The development comes as Ankara is engaged in a bitter territorial dispute with Greece and Cyprus. The European Union has threatened to slap sanctions on Turkey if it continues with what Brussels has called “illegal drilling”.
Turkey has announced shooting drills in the eastern Mediterranean that will last from 29 August until 11 September. Ankara informed about its decision via NAVTEX, an international maritime communication channel used to send navigational warnings, search and rescue notices, and meteorological forecasts.
Turkey is now conducting exploration activities in the eastern Mediterranean, a move that has further exacerbated tensions with its neighbours – Greece and Cyprus – and prompted concern in the European Union.
An informal summit of the bloc’s foreign ministers was held in Berlin on 28 August, where participants agreed to speed up the imposition of sanctions on Turkey. The foreign ministers said the European Union will impose the punitive measures on 24 September if talks on the territorial dispute with Ankara fail.
French President Emmanuel Macron said Turkey hasn’t been behaving like a NATO ally and noted that there is a “growing frustration in the face of Turkey’s behaviour”. Macron also announced that the European Union will adopt a tough stance towards Ankara.
“When it comes to Mediterranean sovereignty, I have to be consistent in deeds and words. I can tell you that the Turks only consider and respect that”, said Macron.