The question of whether the United States and the European Union will apply sanctions against Turkey has finally been resolved. U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on a series of sanctions against Turkey, and over the next few weeks, we will find out which of the 12 Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) sanctions Trump will impose on Ankara.
Since the U.S. elections, there have been optimistic analyses about the future of trans-Atlantic relations. Leaders of the European Union were among the first to call President-elect Joe Biden to congratulate him on his victory. They expressed hope of reviving the partnership between allies on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
Turkey called back its research vessel Oruç Reis to port in order to support efforts by Germany and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to facilitate dialogue with Greece. As Ankara and Athens continue to exchange statements, tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean will be discussed at the Special European Council on Sept. 24-25.
For the last month, there have been increasing reports about the rising tension in the Eastern Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece. Although tension in the Aegean Sea is not uncommon due to several disputes in regards to maritime delimitation, this time there are broader issues. There is confusion among the international observers about the nature of this tension and it could be appropriate to note a few points on what led to it.