Euro Parliament chief raps Turkey over drilling, migration, Syria


European Parliament President David Sassoli on Wednesday criticized Ankara over its illegal drilling activities in the East Mediterranean and its operation in Syria, while accusing it of using the migration crisis to “pressure the EU.”

In a statement following what he called a “frank exchange” with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Brussels, Sassoli expressed the European Parliament's “full solidarity with Cyprus, regarding the respect of its sovereignty and sovereign rights in accordance with international law.”

On the ongoing humanitarian and refugee crisis, he stressed that it is “completely unacceptable” for Turkey “to use people fleeing war and persecution for political gain or to pressure the EU.”

The European official also “reiterated the EU’s strong condemnation” of the Turkish military operation in northeast Syria, calling it “a grave violation of international law, which undermines stability and security in the region.”