11:48 GMT18 January 2021
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    The European Parliament on Thursday adopted a resolution calling for sanctions against Turkey for the partial reopening of the previously fenced off Varosha coastline area in the breakaway Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    BRUSSELS, (Sputnik) - In the resolution adopted by 631 votes in favour, 3 against, and 59 abstentions, MEPs condemned Turkey's illegal activities in Varosha and warned that its partial "opening" would weaken prospects of a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, exacerbating divisions and entrenching the permanent partition of the island, the resolution published on the European Parliament's website read.

    The European lawmakers also urged Ankara to transfer Varosha to its lawful inhabitants under the temporary administration of the United Nations.

    "A sustainable solution to reunify the island of Cyprus and its people can only be found through dialogue, diplomacy, and negotiations, MEPs stress. They call on the European Council to maintain its unified position on Turkey's illegal actions and impose tough sanctions in response," the document said.

    Following the 1974 military operation by Ankara to allegedly protect the Turkish Cypriot population, Cyprus has been essentially divided, with the Turkish part recognized solely by Turkey.

    Earlier this month, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited the northern Cypriot town of Varosha to mark the 37th anniversary of the self-proclaimed Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    Varosha, a once-popular tourist destination, was transformed into a ghost town following the Turkish invasion. In October, Erdogan announced the town's reopening, saying he would go there for a "picnic."

    United Nations Security Council resolutions 550 and 789 condemn all resettlement attempts in the area.

    Tags:
    EU, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, turkey
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