EU extends sanctions on Turkey over “unauthorized” drilling in EastMed

EU extends sanctions on Turkey over “unauthorized” drilling in EastMed
Update: 09 November 2022 13:28
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The CoE extended its sanctions regime against Ankara over Turkey’s drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean

The Council of Europe extended the sanctions regime against Turkey in response to its drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean.

The sanctions initially introduced in 2019 will be prolonged for a further year, until Nov.12, 2023.

“The European Union will therefore maintain its ability to impose targeted restrictive measures on persons or entities responsible for or involved in unauthorised drilling activities of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean,” the CoE statement said on Tuesday.

The EU imposed sanctions on Turkish officials involved in Turkey’s “illegal” drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean in 2019, amid a territorial spat between Turkey, Greece and Cyprus over energy resources. Turkey that does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus as a state, claims half of the island’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots living in the northern part of the Cyprus and carries out drilling in the region, where Greece and internationally recognized government of Cyprus dispute. 

The sanctions consist of a travel ban to the EU and an asset freeze for persons, and an asset freeze for entities, the CoE said. In addition, EU persons and entities are forbidden from making funds available for those listed, and currently two individuals are subject to sanctions, it said.

Turkish Petroleum (TPAO) Board Member and Deputy General Manager Mehmet Ferruh Akalin and TPAO Exploration Department Deputy Director Ali Coskun Namoglu are the sanctioned individuals by the EU.

Turkey awarded licences to Turkish energy company TPAO in 2012 to operate in the region.

EU reaffirms full solidarity with the Republic of Cyprus over its sovereign rights in accordance with international law. Cyprus is a member of the bloc since 2004.