By Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s parliament speaker on Saturday slammed a resolution the European Parliament passed this week against Turkey and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) on the Maras and Cyprus issues.
"This resolution targets Turkey with accusations and a hostile attitude and ignores the will of the Turkish Cypriot people, as was done many times before," Mustafa Sentop said in a statement.
“With its concrete mistakes, biases, and unjust claims, it is evident that the decision will not contribute to current relations or a permanent solution to the Cyprus issue.”
Sentop underlined that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) is the sole authority to take actions regarding the issues over Maras, a long closed-off area recently partially reopened by Turkish Cypriot officials.
"Furthermore, reviving, revitalizing, and opening the region for tourism will benefit all the rights holders," Sentop said.
He added: "In addition, the legitimate rights of the Greek Cypriots will also be observed in Maras, which was reopened by a decision taken by the TRNC, and this decision will be an opportunity to develop relations between the two communities."
In the non-binding resolution on Friday, the EP called on Turkey to reverse its decision to reopen part of Maras and to resume negotiations aimed at resolving the Cyprus problem on the basis of a bi-communal, bi-zonal federation.
It also called on the EU to impose sanctions against Turkey.
Sentop said the relations between Turkey and EU would be handled on the basis of equity.
He called on Europe to act with common sense without sacrificing relations to the individual interests of some member states.
"Finally, we would like to note that such resolutions cannot prevent Turkey and the TRNC from practicing their sovereign rights, and threatening rhetoric is not acceptable to our side," he said.
The abandoned town of Maras in Gazimagusa, also known as Famagusta, was partially reopened for public use on Oct. 8.
Maras had been a ghost town with entry forbidden except for Turkish army personnel stationed in the TRNC.
Cyprus has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot state in the north and the Greek Cypriot administration in the south since a 1974 military coup aiming to annex Cyprus to Greece.
Turkey's military intervention as a guarantor power in 1974 put an end to years of persecution and violence against Turkish Cypriots by ultra-nationalist Greek Cypriots.