU still keeps ignoring the rights of Turkey and Turkish Cypriots and has become the hostage of Greek-Greek Cypriot duo’s maximalist claims and policies. The EU should have rather supported dialogue and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean,” it said.
“The sanction decision will not affect Turkey’s determination to protect its own rights and that of Turkish Cypriots’ in the Eastern Mediterranean. On the contrary, it will further strengthen our resolve,” it said. [Kathimerini. AP]