Turkish failure to open ports to Cyprus jeopardises EU hopes
Turkey's hopes of joining the European Union have suffered a blow after a large chunk of its membership negotiations were suspended.
The European Commission proposed freezing eight of the 35 policy areas into which accession talks are divided, because of Turkey's failure to open its ports to Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004.
The move divided Europe, with Tony Blair, a strong ally of Ankara, arguing that the EU should not send a negative signal to Turkey as this could be "a serious mistake for Europe long-term". President Jacques Chirac said France "was in line with Germany and other partners" that the EU "has no other choice".
The European enlargement commissioner, Olli Rehn, said that the negotiations "must continue at a slower pace", adding: "There will be no train crash. There is a slowing down because of works further down the tracks."
The list of talks to be frozen - which include free movement of goods, agriculture, fisheries, transport policy and customs - was longer than expected by Turkish diplomats but fell well short of the total suspension demanded by some critics of Ankara.
So far, Turkey has provisionally concluded just one chapter, covering science and research, since it began talks in October last year.
Turkish television quoted Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan as having described the recommendation as "unacceptable" in a private conversation with the Italian premier, Romano Prodi - though the words were denied by Mr Erdogan's spokesman.
Turkey had been told to open its ports to Cypriot shipping. Ankara has said that it will only do so if the EU ends the isolation of northern Cyprus.
- 1 Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
- 2 Fifa corruption: Europe plots to stage an 'alternative World Cup' in place of Russia 2018
- 3 How much sex should I be having?
- 4 Jaden Smith wears gender fluid dress to high school prom with Hunger Games actress
- 5 Betting company 'refuse to pay' after student wins £1,000 from 50p bet on Roger Federer
Caitlyn Jenner, formerly Bruce Jenner, reveals new look on Annie Leibovitz shot Vanity Fair cover
Russian military jets and US destroyer clash in Black Sea 'posing danger to stability'
Ed Miliband returns to the backbenches but it's all a bit awkward as he tries to avoid eye-contact with fellow Labour MPs
Photographer who performed naked shoot in China's Forbidden City sparks outrage
Man on naked bike ride gets ejected after becoming aroused
Migrants in Kos: Photos show real tragedy after Brits abroad complain of 'awkward' holidays
British tourists complain that impoverished boat migrants are making holidays 'awkward' in Kos
Michael Gove determined to scrap the Human Rights Act – even if Scotland retains it
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination
Threat to scrap Human Rights Act could see UK follow Nazi example, warns UN official
Why this year's general election was the most unfair in Britain's history
£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...
£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...
£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...
£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...