Germany has been trying to at least reduce tension between the EU and Turkey for months. Minister Maas of Foreign Affairs has since stated that the attempts have failed. There were “way too many provocations”.
Brussels (dpa) – Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has stated that German efforts to ease relations between the EU and Turkey have failed for the time being.
“In recent months, Germany has been trying extremely hard to find a way to stimulate dialogue with Turkey,” the SPD politician said on the sidelines of talks with EU officials in Brussels on Monday. Unfortunately, the tensions between Turkey, Cyprus and Greece made it impossible to start direct talks. There were “far too many provocations,” said Maas. That is why advice will now be given on the consequences.
A decision on how to proceed is expected at the EU summit next Thursday and Friday. At the beginning of October, the heads of state or government decided to evaluate Turkish politics. At the same time, it was agreed to deploy all possible instruments and options in the event of new unilateral measures by Turkey – including possibly new sanctions. To prevent Turkey from doing this, closer cooperation had also been promised in case the conflict with the EU countries Greece and Cyprus were to calm down.
The main focus of the dispute is that Greece and Cyprus are accusing Turkey of illegally exploring natural gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish government rejects the allegations and takes the view that the search for natural gas is legitimate.
In addition, Turkish President Recep Tayyip recently provoked Erdogan with a visit to the coastal town of Varosha, previously inhabited by Greek Cypriots, in the former tourist town of Famagusta in Northern Cyprus. Cyprus has been divided since 1974 after a Greek coup and a Turkish military intervention. To the north is the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, which is recognized only by Turkey. The Republic of Cyprus, which has been a member of the EU since 2004, only controls the south of the island.