EU-Turkey relations: EU considers imposing sanctions while Turkey keeps violating Cyprus’ sovereignty

Participation of Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the EC, and Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the EC, in the Conference on Cyprus
Date: 12/01/2017. Location: Geneva – Palais des Nations
© European Union, 2017. Source: EC – Audiovisual Service

Turkey continues violating the sovereignty rights of Cyprus by conducting a new illegal drilling operation on the northeast of the island. The EU had already urged Turkey last month to stop its gas drilling in waters around Cyprus. Thus the EU bloc will now have to intervene to resolve such disputes.

However, Turkey kept on ignoring EU’s calls and already sent a second drill ship to exploit the natural sources of Cyprus. It seems that Cyprus would need all the support in the world it can possibly get on this matter in order to avoid further deteriorating the current turbulent relations.

The Sultan’s stance

During the last months Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been showing profound interest for the natural sources of Cyprus where gas was discovered in areas off the south of the island. The Turkish vessel, Fatih, has been on the west of Cyprus since May, 37 nautical miles off the western coast of the island.

As it was not enough, Turkey has sent another ship this week, called Yavuz, to start drilling operations within the week. The Turkish President has been disputing the rights of Cyprus to explore for gas and thus putting at greater risk the ties between the two countries.

Cyprus condemns Turkey’s actions

The Republic of Cyprus has claimed that Turkey’s actions are violating the island’s sovereign rights and illegally attempts to gain access to the natural gas located in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). More specifically, Cypriot government said that: “Turkey continues to violate international law, conventional and customary, blatantly ignoring calls by the European Union’s and the international community to end its illegal actions and respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources within its sea areas”.

Everyone against Turkey’s illegal operations

The EU has been supporting Cyprus’ sovereignty at the moment when Turkey has already sent two vessels to start drilling activities into Cyprus’ territorial waters. In detail, Commission Vice-President Federica Mogherini said that: “Turkey’s declared intention to illegally conduct a new drilling operation northeast of Cyprus is of grave concern…This second planned drilling operation, two months after the start of the ongoing drilling operations west of Cyprus, is a further unacceptable escalation which violates the sovereignty of Cyprus”. Furthermore, the EU is considering to impose sanctions to Turkey such as limiting the European Investment Bank’s sovereign-backed lending by cutting 146 million euros of financial aid for next year and postpone all ongoing negotiations between the two sides around an aviation agreement.

The U.S. has also substantial interest in Cyprus’ EEZ as US energy giant ExxonMobil has been licensed and already reported a major gas find. Last month, just after ship Fatih began exploitation operations in the west of Cyprus, the US State Department expressed its concerns calling on Turkey to stop drilling off Cyprus. Particularly, the US characterized this action as “highly provocative” which “risks raising tensions in the region”.

Other counties such as the UK, France, Egypt and Russia urged Turkey not to commence illegal operations in Cyprus’ waters. The Russian Foreign Ministry expressed its worries on the issue while London mentioned that it is among its priorities to de-escalate the current situation in the Eastern Mediterranean through dialogue.

Therefore, it seems that all major forces are backing Cyprus and are ready to find a solution not only through constructive dialogue but sanctions may be as well imposed if Turkey continues deploying its drill ships and disputing the island’s sovereignty. The latter is most likely going to happen taking into consideration that the Turkish President will not leave this“opportunity” unexploited. Besides, Turkey has shown that it can benefit from such situations as achieved back in 2016 when making a “golden” deal with the EU in order to tackle the migration crisis. It is well known to the world that throught this EU-Turkey deal the Turkish side has been underperforming but still receiving hefty EU funds.

All in all, Turkey has once more crossed the line violating Cyprus’ rights and creating turbulences in the Eastern Mediterranean. It is certainly not going to be easy to persuade Recep Tayyip Erdoğan through dialogue to withdraw the Turkish vessels from Cyprus’ waters.

Let’s just hope that the EU intervention together with the international support will be enough to ease tensions between Cyprus and Turkey and avoid possible escalating events.

the sting Milestones

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

How COVID-19 is throttling vital migration flows

UN rights chief Bachelet appeals for dialogue in Sudan amid reports ‘70 killed’ in demonstrations

Asian and Pacific economies: decreases in tax revenue highlight need to broaden tax bases

Coronavirus: harmonised standards for medical devices to respond to urgent needs

Turkey: Extension of EU humanitarian programmes supporting 1.7 million refugees receives green light

Health services for Syrian women caught up in war, foster safety and hope: UNFPA

ILO: Progress on gender equality at work remains inadequate

EU plans to exploit the Mediterranean Sea and the wealth beneath it

An entrepreneurial point-of view on tackling the migration crisis and the risks of abolishing Schengen

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Three ways to improve your corporate culture in the #MeToo era

Social inclusion: how much should young people hope from the EU? 

Athens urged to fast track asylum seekers amid island shelters crisis – UNHCR

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

What India’s route to universal health coverage can teach the world

To what extent are our moral standards responsible for killing people?

5 amazing schools that will make you wish you were young again

How to describe chronic pain beyond numbers? A Brazilian measuring instrument

Security Council must ‘come together’ to address the plight of children trapped in armed conflict, says UN envoy

Mental health as a tool of survival at the Pandemic

European Youth calls on European Council for urgent action on “humanitarian crisis” and questions the EU/Turkey deal respect of human rights

Future EU financing and recovery: MEPs to assess summit outcome

When will Eurozone’s unemployment rate stop being Europe’s worst nightmare?

Mobile World Congress 2015 first to debate EU’s new stance on Net Neutrality and Roaming Charges

Afghanistan: UN mission welcomes new polling dates following election delays

Fairness should be at the heart of the agricultural goods trade

Vaccination: understanding the challenges surrounding COVID-19 vaccination campaigns

A Sting Exclusive: “The Digital Economy and Industry are no longer opposing terms”, Commissioner Oettinger underlines live from European Business Summit 2015

Tiny Iceland teaches the West how to treat bankers

Women’s rights and how medical students can act as aides of progressive change

The results of Finland’s basic income experiment are in. Is it working?

We can decide to live within the limits of our planet

Promoting Health in the Brazilian Amazon: one nation but many cultures

ECB money bonanza not enough to revive euro area, Germany longs to rule with stagnation

New EU rules ensure better protection for 120 million holidaymakers this summer

EU Migrant Crisis: Italian Coast Guard Headquarters and Italian Navy to give host national opening addresses at Border Security 2016 in Rome

UN chief pays tribute to Egypt’s role in avoiding ‘dramatic’ escalation in conflict across the Gaza-Israel border

ACP-EU : Agreement on climate change, migration and post-Cotonou

CO2 can be a valuable raw material, not just a climate killer. Here’s how

Scientists have created biodegradable microneedles to fight eye disease

Annual UN women activists’ summit opens with focus on services, infrastructure

How start-ups will lead India through the Fourth Industrial Revolution

EU Ombudsman investigates the European Commission

EU and UK soon to be in a post-Brexit rush over free trade agreement with Australia

Commission and EIB provide CureVac with a €75 million financing for vaccine development and expansion of manufacturing

Could entrepreneurship be the real cure against the side effects of Brexit?

Rebuilding after COVID: The challenge is digital

Medical students: catalysts to close the gender gap

How the world can ‘reset’ itself after COVID-19 – according to these experts

Threat to biodiversity risks a flood of economic ruin

One third of poorer countries face both undernutrition and obesity: WHO report

State aid: Commission approves €900 million Slovenian scheme to support uncovered fixed costs of companies affected by coronavirus outbreak

Google case: A turning point in competition rules enforcement

Australia’s bushfires have pumped out half a year’s CO2 emissions

How Eurozone consumers spend their income when they have one…

25 years after population conference, women still face challenges to ‘well-being and human rights’, says UN chief

Cheese energy could power hundreds of UK homes

5G: How a ‘legion of robots’ could help save the rhino

The European Parliament fails to really restrict the rating agencies

Sponsored content: when QUALITY meets OPEX in manufacturing

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s