Members of the European Parliament have voiced their concern regarding the ongoing dispute in the eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey, and called on Ankara to "end any further illegal exploration and drilling activities" in the region.Eastern Med crisis can be solved if EU adopts a 'fair' approach, Erdoğan tells Merkel
Ahead of a Special European Council meeting on Sept. 24-25 September, MEPs expressed their full solidarity with Greece and Cyprus, in a resolution adopted by 601 votes in favor, 57 against and 36 abstentions.
The European Parliament said in a press release that Turkey should "refrain from violating Greek airspace and Greek and Cypriot territorial waters and stop nationalistic warmongering rhetoric."
Indicating that further sanctions against Turkey can only be avoided through dialogue, MEPs urged all actors involved, especially Turkey, to commit to an urgent de-escalation by withdrawing their military forces from the region.
MEPs also expressed serious concern about the current state of EU-Turkey relations, which they said are being seriously affected by the dire human rights situation in Turkey and the erosion of democracy and rule of law.Nothing can justify Turkey's intimidation of Greece and Cyprus: EU chief
Turkey, an EU candidate country and NATO member, has alarmed the bloc by stepping up its gas exploration off Cyprus and claiming rights to waters also claimed by Greece and Cyprus.
The dispute has brought to a head a host of other tensions, from Turkey's involvement in Syria and Libya to what the EU says is growing authoritarianism under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Turkey does not recognise Cyprus, an EU and euro zone member, which was split after a Turkish invasion triggered by a Greek-inspired coup in 1974. A Turkish Cypriot state in north Cyprus is recognised only by Ankara.
For the moment, Germany wants more time for talks with Turkey while France, Cyprus and Greece are demanding a punitive response to Turkish gas exploration in what the EU says are its territorial waters.