No: 319, 11 December 2020, Press Release Regarding The Conclusions Of The Eu Council Meeting Of 10-11 December 2020

Republic Of Turkey Ministry Of Foreign Affairs 11.12.2020

Although a number of EU member states, including the current Presidency of the EU Council, have endeavored for dialogue and contact with Turkey since the EU Summit of 1-2 October, a positive agenda in the Turkey-EU relations could not be created yet. This is due to the narrow political calculations of a very few countries. Thus, the EU could not end its search for restrictive measures, which is totally futile.

Bringing forth their maximalist demands and unfair policies through the abuse of the membership solidarity and the veto rights by some member states has put Turkey-EU relations into a vicious circle. This situation harms the common interests of Turkey and the EU as well as peace, security and stability of our region.

We reject the biased and illegal approach that had to be adopted with the EU Council Conclusions of 10 December 2020, in particular on Cyprus, Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and regional issues. In fact, we are aware that the majority of the EU does not embrace these conclusions which are adopted through solidarity and veto pressure.

Turkey, for the sake of regional stability, has always expressed its readiness to commence, without any preconditions, the exploratory talks with Greece despite its provocative steps.

Since 2004, Turkey and the TRNC have demonstrated goodwill efforts in order to make the hydrocarbon reserves of the Eastern Mediterranean region a stability factor, which is currently a factor of tension. They have been the party which undertook all constructive and positive initiatives.

With these conclusions, the EU once again ignored the Turkish Cypriot people, the co-owner of the Cyprus Island, and their will, and obliged itself to the imposition of the Greek Cypriot Administration on the Cyprus issue and fenced city of Maraş. The EU now should abandon this attitude, preventing a just, lasting and sustainable settlement to the Cyprus issue on the basis of the realities on the Island.

The most feasible way out of this situation is the Greek Cypriots coming together with the Turkish Cypriots on some occasion and to start to discuss the issue of hydrocarbon reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean and revenue sharing as well as take concrete steps towards a settlement. In fact, the regional conference on Eastern Mediterranean is an opportunity in this regard. Turkey will continue with determination to protect the legitimate rights of Turkey and the TRNC in the Eastern Mediterranean

The pushbacks of the refugees in the Aegean Sea by Greece and inclusion of FRONTEX in these actions are disgraceful. It is not possible to talk about cooperation on responsible management of migration flows, unless these violations which constitute a serious breach of human rights and seriously condemned by the international public opinion, and the mass deportations are ended. The EU should demonstrate sensitivity regarding migration management not towards Turkey but specifically towards Greece which has systematized inhuman treatment of the refugees.

We have a common interest in the imminent commencement of the work, without any preconditions or conditionality, on the renewal of the Turkey-EU 18 March Statement. This will also serve in surmounting the common challenges we face in Europe and beyond.

As Turkey has always indicated, the EU should assume the role of an honest broker, act with common sense in a principled and strategic manner.

Atatürk

Murat Ahmet Yörük Ambassador
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