EU measures are well short of the circumstances and don’t stop Turkey’s actions
Press release by AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou
18TH October 2019
“It seems that, under the weight of the threats issued by Erdogan on the refugee issue and because of the enormous economic interdependence involved, the EU does not want to take comprehensive measures against Turkey. Nevertheless, we insist and demand that drastic measures must be taken to halt Turkey’s pirate/gunboat policy immediately. You have in general terms referred to the illegal drillings being carried out by Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and to the concerns of both sides, that is Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus. But the truth is that the illegal drillings are being carried out in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey is violating the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus. Four Turkish ships are roaming around in a pirate manner on licensed fields of the Republic of Cyprus, in which European companies, ENI and TOTAL are participating. Turkey has already forced the Italian energy company ENI to leave plot 3. We are therefore calling for further action to be taken immediately to put an end to Turkey’s illegal actions,” AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou pointed out in a very clear manner in front of the EU-Turkey Delegation, as well as before the representatives from the European Commission and the European External Action Service.
Speaking on behalf of the Confederal Group of the European United Left-Nordic Green Left AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou stressed that while Turkey provocatively states that it will proceed to launch a violent return of the refugees to the so-called “security zones”, which it is seeking to establish by invading with the force of arms, the EU is remaining idle. Concerning the joint Council statement for the termination of arms sales to Turkey, G. Georgiou made it clear that this decision has no gravity whatsoever, given that it merely refers to member states without a decision having been taken for an EU arms embargo on Turkey. .
Finally, the AKEL MEP made a special reference to the vicious attack that was launched on the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community by the Vice-President and Foreign Minister of Turkey for daring to denounce the invasion of Syria. As Giorgos Georgiou denounced, Turkey is calling on Mr. Akinci to resign, ignoring that we are on the verge of holding a trilateral meeting with the prospect of a five-party meeting also being held.
Responding to the AKEL MEP, the representative of the European External Action Service Mr. Thomas Frellesen, openly admitted that if the proposal were to be approved for an EU embargo on arms sales to Turkey, then the member states would engage in an endless debate, thus avoiding a decision to be taken. As for the AKEL MEP’s call for further action to be taken with regards Turkey’s illegal actions in the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr. Frellesen simply referred to the EU Foreign Affairs Council’s decision on sanctions against natural and legal persons involved in illegal drilling. He also stated in general and vague terms how they would proceed with the sanctions step by step.
On behalf of the European Commission, from the Directorate General for European Neighborhood Policy and Negotiations for Enlargement, the Head of the Section for Turkey, Mr. B. Brunet stated with disarming and crude sincerity that more drastic measures which might have been taken in relation to the EU-Turkey customs union, would clash with the EU’s huge financial interests due to its trade ties with Turkey worth billions of Euros.
It should be noted that AKEL MEP Giorgos Georgiou has undertaken to work on Turkey-related issues as Shadow Rapporteur on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group…
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