EU said to be ‘disappointed’ with Ankara

Turkey’s increasingly belligerent attitude toward Cyprus, with Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit’s threat last weekend to annex northern Cyprus if the island goes ahead with EU accession, has stirred anger in European capitals. Therefore, the European Commission is expected to voice its disappointment with the Turkish stance in the annual progress report that it will ratify on Tuesday, sources said. The sources in Brussels said that a common point in the reports on Turkey and Cyprus is the belief that although Cyprus is in the final stretch before joining the EU, there is still a window of opportunity to find a solution to the island’s division so that, ideally, a united Cyprus could join the EU. But the report will note that this opportunity has not been exercised due to Ankara’s disappointing position at a time that it has a decisive role to play in developments. However, the Commission is also expected to note that there is room for optimism in that, if the Cyprus issue were solved before accession, there might be a more flexible approach toward the necessary adoption of the acquis communautaire by the entire island (so that Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus could be included). But under no circumstances would this flexibility stretch to include issues such as the freedom of people, goods and capital to move and settle across the island. The report will also stress that solving the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for the island’s joining the EU. On the other hand, the report on Turkey will express optimism regarding Greek-Turkish relations, on account of the contacts between foreign ministers George Papandreou and Ismail Cem (who visited Athens on Wednesday and Thursday), and the various agreements and confidence-building measures adopted by the two countries. Turkey’s deputy prime minister, Mesut Yilmaz, yesterday accused the EU of discriminating against his country and urged it to view its membership bid objectively. Our wish is that Turkey’s membership is evaluated rationally and not emotionally, he told a seminar in Istanbul, the Anatolia news agency reported. He said Turkey was sincere, keen and determined to become an EU member. We believe the discriminatory attitude against Turkey will be dropped, he said. In September, the consumer price index was at 3.6 percent year-on-year.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.