The European Parliament is firm against the country

The European Parliament yesterday condemned the decision of the Turkish Cypriot government, under Turkish influence, to reopen the suburbs of Varosha to settle the Turkish Cypriot population there. These suburbs are located in the city of Famagusta, to the east of the island. The condemnation was almost unanimous, and comes from a joint resolution of most of the House groups from the popular to the green. The European Parliament puts pressure on and conditions the next European summit, which will bring together the Council in mid-December, and where the sanctions to be applied to Turkey will be decided, as a result of the denunciation of France, Greece and Cyprus of the interference of Ankara.

The resolution was approved with the vote in favor of 631 MEPs, a large majority, and it not only condemns the decision, but also demands the return of Varosha to its legitimate inhabitants of Greek Cypriot origin. The next European Council in mid-December is also urged to apply exemplary sanctions, for which this new Turkish action is just one more reason. Another aspect contemplated in the European Parliament resolution is to suggest that the United Nations, which maintains a peacekeeping mission in Cyprus, UNFICYP, control population movements that may occur in that area. This mission has been in force since the early 1960s and is made up of more than 1,000 personnel, including civilians, military and police forces, with a significant British contingent.

Cyprus suffered a pro-Greek coup in 1974, causing a division in two of the island, although the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is only recognized by Turkey. As a result of the military coup, Ankara initiated the Attila operation to protect the interests of the Turkish Cypriot community, the operation involved the invasion of the island and the establishment of the aforementioned republic. Some of the Greek Cypriot majority areas that were in the territory with the presence of Turkish forces were abandoned. Varosha, a very important tourist area to the east of the island of Cyprus, was one of them. The area has since remained closed by Turkish forces, making it impossible for its original inhabitants to return. Resolution 550 of the United Nations Security Council protects the fact that only its original inhabitants can settle in the area. However, now the opening and settlement of the Turkish Cypriot population is being considered, which has led to alarm and condemnation from the European Parliament.

The intention to reopen Varosha announced by the Turkish Cypriot government, is one more of the interference with which Turkey continues to pressure Greece and Cyprus, and increasing tension in the eastern Mediterranean region. The approval of the resolution also legitimizes the decisions that can be taken at the next European Council, to which France has already announced that it would take the request for harsh sanctions after Erdogan’s last words towards Macron and the continuous aggressions and confrontations against member countries of the Union European. The situation within the European Union is more complex than it seems, Ankara has a wild card that it has not hesitated to use on other occasions, and that is the blocking of the migration route from the eastern Mediterranean, alleviating the migratory pressure that Greece has suffered. During the last years. Turkey, in exchange for substantial economic aid – vital, given the country’s situation – is in charge of managing part of this arrival of migrants, preventing them from reaching community soil and from repeating harsh political discussions within the institutions .

France has already seen how NATO went over its request to review the Turkish aggressions against other members of the Atlantic Alliance, and not even its exit from the naval operation that NATO maintains in the Mediterranean was enough to bring the debate. The aforementioned migration policy is not the only issue with which Ankara has the European Union in check. Germany has almost three million people of Turkish origin, so the relationship between Berlin and Ankara also has a certain domestic connotation that prevents the country from operating freely on issues such as the application of sanctions. However, the interception of a Turkish ship by German troops under the umbrella of Operation Irini recently has raised the tone of the discourse between Germany and Turkey. In any case, it will not be until December 10 and 11 when we will know the real consequences of all this escalation in the eastern Mediterranean, if France, Greece and Cyprus are left to their fate or if, on the contrary, Brussels acts firmly in the face of Turkish interference.