Controversy over Ankara’s Cyprus comments lingers

Greece’s Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Kourkoulas (photo) on Friday said that Turkey’s controversial posturing toward EU ally Cyprus could impact on the country’s European ambitions.

“The EU has 28 member states and Turkey will have to take this seriously under consideration if it wants to keep its European prospects alive,” Kourkoulas told Real FM on Friday.

It was the second response in as many days after Ankara, suffering from a brewing graft scandal, sent a letter to the European Commission saying it could not fully implement an agreement on the readmission of illegal immigrants because it does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus.

On Thursday, Foreign Ministry spokesman Constantinos Koutras said that if Turkey failed to recognize Cypus as a full EU member, “there is no practical point to any given discussion of its European persective.”

The response from Athens marks a shift in Greece’s policy of providing unconditional support to Ankara’s EU bid since the mid-1990s.

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