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"Requesting Sanctions of Greece to Turkey is Violation of Law"

"Requesting Sanctions of Greece to Turkey is Violation of Law" 12 August, 2020

Turkey directed the MTA Oruc Reis seismic research vessel to conduct surveys off the coast of Kastelorizo Island. Following the development that increased tension, Greece announced that the Foreign Minister had requested an urgent meeting from the EU Foreign Relations Council. In addition, Prime Minister Mitsotakis held talks with the command staff of the armed forces, as well as with the President of the European Council Charles Michel and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

Bahçeşehir University Center for Maritime and Global Strategies (BAU DEGS), of which Resigned Admiral Cihat Yaycı is the Director, published a statement on the subject. It is emphasized that sanction request of Greece from EU to Turkey is violation of law.

According to the text, the version of the Treaty of Nice which was consolidated in 2002, signed in 2001 and entered into force in 2003, legally prevents the implementation of mutual sanctions by the EU and NATO member states.

Article 17 (1) of the Common Security and Defense Policy is as follows: "1. The common foreign and security policy shall include all questions relating to the security of the Union, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy, which might lead to a common defence, should the European Council so decide. It shall in that case recommend to the Member States the adoption of such a decision in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. The policy of the Union in accordance with this Article shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States and shall respect the obligations of certain Member States, which see their common defence realised in the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), under the North Atlantic Treaty and be compatible with the common security and defence policy established within that framework. The progressive framing of a common defence policy will be supported, as Member States consider appropriate, by cooperation between them in the field of armaments."

According to this article, the EU cannot apply sanctions against NATO member countries. Also, according to the same section, the European Union cannot make incompatible initiatives with non-member NATO countries. In the study published by BAU DEGS, it was stated that mutual action would not be taken against the EU or its member states within the framework of NATO military crisis management. Due to this understanding, common security and defence policy cannot be used against an ally under any circumstances and in any crisis.

For the stated reasons, the EU does not have the right or authority to impose sanctions on any NATO member country. In the text, it is stated that the said initiative of Greece is against the law as per the articles of the Treaty of Nice; it was emphasized that the EU's attempt to impose sanctions against all odds will result in the deterioration of EU-NATO relations and violation of agreements.

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