Discussion of Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean at the EP meeting attended by Çavuşoğlu

In the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Turkey’s drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean and the strained relations with the European Union were discussed.

Speaking at the session in Brussels, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Greece Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said that Turkey has caused tensions to rise in the region in recent months, that they are not considering a ‘military solution’ to resolve the tension, and that the ‘way to the court’ is open.

Reminding that the Eastern Mediterranean is of great importance for the European Union in terms of tourism, immigration and many other issues, Varvitsiotis emphasized that Ankara should immediately stop the drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean on the grounds that it violates international rules and the importance of removing ships from the region.

Varvitsiotis said that a ‘hard message’ should be sent to Ankara from the European Union leaders’ summit to be held in Brussels on 24-25 September, and that many member countries are expecting this.

Demanding the support of the European Union, Varvitsiotis stated that Ankara announced that “Greece is not willing to engage in dialogue by spreading false news”.

‘EU should stop arms sales to Turkey’

European Parliamentarian Nikos Androulakis took the floor during the session and demanded that the European Union impose an arms embargo on Turkey. Androulakis said, “Two European Union countries are under threat. As socialists, we will demand an arms embargo against Turkey. Greek citizens should not live in fear of the weapons sold to Turkey by EU countries being pointed at them. New relations should be established with Turkey.”

Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu attended the EP meeting remotely

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu was also connected to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament via videoconference.

Explaining Turkey’s position on the Eastern Mediterranean issue, Çavuşoğlu said that he wanted a fair distribution of resources; He said that unilateral steps are a violation of TRNC rights.

Stating that if Greece insists on the preconditions, Turkey will also insist on its own preconditions, Minister Çavuşoğlu said that Greece showed that it is not ready for a sincere dialogue with us.”

“At the request of Germany and the EU, we decided to continue the negotiations, taking a serious political risk.” Çavuşoğlu said, “Greece carried out provocative actions against our civilian ships. Support should not be given only in Greece under the name of the Union. We are ready for a comprehensive agreement between Turkey and the EU. We are ready for an unconditional dialogue on better relations with the EU.” used the phrases.

Çavuşoğlu continued his speech with the following statements:

“Turkey’s relations with the European Union have had its ups and downs, but we have always wanted to continue the dialogue. Turkey’s position is in line with international law.

We have no problem with the people of France. We oppose the hostile statement of President Emmanuel Macron. France failed to provide evidence that we disturbed their ships. As France and Turkey, we were criticizing the USA and Russia on Syria. Why has France’s position changed? How can you criticize Turkey’s presence in Syria? We stopped 3 million refugees. You should thank us. We did not bring the fighters in Idlib. Do you support internally displaced persons in the EU? France and Germany were also going to send support but did not. You are still criticizing. When you bring up the refugee issue, you say it’s a threat. We did not threaten you. We need to tell each other the truth. I am proud to be the grandson of the Ottoman Empire. We don’t have dreams of empire. No matter what meetings you look at, we have always supported the territorial integrity of Syria. We also made an agreement with the legal government in Libya. France, Egypt and the UAE were supporting Khalifa Haftar. So, is Haftar a legal person? You can’t blame Turkey.”

The next European Parliament Foreign Relations Committee meeting will be held on 21 September.

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