Turkey conducts exercises in eastern Mediterranean

Turkey has carried out naval exercises in the eastern Mediterranean, the defense ministry said on Dec. 20, against a backdrop of tensions with its neighbors over energy exploration in the region.    

The defense ministry said on its Twitter account that "elements of our navy command" conducted the exercises, without specifying the location other than "eastern Mediterranean."

The exercises follow an announcement by the European Union on Dec. 10 of plans to impose sanctions on Turkey.

On Dec. 17, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a videoconference call that Turkey wants to turn over a new leaf with the European Union.    

He insisted that Turkey's attitude was "constructive" while accusing Greece of running away from talks.

Erdoğan also told European Council President Charles Michel in a call that Turkey wants to build its future with the EU, calling for Ankara and the bloc to move on from a "vicious cycle" in ties.

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