Turkey’s prime minister says his country will not sit at the table with Greek Cyprus if it assumes the European Union’s presidency before a deal reunifying the ethnically split island is reached.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has already warned that Turkey will freeze its relations with the 27-nation bloc if Greek Cyprus takes over its rotating presidency in July 2012.
He said that Turkey will not deal with a “so-called country.” Turkey does not recognize the divided island nation as a sovereign nation.
Cyprus was split into an internationally recognized Greek-speaking south and Turkish-speaking north in 1974 when Turkey intervened after a coup by supporters of union with Greece. Only the Greek section is part of the EU.
Erdoğan spoke Saturday during a televised address to members of his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in the town of Kızılcahamam, near the Turkish capital of Ankara. He reiterated Turkey’s wish that a unified Greek Cyprus takes over the EU presidency.
15 October 2011, Saturday / TODAYSZAMAN.COM WITH AP,