EU should refrain from imposing sanctions, warns Turkish foreign minister

Ankara: – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu warned that the European Union should refrain from punishing Turkey with sanctions. If the European Union imposed sanctions against Turkey, it would disturb the dialogue between the European Union and Turkey. There is tension reigning in the relations between the European Union, and Turkey and discussions are being held to normalise them. It is said that the European Union has asked Tukey to initiate concrete steps during the talks.   

eu-turkey-sanctions There is tension between Europe and Turkey since the last two years over various issues. The threats issued by Turkey over immigrants, moves to increase its influence in the European countries, criticism against France and the Turkish activities against Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea are the causes of these tensions. A strong reaction had been received regarding the efforts to pressurise Greece in the Mediterranean Sea and the war exercises conducted there.   

The relations between the European Union and Turkey seem to have been disrupted due to the aggressive stand taken by Turkish President Recep Erdogan and the inciting statements made by him. The European leaders have issued clear warnings in this respect and have denied the possibility of normalisation of relations with Turkey shortly. Simultaneously, the Turkish economy is receiving severe jolts because of the sanctions imposed by the United States, and the pressure on the Turkish government is increasing. If the European Union imposed strict sanctions, like the United States, the Turkish economy would collapse, and the autocratic rule of President Erdogan may receive strong jolts.  

The bilateral trade between Turkey and the European Union is nearly USD 140 billion, and Europe is the biggest trade partner of Turkey. The European share in the total Turkish exports is 42%. In contrast, 32% of total Turkish imports are from Europe. It has been revealed that this percentage is increasing over the last few years, and it is said that European banks and companies also have made considerable investments in Turkey.   

Therefore, since the last two months, Turkey is trying to make amends with the European Union. The meeting between the European Union and Turkey held on Friday, also is said to be a part of the same efforts. But it is being said that Europe has maintained its aggressive stand during the meeting. The European Union had made a fierce demand, in the previous meetings, that Turkey should initiate firm steps in the issues agreed upon. Simultaneously, a warning was issued that if changes in Turkish policies and behaviour are not evident, sanctions will be imposed against Turkey.   

The Turkish Foreign Minister expressed regret over the aggressive stand adopted by the European Union. Turkey is willing to fulfil all the criteria if the European Union is willing to retract its position of imposing sanctions. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that if an attempt to impose sanctions is made, it could affect the dialogue between the European Union and Turkey. While expressing displeasure on one hand, it has been reported that Turkey is making new moves on the Cyprus issue.   

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