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Turkey to freeze EU ties over Cyprus

 
 
 
 
 
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Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (3rd R), accompanied by his deputy Besir Atalay (2nd R), leaves from his office in Ankara July 29, 2011.

The Turkish government has warned that it will freeze its ties with the European Union if Cyprus assumes the bloc’s rotating presidency next year.

“If the peace negotiations there (Cyprus) are not conclusive, and the EU gives its rotating presidency to southern Cyprus, the real crisis will be between Turkey and the EU,” said Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay at the end of a trip to northern Cyprus late on Saturday, Reuters reported.

“Because we will then freeze our relations with the EU. We have made this announcement, as a government we have made this decision. Our relations with the EU will come to a sudden halt,” Atalay further explained.

The Greek Cyprus, which Turkey does not recognize as a sovereign state, is due to assume the six-month rotating EU presidency in July 2012.

Tensions between Turkey and Cyprus have deteriorated since the Cypriot President Demetris Christofias announced plans to start exploring natural gas reserves around the island “within the next few days.”

Ankara has opposed the venture, with the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu calling it a “provocation,” while Nicosia has threatened to block Turkey’s EU accession talks — which started in 2005 — if it continues to challenge the Cypriot plans.

UN-sponsored peace negotiations between Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have faced hurdles since their resumption in 2008.

Cyprus is represented internationally and in the EU by Greek Cypriots, while the Turkish Cyprus is recognized as a state only by Turkey.

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  • Chris

    Turkey the bully at it again.
    The Turks invaded cyprus in the 1600s and enslaved the Greek cypriots for 400yrs.These Indigenous greek cypriots had been the inhabitants of cyprus for over 3000 yrs.In 1974 the greek cypriots tried to expel their former slave masters from their island and Turkey invaded again and stole 33% of the Greek island expelling 250000 Greeks fromtheir homeland and bringingin Muslim Turks from far away to live in stolen homes.The Turks are slowly trying to do to cyprus what they have done to the land that is called Turkey today.They systematically enslaved , murdered,ethnically cleansed millions of Greeks Armenians,Assyrians,Kurds and other indeginous former nations and today invent a truckload of lies to white wash their inhuman barbarism.
    Today their insolense has no bounds that they even threaten europe.

  • terri

    Every city and every town in Turkey has either a Greek Armenian or Syrian former name and history.The story you say chris is true -Turks invaded murdered stole and occupied everything they have today and continue to lie about all their barbaric history.
    Even to us fellow Muslims they have been traitors and the best friend of israel and America for many years.
    The Turks dont belong in Europe and are not a friend of the Arabs.
    We should all disband Turkeys history of theft and restore Kurdistan and Armenia.

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