EU deals blow to Turkey’s membership bid, saying talks ‘effectively at standstill’

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(L) Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. © Getty Images/Ian Walton; (R) Turkish drilling vessel Yavuz sets sail in Izmit Bay, on its way to the Mediterranean Sea, off the port of Dilovasi, Turkey, June 20, 2019. © REUTERS/Murad Sezer
Constantly referring to sanctions is ‘not constructive’: Ankara slams EU summit’s decisions on Eastern Mediterranean

Amid its criticism, the report did acknowledge Turkey’s role in housing millions of refugees who have fled the Syrian Civil War, saying it “continued to provide substantial assistance to over 4 million refugees, out of which 3.6 million are Syrian.”

The EU, which is Turkey’s largest foreign investor, recently encouraged the country to engage in dialogue with Cyprus in a bid to ease tensions in the disputed areas of the Eastern Mediterranean.

It said Turkey had “continued illegal activities” in the area, describing its behavior as “provocative and aggressive.” Cyprus had been pushing for sanctions on Turkey if it did not cease oil and gas drilling in the resource-rich sea.

Speaking to Germany’s Angela Merkel, Erdoğan “stated that the EU had succumbed to pressure and blackmail from Greek Cypriots and Greece despite Turkey’s well-intentioned approach,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry reported in a statement.

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