Turkey-EU ties on better footing, EU's Borrell says

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European Union and Turkish flags fly at the business and financial district of Levent in Istanbul

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Turkey and the European Union have started the year positively and steps to restart talks with Greece over hydrocarbons in the Mediterranean are welcome, but the EU remains concerned about human rights, the bloc's top envoy said on Thursday.

"We have seen an improvement in the overall atmosphere ... we strongly wish to see a sustainable de-escalation in the eastern Mediterranean," EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell told reporters alongside Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu before their meeting.

"We remain concerned about the (human rights) situation in Turkey," Borrell said.

(Reporting by Robin Emmott; Editing by John Chalmers)