Turkey won’t recognize Greek Cyprus as EU presidency

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

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

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,