Turkey warns over Cyprus EU role
Friday 08 June 2012
Turkey will not attend any event presided over by Cyprus when the
divided nation assumes the European Union presidency in July, the
country's foreign minister said.
Turkey does not recognise Cyprus as a sovereign nation and opposes it taking over the EU presidency until a solution to the dispute is found.
The island was split into an internationally recognised Greek-speaking south and a breakaway Turkish-speaking north in 1974 when Turkey invaded after a coup by supporters of a union with Greece. Only the Greek section is part of the EU.
"EU-Turkey relations and the political contacts we are currently establishing will continue as they are," Turkey's foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a joint news conference with EU foreign policy chief Baroness (Catherine) Ashton and enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule.
"Yet no ministry or organisation of the Turkish Republic will take part in any activity that will be presided by Southern Cyprus."
Eight policy issues have been frozen by the bloc over Turkey's refusal to allow ships and planes from Cyprus enter its ports and airspace.
Turkey, however, is showing renewed interest in reviving its stalled bid to join the European Union, now that one of its key opponents - Nicolas Sarkozy - is no longer the president of France.
Turkey began its EU accession negotiations in 2005 but made little progress in its candidacy, thanks to its dispute with Cyprus and opposition from Mr Sarkozy to Turkey's membership.
Mr Sarkozy argued that the predominantly Muslim country is not part of Europe and wanted Turkey to accept some kind of a special partnership with the EU instead of full membership - an offer Turkey rejected.
Now that Socialist Francois Hollande has replaced the conservative Mr Sarkozy, Turkey hopes France will be more sympathetic to the candidacy of a country that has one of the world's fastest growing economies and is becoming a regional diplomatic player.
"Turkey will determinedly progress in its course towards the EU," Egemen Bagis, the Turkish minister in charge of EU affairs, said yesterday.
Baroness Ashton, meanwhile, thanked Turkey for sheltering nearly 27,000 Syrian refugees who fled violence in neighbouring Syria where forces loyal to President Bashar Assad are waging a crackdown on an uprising.
"First of all - our thought every day with the people of Syria," she said. "We are horrified by the violence and determined to work together in support of solutions."
Undertaker dead hoax: WWE legend not 'found dead in home' as Facebook and Twitter reports
South Korea ferry: Four dead and almost 300 missing as mass rescue gets underway
Malaysia Airlines MH370 co-pilot's phone 'was on and made contact with network tower' 30 minutes after plane turned around
Oscar Pistorius trial: Reeva Steenkamp told athlete she 'loved him' for first time in Valentine's Day card
Lunar eclipse 2014: Images of the spectacular 'blood moon'
David Cameron: 'Jesus invented the Big Society – I'm just continuing God's work'
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
Nigel Farage fatigue? Half of voters ‘immune’ to Ukip’s appeal
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
- 1 Refugee facing deportation from Sweden saved by fellow passengers refusing to let plane leave
- 2 Naked yoga: the bare truth - it's already big in the US, and has now landed here
- 3 Man on a leash in Farringdon, London: Mystery of 'walkies' solved
- 4 24 people applied for the 'world's toughest job', here are their interviews
- 5 Drugs giant GlaxoSmithKline bribed doctors to boost sales, says whistleblower
£26K-30k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£25K-28k + Bonus, Private Medical Insurance, Company Pension: Charter Selectio...
£50000 - £65000 Per Annum potentially flexible for the right candidate: Clearw...
£38000 per annum + Benefits: Pro-Recruitment Group: Do you have experience of ...