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EU Extends Sanction Regime for Turkey for Drilling

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The European Union is extending a sanctions regime for Turkey set last year until the end of 2020 due to the controversial gas and oil drilling in the Mediterranean.


Extending the legal sanctions framework means that the EU can quickly impose new sanctions if Ankara continues to provoke in the waters off Cyprus and Greece. Next month, EU leaders will speak at a summit on EU-Turkey relations.

In February, the EU first imposed sanctions on two Turks involved in drilling in Cyprus. Their European bank balances are frozen, and they are not allowed into the EU.

Greece and Cyprus have been calling for more sanctions for some time. “All options are on the table,” said EU President Charles Michel of the summit on Turkey last month.

According to the EU, Ankara violates international law with the drilling. She has been demanding for months that Turkey cease these activities and that the Turkish government sit down with Greece and Cyprus to resolve the issue. Turkey has, in the meantime, only expanded the search for new energy sources in waters claimed by both EU countries.

Moreover, President Recep Erdogan has now also put France in the suit. He lashed out at President Emmanuel Macron after Erdogan’s exaggerated response to the jihadist murder of a French teacher in a Parisian suburb. He has also called on the Turks to stop buying French products.

The relationship between the EU and Turkey, which is an official EU candidate and NATO ally and plays a vital role in the reception of refugees and migrants in the region, is compassionate.

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