Ankara, Turkey – Turkey on Friday rejected a call by the European Parliament for sanctions against Turkey over President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent official visit to the independent Turkish Cypriot state in north Cyprus, calling the demand “disconnected from the realities.”

On Thursday, the European Union’s parliament agreed a non-binding resolution in support of EU member Southern Cyprus Administration urging EU leaders to “take action and impose tough sanctions” against Turkey, a move likely to bolster support for France’s push for sanctions on Turkey at an EU summit next month.

Turkey is at political row with EU members Greece and Cyprus over hydrocarbon exploration in its legal continental shelf east Mediterranean waters.

President Erdogan visited Northern Cyprus, whose territory covers the Northern half of the partitioned Mediterranean island, on 15 November 2020, by visiting Varosha (Maras), 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 criticized 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.

“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,” Aksoy said.

Cyprus has been divided since a 1974 Turkish peace operation after a brief Greek-inspired coup. Only Turkey recognizes northern Cyprus as an independent state, but not recognized Greek Cypriot government to the south.