Turkey rejects threats of sanctions and favors an equal distribution of resources in the eastern Mediterranean, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on July 23, slamming French President Emmanuel Macron’s accusations.
“We never accept threats or sanctions,” he said, speaking at an online policy briefing by the European Policy Centre in cooperation with the Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEİK).
His comments came after Macron demanded the EU to sanction Turkey, claiming “violations” of Greek and Cypriot waters and said Brussels should act on the crisis in Libya.
Macron wanted to show his leadership in North Africa with his aggressive Libyan policy as he could not achieve that leadership in Europe, Kalın said, while emphasizing that the support provided by France to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar threatened NATO’s southern security.
Turkey cannot be threatened through sanctions, a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said on July 23 slamming the statements of Macron.
“The statements of President Macron have no value for our country,” and the threats “will have no result,” said Hami Aksoy.
“With every statement, it has made and with every wrong step it has taken on the latest developments in the Eastern Mediterranean, France keeps losing impartiality and her chance to contribute to stability in the region,” said the written statement.
With regard to Libya, France is expected to differentiate between the legitimate government recognized by the international community on the basis of U.N. resolutions and Haftar, he said.
“In this context, the statements of the French President carry no weight vis-a-vis Turkey. Turkey will not be threatened by anyone with a discourse of sanctions and this will yield no results. France should give up on delusions of grandeur and should instead pursue rational policies based on common sense,” he stated.
Aksoy called on France to quit supporting “putschists in Libya, terrorists in Syria and those who follow a line of being ‘the sole owners’ in the Eastern Mediterranean,” as she should have figured out by now that such policies have achieved nothing so far, nor will they from this point on.
Turkey, while reiterating on this occasion calls for dialogue and cooperation towards peace, prosperity and stability in the region, will not hesitate to protect her rights stemming from international law, Aksoy noted.
Macron “should correct France’s route before lecturing Turkey,” Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesman Ömer Çelik wrote on Twitter on July 23.
Underlining that Macron is again in the wrong by supporting the Greek Cypriot administration’s unfair and unlawful activities in the Mediterranean – trying to halt Turkey’s legal energy exploration – Çelik said: “He is making the same mistake in the Eastern Mediterranean he made in Libya. He recently claimed that a Turkish warship harassed a French ship, and his claim was disproved.”