Brussels, Belgium – The European Union (EU) summit of heads of state and government on December 10-11, 2020, the results of which are highly anticipated, did not issue a decision on sanctions against Turkey. However, forecasts on this issue indicated that the EU would decide to impose harsh sanctions on Turkey under pressure from France, Greece and the Greek Cypriot Administration and its supporters.
The European Union wants to give an opportunity for dialogue with Turkey, the final declaration of the EU summit said. With this approach, and with the support of many other states, notably Germany, Spain and Italy, Greece’s demands for harsh sanctions have not been accepted. With this decision, the EU gives Turkey a final respite until March 2021.
During this time, Turkey will be monitored and expected to comply with the conditions imposed on it in relation to the Eastern Mediterranean and take the necessary steps. Following consultations with the new US administration, which came to power in the United States, the issue of sanctions will again be raised by the EU in March 2021.
European Council President Charles Michel at the European Union’s October 1-2, 2020 summit, he stated that ” the ‘carrot and stick approach’ will be applied to Turkey.” This statement means that Turkey’s good behavior will be rewarded and its bad behavior will be punished. By opening a bracket, this phrase, which is English for “stick and carrot approach”, is derived from the method of using sticks and carrots to break the resistance of stubborn donkeys. It is also colloquially used in this sense.
With the decision of the EU summit on 1-2 October 2020 , in Turkey’s eastern Mediterranean itself, and Northern Cyprus Turkish Republic’, has evaluated the seismic survey and drilling activities carried out on the continental shelf as illegal, and by Turkey’s continuing such activities, in case violates Greece and Southern Cyprus’ maritime jurisdiction, threatened to impose sanctions at the EU summit on 10-11 December 2020.
In this way, the EU, which showed Turkey a stick, promised Turkey a “positive agenda” as a carrot if Turkey came to the road and gave up these activities. These promises included updating the customs union, negotiating visa liberalization, renewing the migration agreement and organizing an international conference for the Eastern Mediterranean. However, Turkey’s acceptance of this so-called “positive agenda” results in Turkey renouncing its vital rights and interests in Blue Homeland.
Turkey’s acceptance of the” positive agenda ” means that it is willing to conduct seismic research and drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean only in areas permitted by Greece and Greek Cypriots. In this case, Turkey will consider the continental shelf registered with the UN and the jurisdictions arising from the exclusive economic zone agreement with Libya illegal and non-existent.
This means that Turkey agrees to give up the Blue Homeland, to be imprisoned in Anatolia, to be surrounded by a strategic belt and to be cut off from the high seas by the EU. The issue with the EU is more an existential question of survival associated with the existence of the Blue Homeland than a crisis related to the struggle for the sharing of energy resources and jurisdictions in the Mediterranean.
Because in today’s conjuncture, sitting in exploratory negotiations with Greece means that Turkey is negotiating the maritime jurisdictions it has based on legitimate rights and law in the Eastern Mediterranean. In Eastern Mediterranean, the EU is imposing on Turkey to say goodbye to the Blue Homeland policy, and the acceptance of the exploratory negotiations means that Turkey is ready to shelve the Blue Homeland policy and its strategy.
The statements in the summit declaration also reflect that the EU is acting in complete submission to the Greek-Southern Cyprus duo on Cyprus. As for Cyprus, Turkey is the interlocutor, and the TRNC, whose name is never pronounced, is ignored. Turkey’s opening of the closed Maras is considered a” unilateral step ” and strongly condemned.
Turkey must fully respect the UN Security Council resolutions 550 and 789. As is known, resolution 550 notes that the north of Cyprus is the occupied territory of the Republic of Cyprus; Resolution 789 calls for the return of Maras to Southern Cyprus. The declaration also emphasizes that the EU supports the rapid resumption of negotiations on the settlement of the Cyprus problem under the auspices of the UN – in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and EU principles on this issue.
With this statement, the EU declares its unequivocal opposition to the two-state solution. However, Northern Cyprus supports a two-state structure within the framework of sovereign equality of the two sides on the island. It is now clear that the goal of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo in supporting a solution based on the federal system is that they see this system as a tool for the “Greeks” of the entire island. In addition, negotiations for a solution based on the federal system have ended in failure since 1977. It should also be noted that the UN plan for the Turkish-Greek Federation was rejected by the Greeks in 2004.
Can a multilateral conference on the Eastern Mediterranean be held when there are such contrasts in the sides ‘ views on the Cyprus problem? Greece and Southern Cyprus are certain to want to prevent the TRNC from participating in the conference by vetoing it. They also pre-prepared this by stating in the declaration the UN Security Council resolution 550, which registered that Northern Cyprus is the occupied territory of Southern Cyprus.
In the EU summit declaration, it is stated that it will aim to coordinate with the United States on issues related to Turkey and the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean. Foreign policy statements made by the environment of the new US administration indicate that deteriorating relations with the EU will be repaired and cooperation between the two sides of the Atlantic will be revived. The EU has included these statements in the declaration in order to both respond positively to this cooperation proposal and share responsibility for its critical decisions towards Turkey, an important NATO member.
In this regard, “NATO 2030: report on unity for a new era” will be used in the creation of a new NATO Strategic Concept from this report, prepared by a group of experts within NATO. The report recommends reviving trust and understanding between NATO and the EU at the highest level, establishing a solid relationship between the two sides and intensive consultations on issues of common interest to NATO and the EU. In other words, the steps that Turkey will take in the context of its policy towards the Eastern Mediterranean, Libya and Syria in the coming period will be evaluated jointly by the United States and the EU, and policies against Turkey will be formed and implemented together on these issues. This indicates that the external pressures facing Turkey will increase in the three areas mentioned.