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FACTDROP: Turkey to boycott EU events led by Cyprus
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6/09/2012

Turkey to boycott EU events led by Cyprus


Πηγή: Herald Scotland
June 9 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 Ashton and enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule.

"Yet no ministry or organisation of the Turkish Republic will take part in any activity presided by Southern Cyprus."

Eight policy issues have been frozen by the bloc over Turkey's refusal to allow ships and planes from Cyprus to enter its ports or 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 its membership.

Mr Sarkozy argued that the predominantly Muslim country was not part of Europe and wanted Turkey to accept some kind of a special partnership with the EU instead of full membership.

Now that Socialist Francois Hollande has replaced Mr Sarkozy, Turkey hopes France will be more sympathetic to its candidacy.



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