EU Parliament approves sanctions against Turkey over activities in Mediterranean Sea

Strasberg/Ankara: The resolution approved at the European Parliament stated that Turkey’s activities near Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea violate its laws and the country must thereby be sanctioned. At the time, the parliament raised the alarm over the EU-Turkey relations saying they were at a historic low due to Turkey’s aggressive and subversive activities. Also, an EU conference is scheduled for next month to discuss Turkey. The nature of the sanctions will be finalised at the meeting. The majority received for the approval of the resolution only confirms the discontent against Turkey within the EU nations. 

European ParliamentIn the past few years, Turkey has been engaging in expansionist activities to increase its influence. Turkey is also attempting to interfere in matters of Central Asia, Middle East, Africa and the European nations. Europe had not taken Turkey’s movements seriously in the past. However, now Turkey has begun to threaten EU member nations – Greece and Cyprus. A severe reaction has thus emerged from Europe, and the parliamentary approval for sanctions on Turkey is an expression of the sentiment. 

European ParliamentOn Thursday, the sanctions on Turkey were approved with a vote of 631 to 3. Turkey is carrying out activities against both Greece and Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea. A few days ago, Turkish President Recep Erdogan had visited Varosha, a resort in a contested area of Cyprus located in the no man’s land. Europe has accused the visit of violating the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution. The European Parliament also warned that a solution to the Cyprus issue could be found through negotiations and Turkey’s aggressive activities would not be tolerated. 

European ParliamentAfter approving the sanctions against Turkey, the European Parliament also expressed apparent resentment over other issues. Accusing Turkey of distancing itself from European values, the parliament said Europe’s relations with Turkey were at a historic low. Besides, the parliament has raised concern over Turkey’s unilateral and illegal military actions ongoing in the Mediterranean Sea, which are a threat to the sovereignty of EU member nations – Greece and Cyprus. Simultaneously, the parliament also targeted Turkey’s open support to Azerbaijan in the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute as even its activities in Libya and Syria.  

In the State of the Union speech two months ago, European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen had reprimanded Turkey in clear terms. The chief asserted that the EU would stand by Greece and Cyprus firmly for their legal and sovereign rights. Despite the EU’s bold stance, it is evident from the events that occurred in the past few days that Turkey did not cease its activities. Now, even the EU has initiated decisive action against Turkey and the parliamentary approval for sanctions is an essential step in that direction. 

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