Turkey slams EU for non-visionary ‘Strategic Compass’

Turkey slams EU for non-visionary ‘Strategic Compass’

Turkey slams EU for non-visionary ‘Strategic Compass’

Turkey has lashed out at the European Union for denying the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots in the eastern Mediterranean in its Strategic Compass approved on March 21, accusing Brussels of being non-visionary.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council approved the EU’s Strategic Compass, a 47-page document that outlines the ways and means the 27-member bloc will adopt to defend itself against new threats and challenges.

The document cites Turkey in two different chapters, which triggered Ankara’s reaction.

“Notably the chapter in the document on the eastern Mediterranean where our country is referred to seems to have been dictated by two members of the EU who have maximalist maritime boundary claims at the expense and persistent denial of the rights of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots,” read a written statement from the Foreign Ministry late March 22.

It stressed that this chapter fully contradicts international law, practice and even the EU’s own acquis, saying, “As the document fails to show the right direction, it cannot function as a ‘compass’ nor can it be dubbed ‘strategic.’ This document will undoubtedly make the EU part of the problem rather than the solution in the eastern Mediterranean and not steer the union to the correct strategies.”

Indirectly referring to the developments in Ukraine after Russia’s offensive, the ministry noted, “Taking into account the latest developments, it is unfortunate and non-visionary for the EU that the document misses the truth and reality and sees a candidate country and a NATO ally from such a shallow perspective.”

EU calls for more cooperation with Turkey

The Strategic Compass ignores the fact that Turkey is a candidate country and defines Turkey as a partner like other non-EU states, such as Norway and the United Kingdom. It recalls that Turkey is a contributor to EU’s Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) missions, noting: “We will continue to cooperate in areas of common interest. We remain committed to developing a mutually beneficial partnership, but this requires equal commitment on Turkey’s side to advance on a path of cooperation, sustained de-escalation and to address EU concerns, in accordance with the statement of the members of the European Council of 25 March 2021.”

The document says the EU will develop a rapid deployment capacity with up to 5,000 troops to address common threats and challenges. But it also repeats that the EU’s own capacity will not be an alternative to NATO but complementary to the alliance.