At an EU summit on Thursday and Friday, the EU is set to discuss the introduction of new sanctions against Turkey, after all, efforts to defuse tensions between Greece, Cyprus, and Turkey failed. First of all, it is planned to discuss the introduction of sanctions for the exploration work carried out by Turkey — and considered illegal — to search for natural gas. Articles in the press reflect all the intransigence of positions.
Negotiate, not Bang your fist on the table
According to former diplomat Oguz Demiralp, Turkey should develop a new strategy. In his article on the T24 portal, he writes:
“Until now, we have not been able to properly convey our position to the opposite side. Of course, we can attack our opponents with reproaches that they do not want to understand us, but before attacking the enemy, it would be a good idea to first get rid of the log in your own eye. A show of force can be effective in domestic politics, but in international relations, such an approach leads to a fiasco. Instead, it is necessary to go on the offensive at the diplomatic level. You need to explain, make suggestions, and try to enlist allies. … For example, no one can convince me that Greece is right when it says that the island of Mace, which is ten square kilometers in size, should have an exclusive economic zone of 40,000 square kilometers — and that all this is in accordance with international law.»
Not a step back!
This time Athens and Nicosia should be the most rigorous way to defend their interests writes Phileleftheros:
“They have every right to do this, moreover, it is their direct duty. After all, they have never raised objections to improve relations between the EU and Turkey, on the contrary, they have always and blindly supported this position. However, they should not now follow the lead of Germany, which holds the EU presidency and wants to raise the status of the customs Union with Turkey in order to facilitate trade between the EU and Ankara (an issue that was also raised in October). Athens and Nicosia should insist that all this is possible only if Turkey implements all the provisions of the existing customs agreement with all EU countries — and above all, fulfill its obligations in 2005 to include the Republic of Cyprus.»
We need a clear position
EU heads of government should take a clear position on Turkey, writes Suddeutsche Zeitung:
“This does not mean that in the dispute over borders in the Mediterranean, the EU should recognize the extreme positions of Greece and Cyprus. But the solution must be worked out through diplomatic means — or through judicial proceedings. It is unacceptable to make a decision using gunboat diplomacy. If the EU wants Turkey to take it seriously, it must also act seriously. Yes, Europe needs Turkey. But Turkey also needs Europe. A new President will soon take office in the United States; relations between Washington and Ankara are strained. Erdogan may well need friends in Europe.»