Cypriots to be let into Turkey

Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday downplayed Turkey’s decision to allow Cypriots to visit it as «an effort to make an impression.» Speaking on Greek state television, Papadopoulos said Cyprus’s signing of an accession treaty with the EU had forced this on Ankara in any case. But Cypriot officials also rejected the demand that Cypriots visit Turkey not from their own country but via other countries or the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus. «Turkey is opening its gates to all Greek Cypriots… after 40 years,» Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in Antalya on Saturday. «Starting from May 22, Greek Cypriots will be allowed to enter through Turkish boundaries,» he said. «We now expect Greece to take a reciprocal step,» he added. The international community, excepting Turkey, does not recognize any Turkish-Cypriot state. In a related development, Cypriot Transport Minister Kikis Kazamias said at an informal EU ministers’ meeting on Saturday that Turkey would have to allow Cypriot ships into its ports now that they belonged to the EU.

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