NEWS

Ankara sharpens rhetoric ahead of EU summit

ankara-sharpens-rhetoric-ahead-of-eu-summit

After expressing good intentions and a willingness for talks last week, Ankara has sharpened its rhetoric over the past three days against Athens, Nicosia and Brussels, ahead of a European Council meeting on Thursday and Friday where the possibility of sanctions against Turkey will be discussed.

Responding to an article by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias accusing Ankara of revisionism, the Turkish Foreign Ministry described Greece in a post on Twitter on Saturday as the “spoiled child” of Europe and accused it of “maximalist” claims in the Aegean, while adding that “no sanctions could make Turkey to give up its sovereign rights” in Kastellorizo.

On Monday, meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan called on the European Union to “give a chance to diplomacy.”

“We believe we can solve the problems of the Eastern Mediterranean by not excluding each other but by bringing all the actors together around the same table,” he said in a video message addressing a workshop at Akdeniz University in Antalya.

In the same message, however, he accused the European Union of “strategic blindness” and said it was allowing itself to be used as a “battering ram” by Greece and Cyprus.

Turkey, he said, would “not accept plans and maps that aim to confine us to the shores of Antalya.” It “will not give in to threats or blackmails and will not allow expansionism,” he said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavosoglu continued in a similar vein, telling the same conference that the European Union will either “contribute to the solution of the problem as an honest mediator… or it will take unfair decisions with the influence of two spoiled members, which France also supports, where the tension will continue.”