Erdogan calls on the EU for dialogue and says the future of Turkey in Europe | Greece


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the European Union for dialogue, warning the bloc not to become a “tool of enmity” as tensions escalate in the eastern Mediterranean.Turkey’s deployment of a vessel to search for natural gas in waters claimed by Greece sparked a fierce war of words between Ankara and EU member states, which earlier this month extended sanctions against Ankara for another year.

The measures included the visa ban and the freezing of assets against those involved in contested gas exploration in the Mediterranean.

“We expect the EU to keep its promises, that it does not discriminate against us or at least that it does not become a tool to open enmities against our country,” Erdogan said in a statement. video speech at the congress of his ruling party on Saturday.

“We do not see ourselves elsewhere than in Europe,” he added. “We plan to build our future with Europe.”

Hours after Erdogan’s speech, Ankara extended its mission in the eastern Mediterranean until November 29, despite protests from Athens.

EU leaders are due to decide at a December summit to impose new sanctions on recent Turkish activity.

The dispute erupted in August

Turkey’s exploration activities are at the center of tensions.

The dispute originally escalated in August when Turkey first sent the exploration vessel Oruc Reis to waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.

Ankara said it pulled Oruc Reis last month to allow diplomacy between the parties.

Turkey dismissed the ship on October 12, prompting an angry reaction from the EU. Turkey has since extended the exploration time of the vessel on several occasions.

Greece and Turkey dispute the extent of their continental shelves and their claims on the region’s hydrocarbon resources.

Athens claims Ankara is breaking international law by prospecting in Greek waters and has urged the EU to reconsider its customs union to punish Turkey’s “imperial fantasies”.

Turkey insists it is within its rights in the energy-rich Mediterranean region, saying that not all Greek islands are large enough to be taken into account when it comes to delineating the extent of the Greek sovereignty.

Concerns remain over a potential military conflict between Greece and Turkey. Both carried out maneuvers in the region with frigates and fighter jets.

Message to the United States

In Saturday’s speech, Erdogan also said that Turkey wanted to “actively use its long and close alliance relations with the United States for a solution to regional and global problems.”

He was not among the first world leaders to congratulate US President-elect Joe Biden.

While Erdogan had close ties with US President Donald Trump, there were tensions between the two countries over several issues.

Turkey’s purchase of a high-tech Russian S-400 missile defense system angered Washington, while Ankara protested the US refusal to extradite a religious leader and man. Muslim affairs, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of organizing a failed coup in 2016.


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