Specifically, when Ankara announced its decision on expanding its drilling operations, Greece and Cyprus called the EU to follow punitive measures against Turkey. Yet, the latter continued its drilling plans, as Turkish ship 'Yavuz' arrived Monday night, July 8, off the island of Cyprus to drill for oil and gas.

In light of these developments, Donald Tusk, president of the European Council of ministers commented that

Despite our best intentions to keep good neighborly relations with Turkey, its continued escalation and challenge to the sovereignty of our Member State Cyprus will inevitably lead the EU to respond in full solidarity.

Moreover, in Brussels' meeting participants stated that the EU will suspend its negotiation efforts on the Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement.

The Council endorses the (European) Commission’s proposal to reduce the pre-accession assistance to Turkey for 2020 and invites the European Investment Bank to review its lending activities in Turkey, notably with regard to sovereign-backed lending.

... the participants added.

In the meantime, on Wednesday, Ankara rejected Greek and EU criticism that Turkish drilling off Cyprus was illegitimate.


Reuters reported that some EU states weren't fully in favour of shutting down all high-level channels of communication with Ankara, despite Nicosia's pushing for tougher language on sanctions. The barrier is based on the fact that the EU depends on Turkey to keep a lid on migration from the Middle East to Europe.

Concluding, the EU has frozen Turkey’s long-stalled membership talks as well as negotiations on upgrading their customs union, accusing Erdogan of widespread violations of human rights.