Selin ATAY-TDO- The EU’s top diplomat said that the Union is preparing sanctions against Ankara that might be negotiated at the bloc’s next summit on September 24 in response to the eastern Mediterranean dispute with Greece.

Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, said that the measures, which meant to limit Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in contested waters, could affect individuals, ships or the use of European ports. Borrell added that the EU would focus on everything interrelating to “activities we consider illegal.”

Borrell spoke in Berlin, where EU foreign ministers met to negotiate support Greece after Athens ratified a deal on maritime borders to respond Ankara's claims to energy resources in the region.

In the case of possible sanctions, “We can go to measures related to sectoral activities ... where the Turkish economy is related to the European economy,” Borrell told a news conference.

The EU’s top diplomat has warned Turkey to avoid unilateral action in the dispute with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Borrell and German Foreign Minister Heiko Mass also stressed that the EU wants to give dialogue a chance to lower the tension between Turkey and Greece.

The EU had no basis for its stance, Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement and rejected Greek maritime claims. “Turkey will continue to protect its rights and interests everywhere”, President Tayyip Erdogan told NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

According to a statement issued by Erdogan’s office, “Our President told him NATO must fulfill its responsibility against unilateral steps which disregard international law and harm regional peace.”

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