Turkey, Europe

Turkey condemns European Council conclusions

Foreign Ministry says EU's stance makes it impossible for Ankara to accept it even as third party on Cyprus issue

23.03.2018
Turkey condemns European Council conclusions

Ankara

By Sibel Ugurlu

ANKARA

The Foreign Ministry on Friday rejected the European Council conclusions on Turkey and accused the EU of being biased.

On Thursday, the council in a meeting ahead of a Turkey-EU summit in Varna on March 26, condemned Turkey's actions in the Mediterranean and Aegean seas, which separate Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration.

In a statement the ministry said: "Such wordings solely based on the Greek Cypriot and Greek claims are unacceptable and create an opportunity for some other countries to hide behind them."

The ministry accused the EU of not being objective on the Cyprus issue.  

"The EU’s expression of unconditional solidarity to a country [is] based solely on membership status regardless of the legitimacy of the country’s position.

“As long as this stance continues, it will not be possible to accept the EU even as merely a third party in the Cyprus issue.

“We find it peculiar that our NATO allies within the EU support the actions of the Greek Cypriot Administration that do not comply with the international law. At the same time, they adopt a discourse that is far away from showing any solidarity with Turkey, a country devotedly fighting against various terrorist entities that also constitute a threat to the EU,” the ministry added.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by violence against the island's Turks, and Ankara's intervention as a guarantor power.

The island has seen an on-and-off peace process in recent years, including the latest initiative in Switzerland under the auspices of guarantor countries Turkey, Greece and Britain collapsing last year.

Turkey blames Greek Cypriot intransigence for the talks' failure, also faulting the EU for admitting part of a divided island into the union in 2004 after Greek Cypriot voters rejected a United Nations peace deal.

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