President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that any sanctions imposed by the European Union on Turkey will not have a great impact. He added that the bloc had never acted honestly or kept its promises.
Ahead of an EU summit on Thursday, Erdogan told a news conference in Ankara that “honest leaders” within the EU were against sanctions on Turkey and that Ankara would continue to defend its rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
“EU’s proposed sanctions on Turkey would not be a major problem for us. EU has been already imposing sanctions on Turkey from time to time for years now,” Erdogan told reporters.
Noting that the bloc has been imposing sanctions on Turkey since 1963, Erdogan said the EU has never been an honest partner.
“The EU has never kept its promises, but we have waited patiently since that day and continue to wait patiently,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan accused Athens of avoiding exploratory talks with Ankara, adding that “if Greece is honest, Turkey is open to talks.”
“They are the ones who consistently leave the [negotiation] table,” the president said, adding that Greece has also turned down NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s call for dialogue.
Greek officials have not been attending the NATO-led deconfliction talks for the Eastern Mediterranean dispute since Oct. 9, according to Turkish officials.
“But we, on the other side, continue to stand up straight and will continue to do so,” Erdogan. He reiterated his determination to “preserve Turkey’s and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, as he said.
“If Greece acts honestly then we will continue to stay at the table,” he added.
sources: reuters, dailysabah