Procedure : 2014/2921(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0211/2014

Texts tabled :


Debates :

Votes :

PV 13/11/2014 - 8.7
CRE 13/11/2014 - 8.7
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


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See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0211/2014

to wind up the debate on the statement by the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

pursuant to Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure

on Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus (2014/2921(RSP))

Charles Tannock on behalf of the ECR Group

European Parliament resolution on Turkish actions creating tensions in the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus (2014/2921(RSP))  

The European Parliament,

–       having regard to the London and Zurich Agreements for the constitution of Cyprus,

–       having regard to the Constitution of Cyprus, ratified on 16 August 1960,

–       having regard to the 2003 Accession Treaty, and in particular the protocol thereto on Cyprus,

–       having regard to United Nations Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 186 (1964) and to the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP),

–       having regard to UNSC Resolutions 541 (1983) and 550 (1984), and to subsequent UNSC resolutions on Cyprus,

–       having regard to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,

–       having regard to the comments of 23 October 2014 by the UN Secretary‑General, Ban Ki-moon,

–       having regard to the European Council conclusions of 24 October 2014,

–       having regard to its previous progress reports and resolutions on Turkey, including its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the 2013 progress report on Turkey(1),

–       having regard to the joint declaration of February 2014 by the Greek-Cypriot and Turkish‑Cypriot leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Derviş Eroğlu,

–       having regard to the Council conclusions of 12 December 2002 on the opening of negotiations with Turkey on EU membership,

–       having regard to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union and to the principles laid down in Article 6(1) thereof,

–       having regard to the Declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005,

–       having regard to the Commission communication of 16 October 2013 entitled ‘Enlargement strategy and main challenges 2013-2014’ (COM(2013)0700),

–       having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.     whereas Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded the north in response to a military coup on the Mediterranean island which was backed by the Greek Government; whereas the island has been partitioned ever since, with the northern third inhabited by Turkish Cypriots and mainland Turkish settlers, and the rest by Greek Cypriots;

B.     whereas peacekeeping forces under the auspices of the United Nations maintain a buffer zone (known as the ‘green line’) between the two sides; whereas in 1983 the Turkish‑held area declared itself the so-called Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus; whereas the status of Northern Cyprus as a separate entity is recognised only by Turkey, which keeps around 30 000 troops in the north of the island;

C.     whereas over the last five decades numerous diplomatic efforts have been made to find a lasting peaceful, political resolution to the situation in Cyprus; whereas the future of Cyprus remains a major factor in Turkey’s aspirations for membership of the European Union;

D.     whereas Turkey, in spite of being a candidate country for EU accession, is the only member state of the UN not to recognise the Republic of Cyprus, and whereas Turkey is not a signatory to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Cyprus has signed and ratified;

E.     whereas the UNCLOS sets out a comprehensive legal framework establishing a regime of law and order, and rules governing all uses of the oceans and their resources;

F.     whereas the UNCLOS was opened for signature on 10 December 1982 and was the culmination of more than 14 years’ work involving more than 150 countries representing all the regions of the world, all legal and political systems and the full spectrum of socio-economic development; whereas the UNCLOS entered into force, in accordance with Article 308 thereof, on 16 November 1994;

G.     whereas the EU’s acquis communautaire requires UNCLOS membership; whereas Parliament, in adopting the Commission’s annual report on paving the way for EU‑Turkey accession negotiations, has repeatedly called on Turkey to sign the UNCLOS;

H.     whereas Cyprus and Turkey have been engaged in a long-running dispute over the extent of their exclusive economic zones (EEZs), ostensibly sparked by oil and gas exploration in the area;

I.      whereas Turkey objects to Cypriot drilling in waters over which Cyprus has asserted a claim under international maritime law, in spite of assurances that the resources will benefit all Cypriots equally;

J.      whereas on 20 October 2014 the Turkish research vessel Barbaros entered the EEZ of Cyprus; whereas two support vessels and a Turkish navy frigate have been situated about 30 km south of Cape Greco, the easternmost part of Cyprus’s southern coast;

K.     whereas Turkey released a ‘navigation telex’ (NAVTEX) stating that the Barbaros would carry out seismic surveys in the Mediterranean from 20 October to 30 December 2014 with a view to the exploration of natural gas fields;

L.     whereas surveys of the area estimate that up to 5 trillion cubic metres of gas is located in an area south of Cyprus;

M.    whereas Turkey has repeatedly threatened not to allow Cyprus to proceed with pursuing claims to hydrocarbon deposits in waters south of the island; whereas Turkey has warned international oil companies not to conduct exploration and production activities in disputed zones, under the threat of exclusion from business operations in Turkey;

N.     whereas the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, has urged both sides to de-escalate the situation so as to avoid any further instability in an already volatile region;

O.     whereas the current dispute has caused the collapse of talks aimed at resolving the long‑running dispute over Cyprus;

1.      Expresses serious concerns at the latest renewed tensions between Cyprus and Turkey and calls on both sides to show maximum restraint in seeking to resolve current differences;

2.      Regards the resolution of the Cyprus issue, in a manner that respects the concerns and interests of both communities, as the key to unlocking other outstanding problems;

3.      Expresses disappointment that recent efforts by Turkey and Greece to improve bilateral relations with a view to resolving the long-running difference over Cyprus have again foundered;

4.      Calls for the urgent resumption of negotiations under the auspices of the UN, without any preconditions, and urges the EU to use its good offices and resources to assist in this process and ensure that it comes to a timely and positive conclusion;

5.      Calls on Turkey to respect the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, including those within its EEZ and those relating to the exploration and exploitation of natural resources in territories or waters under its sovereignty;

6.      Reiterates its belief that Turkey remains a strategic ally in its southern neighbourhood, and that continued, cordial relations are vital in terms of energy policy, foreign affairs and security;

7.      Demands that Turkish vessels operating in waters in and around the EEZ of Cyprus be withdrawn immediately; further demands that the Turkish Government end the repeated violations of Greek airspace and territorial waters, as well as Turkish military aircraft flights over Greek islands;

8.      Expresses concern at recent military exercises in the region between Cyprus, Russia and Israel, and warns against any future exercises which may inflame current tensions;

9.      Urges both sides to resume talks aimed at finding a lasting, peaceful solution as quickly as possible; believes that such negotiations are the only way to reach a solution;

10.    Welcomes the joint declaration of February 2014 by the Cypriot President, Nicos Anastasiades, and the Turkish-Cypriot leader, Derviş Eroğlu, which can serve as the basis for a renewed period of respect and reconciliation aimed at settling the decades‑long divide;

11.    Reminds Turkey of the Declaration of the European Community and its Member States of 21 September 2005, including the provision that the recognition of all Member States is a necessary component of the accession process;

12.    Calls on the Turkish Government to sign and ratify the UNCLOS without delay; further reminds Turkey that ratification of the UNCLOS is a requirement for EU membership under the terms of the acquis communautaire;

13.    Supports the rights of Cyprus to lodge formal complaints against violations within its sovereign territory or waters to the UN and the International Maritime Organisation;

14.    Dismisses Turkish claims that gas exploration by Cyprus in its own waters is a provocation; shares the UN’s view that any gas finds would benefit both communities in Cyprus if a lasting, political solution can be found to end the conflict; believes that, if properly managed, the discovery of significant hydrocarbon reserves in the region could improve economic, political and social relations between both communities in Cyprus;

15.    Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and the Government of the Republic of Turkey.


Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0235.

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