On 27 February 2020, the European Council made its first designations under the designated party regime that it introduced in November 2019 in response to Turkey’s unauthorised drilling activities in the Eastern Mediterranean (see our previous update here).  Two Turkish individuals have been designated with immediate effect:

  1. Mehmet Ferruh AKALIN, Vice-President (Assistant General Manager) and member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO); and
  2. Ali Coscun NAMOGLU, Deputy Director of the Exploration Department of the TPAO.

This means that these individuals are subject to an asset freeze, a travel ban to the EU and those falling within EU jurisdiction are prohibited from making funds or economic resources available directly or indirectly to or for their benefit.  Both individuals are alleged to have been responsible for or involved in planning, directing and implementing offshore hydrocarbon exploration activities in the Eastern Mediterranean, without authorisation from the Republic of Cyprus.  The European Council’s decision stops short of targeting any Turkish companies (for the time being).