Turkey seems to want appeasement with the European Union. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was on Thursday in Brussels to discuss possible progress.
But tensions remain high. The 27 keep in mind Ankara’s political choices in Syria and Libya or provocations in Cyprus and the eastern Mediterranean. The Turkish official acknowledges that “2020 has been a problematic year for bilateral relations between Turkey and the EU“. But it underlines the will of both parties to.”create a positive atmosphere“. The head of EU diplomacy, Josep Borrell, presents as a” good news“the announced resumption of exploratory talks between Ankara and Athens.
Some experts believe that Turkey’s change of tone can be explained by the change of president in the United States. According to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, former Secretary General of NATO, the Turkish President “realizes that with Donald Trump’s departure he no longer has any ally in the White House, so he must be careful“.
But other factors may explain these reversals. “Turkey has created many problems, it has bought Russian military equipment which is not compatible with NATO equipment, it is showing its muscles in the Mediterranean, in Libya, in Syria“, adds Anders Fogh Rasmussen. The purchase by Ankara, member of the Atlantic Alliance, of a Russian defense system has resulted in sanctions from Washington.
The European retaliatory measures adopted unanimously in December concern Turkish drilling in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone. But these sanctions are still pending for reasons of internal divisions between the 27.