Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has downplayed any economic sanctions the European Union might impose on Ankara over the dispute in the eastern Mediterranean.
“The EU has never acted honestly, it has never kept its promises (towards Turkey). But… we have always been patient. We are still being patient,” Erdogan told reporters on Wednesday ahead of a visit to Azerbaijan.
“Any sanctions decision that can be taken against Turkey do not concern us much.”
His remarks come a day before a European Union summit that could impose sanctions on Turkey over the row.
Turkey and Greece, both NATO members, have been embroiled in a long-running territorial dispute in the eastern Mediterranean over the region’s natural resources.
France and the European Parliament have called for imposing sanctions on Turkey.
Erdogan on Wednesday reiterated his country’s willingness to solve the row through negotiations.
“On the eastern Mediterranean, we will continue to protect whatever our rights there are,” he said, adding “It is never possible for us to compromise here. But if Greece really acts honestly as a neighbor, we will continue to be available at the table.”
‘EU sanctions will be counterproductive’
Also on Wednesday, the Turkish presidential spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, described the EU’s draft statement regarding the imposition of sanctions on Turkey as disappointing, noting that the EU was “surrendering” to the interests of some of its members.
Speaking via video conference in a German Marshall Fund of the United States event, Kalin stressed that the measures will not work and will be counterproductive in the long run.