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S&Ds: Dialogue is the only way forward. Turkey needs to refrain from any further illegal and unilateral action in Eastern Mediterranean


17 Sep 2020



Following the escalation of the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Socialists and Democrats Group has requested and obtained a debate with resolution in the European Parliament. Today's vote in Plenary has reiterated our condemnation for the illegal actions put forward by the Turkish government, our full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus and our call on Ankara to engage in the peaceful settlement of disputes.

EU Rapporteur on Turkey and S&D foreign affairs committee member, Nacho Sánchez Amor, said:

“In the last days, we have witnessed a mix of positive and negative movements from Turkey, but it is clear that the only way forward is dialogue. Turkey must withdraw its ships from the disputed waters and refrain from any further illegal and unilateral actions, thus fostering the opportunity for the parties to resume conversations and avoiding the need for further restrictive measures from the EU.

“Furthermore, Turkey should make up its mind on its European approach. For the last years, instead of coming closer to the EU, Ankara has alarmingly diverged from us in values, policies and interests.

“Its current aggressive approach in the Eastern Mediterranean and hostile narrative towards the EU’s member states can only enlarge the distance and mistrust between both sides. This is unacceptable for a country with a candidate status.”

 S&D spokesperson on foreign affairs, Tonino Picula, added:

“Our relationship with Turkey is the largest challenge at the EU’s external borders. Conflict over energy sources has political, security and trade implications. Latest actions by Erdoğan have crossed many lines and we cannot remain silent when Turkey, as a NATO member, is threatening with ‘casus belli’ to our member states and questioning their territorial integrity.

“Greek and Cypriot borders are our external borders!

“We are for dialogue and the de-escalation of tensions. Nonetheless, it is clear that Turkey has to refrain from unilateral actions as the pre-condition for the dialogue to advance.

“We will have no choice but to support the call for further sanctions against Turkey should Erdoğan continue with his reckless actions.”