Turkey applies for  €1 billion  EU defence project - report

Ankara has applied to participate in an EU defence project, which provides for military cooperation between member states, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday, citing diplomatic sources.

Turkey last week submitted an application for participation in the Common Security and Defense Policy (PESCO) project to the Netherlands, which coordinates the programme, it said.

Ankara is looking to improve its military prowess by participating in the €1 billion project, which Germany last year successfully proposed be opened for non-EU countries.

The 2017-founded PESCO project provides member countries with defence capabilities development through cooperation with other countries, as well as the ability to hold operational preparedness exercises.

"We hope that cooperation with Turkey within the framework of PESCO will - in addition to improving (the country’s) cooperation with the EU and NATO - work towards attaining normalisation with Cyprus and Greece,’’ it cited the diplomatic sources as saying.  

The report on Turkey’s application to PESCO arrives as Turkey-EU relations are looking to normalisation over the east Mediterranean, where Turkey is locked in disputes with both Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon resources.