Top EU official, Erdoğan discuss EU summit conclusions

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and the head of European Council Charles Michel discussed the European Union’s December leaders’ summit conclusions over the phone on Tuesday.

European Union leaders agreed to impose sanctions on more individuals involved in Turkey’s gas drilling activities in territories claimed by Cyprus during the summit last week. The European Council has postponed discussions on harsher steps against Turkey until March next year.

Erdoğan told Michel that Turkey was willing to build its future in the European Union, according to a statement by his office. Erdoğan said all positive steps taken in Turkey’s EU relations should be seen as “a new window of opportunity”.

“While Ankara is trying to turn a new page with the bloc, some countries consistently endeavour to cause a crisis,” Erdoğan said.

“EU-Turkey relations should end this vicious cycle as soon as possible. Ankara wishes that the EU will adopt a sensible and constructive attitude towards Turkey,” he said.

Erdoğan also said that Turkey was ready for exploratory talks with Greece, including a five-way international conference on Cyprus.

Political and military tensions between Turkey and Greece in the eastern Mediterranean have escalated in recent months over competing claims to territory and hydrocarbon resources.

Turkey rejects the maritime border claims of Greece and Cyprus as “maximalist” while the EU supports them.