European Parliament Calls for Sanctions Against Turkey

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On Thursday, the European Parliament denounced Turkey’s recent actions in the eastern Mediterranean, calling on the European Council to impose hard sanctions on Ankara.

In a resolution adopted with 631 votes in favor, MEPs condemned Turkey’s illegal activities in the Varosha suburb of Famagusta in Cyprus. They warned that its partial opening weakens prospects for a comprehensive solution to the Cypriot problem, exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island.

MEPs called on Turkey to transfer Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under the temporary administration of the UN, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 550. They also on Ankara to refrain from any actions that alter the demographic balance on the island through a policy of illegal settlement.

“A sustainable solution to reunify Cyprus and its people can only be found through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations”, MEPs stressed. They called on the European Council to maintain its unified position on Turkey’s illegal actions and impose tough sanctions in response.

MEPs also called on the EU to play a more active role in bringing reunification negotiations currently under UN auspices to a successful conclusion. The resolution underlined the UN Secretary-General’s call for the resumption of negotiations from their last point at Crans-Montana in 2017.

The European Parliament went on to caution that EU-Turkey relations are at an all-time low as Turkey increasingly distances itself from European values and norms.

According to the resolution, Ankara’s illegal and unilateral military actions in the eastern Mediterranean infringe on the sovereignty of EU member states Greece and Cyprus.