Turkish Minute

Erdoğan tells EU’s Michel Turkey wants to build its future with bloc

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and European Council President Charles Michel

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told European Council President Charles Michel in a phone call that Turkey wants to build its future with the EU, calling for Ankara and the bloc to move on from a “vicious cycle” in ties, the Turkish presidency said late on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

At a summit on Friday EU leaders agreed to prepare limited sanctions on Turkish individuals due to a row with members Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon exploration in the eastern Mediterranean, but postponed discussions on any harsher steps until March.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the summit that EU leaders planned to discuss weapons exports to Turkey with NATO allies following a Greek push for an arms embargo on Ankara.

The Turkish presidency said Erdoğan urged Michel to take a more constructive approach toward Turkey.

“During the call, President Erdoğan stated that Turkey aimed to build its future with the EU, and that they considered every positive step in Turkey-EU ties as a window of opportunity,” the presidency said.

Erdoğan also reiterated that Turkey was ready to launch bilateral talks with Greece on their maritime claims but accused Athens of “running from talks.” He repeated a call for a regional east Mediterranean conference.

Turkey sent a seismic exploration vessel into waters also claimed by Greece in August, stoking tensions. The EU, led by Germany, has sought without success to resolve the dispute. Turkey has repeatedly accused the bloc of bias.

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