Turkey to “Freeze” EU Relations July 19, 2011Posted by Yilan in EU, European Union, Turkey.
Tags: EU, Turkey
Prime Minister Erdogan sent a strong message to the EU by stating that Turkey will freeze relations with it during Greek Cyprus’ unilateral EU presidency if a concrete solution to the island’s division will not be settled on. He also added that “We will not have any sort of discussion with the Greek Cypriot side. We will not have relations with the EU for six months.”
Last week, Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu also reiterated that if the Greek Cypriot side delays negotiations and acts on its own upon assuming the EU presidency, relations would not continue and Turkish-EU relations would freeze.
Greek Cypriots are due to take control of the rotating EU presidency for six months in July 2012. They became full member of the EU in 2004. The Greek side internationally represents the island as whole within the EU. Turkey urges a resolution to the prolonged Cyprus issue before the Greek side assumes the presidency.
Cyprus has been divided for 37 years. Peace negotiations to find a peaceful resolution started in 2008, but there have been no tangible results. Turkey still does not recognize the Greek side and rejects the idea that Greek Cypriots are the only representatives of the entire island. On the other hand, Northern Cyprus is only officially recognized by Turkey and bound to international economic and diplomatic sanctions for years.