Turkey’s Vice President Fout Okai has called the threat of sanctions imposed by the European Union (EU) on the eastern Mediterranean issue a hypocrisy. In a tweet on Saturday (29 August), he retaliated by warning that Ankara would not hesitate to take any action to protect Turkey’s rights and interests. Qatar-based Al Jazeera reports.“
Greece and Cyprus, two members of the European Union, have recently become embroiled in a dispute over Turkey’s energy discovery in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. European Union foreign policy chief Joseph Borel has threatened to ban Ankara if progress is not made. After a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Berlin on Friday (26 August), he said that a coalition of European countries was preparing to impose sanctions on Turkey, including tough economic measures.
In response to Joseph Borel’s threat, Vice President Fout Oktai wrote in a tweet on Saturday, “It is the hypocrisy of the European Union to negotiate Turkey’s activities in the eastern Mediterranean, as well as other plans.” He wrote, “We are accustomed to the language of peace and diplomacy. I will not hesitate to take necessary steps to protect the interests.
Over the years, Turkey has intensified its search for oil and gas reserves at sea. On August 21, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the discovery of huge reserves of natural gas in the Black Sea. After finding the reserves, Ankara accelerated the search. Meanwhile, tensions with Turkey are increasing over the ownership of oil and gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Amid that tension, two member states of the Western Military Alliance, NATO, announced mutual military exercises.