Turkey has since condemned Emmanuel Macron for “arrogant” remarks made with “colonial reflexes” The French president intervened in a massive crisis between Ankara and Athens over exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
In a statement on Thursday, Turkey’s foreign ministry said that Macron endangers the interests of the European Union with its “personal and nationalist stance”.
The statement added that Macron “wants to teach a lesson by erudition with his old colonial reflex”.
Earlier on Thursday, Macron escalated anti-Turkish rhetoric amid their discussions Greek Prime Minister Kiriyakos Mitsotakis.
Both Macron and Mitsotakis Attending a Made 7 summit on the French island of Corsica with leaders from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus and Malta.
Macron urged Europe to adopt a “united and clear voice” on its policy towards Turkey, declaring that Ankara “is no longer a partner” in light of its conduct in the Mediterranean and Libya.
“We Europeans need to be clear and firm” with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his “unacceptable behavior”, Macron told reporters before the summit.
The decades-old dispute between the two countries is raising fears of a struggle for control of oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean.
Turkey on 10 August deployed the Oruk Rees research vessel and an escorting flotilla of warships between Cyprus and the Greek islands to the waters between Castellorizo and Crete. The stagnation of the vessel in competition waters has been increased three times.
Greece responded by staging naval exercises with several EU allies and the United Arab Emirates, not by the short maneuvers Turkey had recently conducted between Cyprus and Crete.
Greece raised the prospect of economic sanctions on Turkey as a French-Turkish spot.
Mitsotakis said in an opinion on Thursday that the European Union should impose sanctions on Turkey, until Ankara draws its maritime assets from disputed areas in the eastern Mediterranean.
“Later this month, EU leaders will meet in a special session on how to respond”, wrote Mitsotakis in a column published on Thursday in the London Times, Frankfurter Allgemine Zetung of Germany and Le Mondas newspaper in France.
“If Turkey refuses prudence by then, I see no alternative but to impose meaningful sanctions for my fellow European leaders. Because it is no longer just about European solidarity. It is important interests – strategic European interests. – is about to recognize. Stake. If Europe wants to exercise true geopolitical power, it cannot easily please a belligerent Turkey.
“Turkey still has time to evade sanctions, take a step back and work out a way out of this crisis. Turkey will only have to avoid its naval and scientific activity in non-delimited waters, and its Aggressive rhetoric has to be curbed. ”
Ankara said the region has every right to prospect and accuses Athens of trying to seize an unfair share of marine resources.
On Tuesday, Turkish Ambassador to London Umut Yalsin said in a letter to The Guardian that Ankara was ready for talks.
“Turkey has invited parties relevant to the delimitation of special economic zones to engage in negotiations on international law and the principle of equity since 2003. Yet the Greek side has never been honest enough to delay and avoid making concrete negotiations. Have not talked. ”Yalasin wrote.
Will hold a special summit on EU leaders How to solve the crisis between Cyprus and Turkey From september 24-25.
“We need dialogue,” Mitsotakis wrote, “but not held at gunpoint. The security and stability of my country is threatened which is a threat to the well-being and security of all EU member states.”
He warned: “If we cannot agree, we should seek a resolution in The Hague,” referring to the international court for sovereign disputes.
Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister also said on Thursday EU leaders should impose “severe” economic sanctions on Turkey for a limited time if Ankara does not remove its military ships and gas drilling vessels from Cyprus from the water.
Miltiadis Varvitasiotis quoted the European Parliament for Foreign Affairs as saying, “Sanctions must be severe for a limited time to press this pressure, but to send the message that Europe is here to negotiate, but to protect its values Is also here. ” Committee.