EU mocked: Bloc ‘disconnected from reality’ says Turkey as Brussels hardball falls flat
The European Parliament has called for sanctions against Ankara after President Tayyip Erdogan visited the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in north Cyprus. On Thursday, the European Union’s parliament agreed a non-binding resolution in support of EU member Cyprus, urging EU leaders to “take action and impose tough sanctions” against Turkey.
This was a move likely to bolster support for France’s push for sanctions on Ankara at an EU summit next month.
Turkey is at odds with EU members Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon exploration in disputed east Mediterranean waters.
Erdogan incensed Cyprus, whose territory covers the southern half of the partitioned Mediterranean island, on November 15 by visiting Varosha, a resort on the island that has been fenced-off and abandoned in no-man’s land since 1974.
Turkey supported the partial reopening of Varosha last month in a move criticised by the United States, Greece and Greek Cypriots.
Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy denounced the resolution and accused the European Parliament of being “prejudiced and disconnected from the realities” on Cyprus.
Mr Aksoy said: “If this approach and mentality are maintained, it would not be possible for EU bodies to make a constructive contribution to the settlement of the Cyprus issue.”