Turkish PM grows testy on Cyprus

Ankara appears to be toughening its stance on the reunification of Cyprus, as European Union officials observe with increasing frequency that the island’s continued division will harm Turkey’s own EU accession prospects. Yesterday, Agence France-Presse quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as accusing the British ambassador to Ankara last week of «playing tricks» on him after Peter Westmacott linked Turkey’s EU hopes with a solution on Cyprus. Erdogan is expected to visit the island’s Turkish-occupied north on November 15, less than a month ahead of the crucial vote for a new Turkish-Cypriot house of representatives. Meanwhile, in comments quoted by the Athens News Agency on Saturday, Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said the government was prepared to handle any new development regarding rumored Turkish-Cypriot plans to hand over the town of Famagusta, in the occupied north, to United Nations peacekeepers. He added, however, that Nicosia has received no information on the matter from the peacekeeping force.