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.
- 2 Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
- 3 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 4 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 5 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...