Erdogan: Cyprus not linked to EU accession

Turkey’s potential entry into the European Union should not be seen as dependent on progress in talks on the reunification of Cyprus, Ankara insisted yesterday. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan also told journalists that Turkey and the Turkish-Cypriot leadership have engaged in «friendly moves» on Cyprus that merit reciprocation. «[The Turkish-Cypriot leadership] has adopted a friendly stance,» Erdogan said late on Wednesday. «As a guarantor power, Turkey opened its borders to the Greek Cypriots after 40 years, but, despite these positive developments, Greece will not open its gates to citizens of [Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus].» Following a meeting in Ankara yesterday with his visiting Czech counterpart, Erdogan said the Cyprus issue «has nothing to do with the matter of [Turkey’s accession talks with] the European Union.»