Ankara on Friday criticised as 'unacceptable' a declaration by European Union leaders slamming “Turkey’s continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean”.
“The statement that was issued contained unacceptable comments against our country that serve the interests of Greece and the Greek Cypriots,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy was quoted by Agence France-Presse as telling reporters.
His comments came a day after a draft statement by the European Council called on Turkey to “cease these actions and respect the sovereign rights of Cyprus to explore and exploit its natural resources in accordance with EU and International Law.”
“The EU has lost its objectivity on the Cyprus issue,” Aksoy claimed, accusing the EU of backing Athens and Nicosia simply because they are members, “without considering whether they are right.”
“The EU has lost its objectivity on the Cyprus issue”
Aksoy’s comments come ahead of a key meeting on Monday in Varna, Bulgaria, between EU President Donald Tusk, Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The statement by the 28 European Union members meeting in Brussels condemned Turkey's "illegal actions" towards Greece and Cyprus after Ankara's arrest of two Greek soldiers and its promise to prevent Cyprus from exploring for oil and gas.
Erdogan has warned foreign energy companies not to "overstep the mark" after Turkey's warships blocked an Italian drilling vessel of energy giant ENI off Cyprus in February.
The Greek soldiers were arrested on March 2 for entering a military zone in the northern Turkish province of Edirne and have now been remanded in custody ahead of trial.
"The legal process continues. We expect the EU council to avoid statements which represent interference in the judiciary," Aksoy said.
The summit between Erdogan and the EU chiefs is seen as crucial in setting up the future framework of Turkey's relationship with the bloc.
Turkey had sought to join the EU for over half a century but membership talks hit the buffers over the crackdown imposed in the wake of the 2016 failed coup.