By Nick Kampouris
The European Union announced on Thursday that — in solidarity with Cyprus — it will impose sanctions on two Turkish individuals over their role in Turkey’s illegal drilling activities inside the island Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
The EU did not name the individuals publicly but this decision follows a similar decision in November, when the Union first imposed economic sanctions on other Turkish individuals as a result of the drilling.
The fresh sanctions include travel bans to the EU as well as the freezing of assets.
“These persons are responsible for or involved in planning, directing and implementing offshore hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean which have not been authorized by the Republic of Cyprus,” the Union noted in its new diplomatic statement of support for its member nation.
Ankara has been accused by the international community of continued provocative behavior which blatantly violates the rights of the only recognized government on the island, that of the Republic of Cyprus.