Nicosia berates Turkish tactics

Nicosia condemned yesterday as «provocative» Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Cypriot government yesterday and accused Turkish-Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat of «secessionist tactics.» Ankara’s persistent refusal to recognize Cyprus in the runup to European Union accession talks is «a provocative statement that strikes at the heart of the internal legal order of the EU,» Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iakovou said. Iakovou also criticized Talat for «dropping his mask» after the latter told the Turkish online newsletter New Anatolian he was focusing his efforts on opening ports and the illegal airport of Tymbos in Turkish-held northern Cyprus. «What is ostensibly an endeavor to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots… is actually an attempt to secure diplomatic recognition of the illegal state,» Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides remarked. Chrysostomides also rejected the stance of EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, according to which member states had agreed last December that recognizing Cyprus was not a precondition for Turkey to start accession talks.

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