FM: Time pressure for Turkey

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis told Sunday’s Kathimerini that the European Union is entering a «difficult period» in its relations with Turkey and that Ankara had reached «decision time» over meeting its accession commitments. «When a candidate state does not meet binding commitments, the EU cannot go on as if nothing has happened,» Bakoyannis said. A number of EU member countries, including Greece, have expressed concern that Turkey has not yet implemented the Ankara Protocol, which should grant the 10 newest EU members, including Cyprus, access to its ports and airports. «Greece has an extra reason in principle to be unswerving and unshakable,» said Bakoyannis. However, she insisted that her immediate goal is to improve bilateral relations with Turkey. There has been tension between Ankara and Athens over Greece’s treatment of the Muslim minority in Thrace. Bakoyannis said Greece had «nothing to be afraid of» and laughed off Ankara’s criticism as not being «serious.»