German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas has cancelled his planned visit to Turkey after Ankara said it was restarting operations of a survey ship that it withdrew last month.
Maas said that the redeployment of Oruç Reis “severely damaged” the atmosphere of trust, Redaktionsnetwerk Deutschland reported on Oct. 17.
“Turkey can’t have any interest in the long-term continuation of all the conflicts that it influences,” Maas said.
Asked whether the European Union considers sanctions against Ankara, Maas said that the European Council decided to find negotiated solutions by December.
“If this is not possible, we will have to consider other means,” the foreign minister added.
EU leaders had agreed on Oct. 2 to give Turkey until early December before considering economic sanctions and Germany, which has so far led diplomatic talks with Ankara, wants to give dialogue a chance because of close EU-Turkey trade ties.
On Oct. 12, Turkish ship Oruç Reis set sail to carry out seismic surveys in the eastern Mediterranean, prompting Greece to issue a furious new demand for EU sanctions on Ankara in a row over offshore exploration rights.
France and Germany said earlier this week that Turkey had only “weeks” to revise its stance and stop what they also said were provocations, but declined to give a strong ultimatum as Athens and Nicosia would like.