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Turkey Defies EU Sanctions, Vows to Continue Drilling off Cyprus

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry in Ankara

The Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a statement on Tuesday morning, commenting on EU Foreign Ministers’ decision to go ahead with the first sanctions against Turkey, in response to its illegal activities off the coast of Cyprus.

”The conclusions adopted by the EU Foreign Affairs Council yesterday (15 July) will in no way affect Turkey’s determination to continue its hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean”, the statement strongly states at the beginning.

The statement uses derogatory comments against both Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, noting that ”Greek Cypriot-Greek duo abuse their EU memberships for the sake of their maximalist positions”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry calls the EU ”prejudiced and biased” and claims that the Union demonstrates an ”ineffective, unrealistic and unconstructive behavior.”

There are also remarks at the statement which claim that ”the Republic of Cyprus, which was founded on the political equality of the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots, ceased to exist in 1963,” adding that ”the so-called Republic of Cyprus is not a real state in the eyes of Turkey”.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry notes that the country ”will continue to protect both its own rights and the rights of Turkish Cypriots with determination, and will further boost its activities to this end”, concluding by saying that ”it is revealing to observe that these decisions were taken on a very important day for the Turkish people, the third anniversary of the heinous coup attempt of July 15.”

There is still no official response to this announcement from the side of Brussels, Athens or Nicosia yet.

On Monday afternoon, the Foreign Ministers of the 28 EU member-states approved measures against Turkey over its illegal drilling in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.

These include cutting EU pre-accession financial assistance for the year 2020, suspending high-level talks between the EU and Turkey, and ceasing the European Investment Bank’s lending activities in the country.

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