18 April 2014, Friday
Today's Zaman

Greek Cyprus takes over six-month term presidency of EU

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1 July 2012, Sunday /TODAY’S ZAMAN
The Greek Cypriot administration took over the reins of the EU from Denmark on July 1, a presidency that EU candidate Turkey does not recognize.

Turkey has said it will suspend dialogue with the EU presidency during the Greek Cypriot term for the next six months. Greek Cypriot leader Dimitris Christofias will submit a program of the country’s priorities for the EU presidency to the General Assembly of the European Parliament on July 4.

The Greek Cypriot administration, which applied for EU funds due to the economic crisis, will be under the supervision of the EU and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during its presidency.

It will be the first time in the EU’s history that a state will conduct the presidency role under the supervision of member states. Greek Cyprus, the eurozone’s third smallest economy, will also assume the presidency of the Council of Europe’s security and defense fields until the end of the year. The Turkish dispute over the Greek Cypriot presidency stems from the decades-long Cyprus issue between the two countries. UN-backed talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders aimed at reuniting the island have so far failed to yield progress on any of the substantial issues under dispute, such as property rights in a reunited Cypriot state.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said when Greek Cyprus assumes the presidency, Turkey would continue to collaborate with the EU but would not attend any event that Greek Cyprus presides over.

But despite the snub, Greek Cypriot Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis left the door open for dialogue, saying the Greek Cypriot presidency would reserve a chair for Turkey if it decides to move forward with its accession negotiations with the EU in the next six months.

The minister warned last Friday that Turkey’s aspirations to put in place a visa-free travel regime with the EU would face obstacles because of Ankara’s refusal to normalize its relations with her country. “Turkey is creating more problems for itself by not recognizing [Greek] Cyprus. This is something Turkey should deal with urgently. Turkey will create more troubles for itself if it continues with its arrogant and insulting policies,” Kozakou-Marcoullis told Today’s Zaman in an interview. Kozakou-Marcoullis said Turkey’s refusal to have normal ties with her government is an obstacle to the implementation of the readmission deal. “Many things are impossible. How can you implement the readmission agreement if you refuse to cooperate with the Cypriot authorities?” she asked.

The Greek Cypriot minister said Turkey’s boycott decision is “regrettable” and “disappointing,” pointing out it is not only her government but the entire EU that has told Turkey it should respect the EU presidency as the main institution of the 27-nation bloc.

“No matter how right Turkey’s reason is, and whether you like it or not, Greek Cyprus is a member of the EU, and Turkey is the only country who does not recognize Greek Cyprus. While pursuing foreign policies, Turkey should consider these facts, and not the economy or demographic structure of Greek Cyprus,” said Kozakou-Marcoullis, adding: “For us, we are ready if Turkey is ready. There are three chapters right now on which we can open talks. If Turkey decides to [start the talks], we are ready,” she said.

EU candidate Turkey served notice last year that it would break off relations with the EU presidency during Greek Cyprus’ six-month term unless there was progress in reunification talks between Turkish Cypriots living in the north and Greek Cypriots.

Chris Green wrote, "It is to be hoped that Turkish Cyprus will come directly into the Republic of Turkey in the nearest future and thus end this whole charade of the so-called 'Cyprus Question'." Here is someone who fully and openly dares to advocate and hope for the completion of the assimilation o...
@Levent. The world is aware of Turkey's long term plan to divide Cyprus and pursue the recognition of a separate state in the Occupied North. World polititians are well aware the so called 'embargo'on Turkish Cypriots does not exist, and that Turkey's concern of their 'isolation' being used as a plo...
David Roberts
You pro greek cypress fans are so funny...one question: Why is the ceremony held in Kourion which is based in Akrotiri? Everybody know that Akrotiri is British. Mentally you are outside the EU also physically
The Republic of Cyprus was effectively unpicked by the very man who tried hard not to sign the treaty that founded it in 1960. As Levent reminds us, the Turkish Cypriot politicians were effectively kicked out in 1963 and in the December of the year, the tyranny under Arch-Butcher Makarios began in e...
Chris Green
We belong to Britain. Cypress is pseudo liberty state. The EU is absolutly happy with South Cyprees.
Akrotiri und Dhekelia
Why is Greek Cypress taking Russian money and not EU? Russian money is not for free...of course Russia plays its own game with muppet communist cristofias
It is amusing to see people believe that Greek Cypress has any power to put in action. Strong EU members are working flat out. But of course what do i expect - Work --> Greek= impossible...
@David Roberts The ROC has been functioning as a Greek Cypriot regime Stop being ignorant and open your eyes, name me just one Turkish Cypriot politician in the Republic since the day they where booted out in 1963. Don't jump to conclusion without investigating how the Greek Cypriots managed to hija...
Christoph is quite correct in labeling Turkey's behavior as infantile and utterly appalling. It would be nice to see your Foreign Ministry leadership act like adults, for a change.
This is the reason why the EU troika is in South Cypress to check if they have money for anything....Greek Cypress sold his sould to the Russian banks...
You are disrespecting your readers if you report a blatant lie as the truth. The FM Markoulli did not say Greek Cyprus but simply Cyprus. THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS.
David Roberts
Cyprus, as a matter of fact, assumed the presidency of the EU Council. Cyprus is as legally valid as Turkey. What does that say about Turkey?
The Republic of Cyprus is going to focus on many issues as EU President, including promoting resolution of the economic crisis, EU enlargement issues and human rights issues. I can see from this article that Turkey's Foreign Affairs leadership and it's parrots in the Turkish media are going to conti...
From what I've heard more than one EU nation has asked that Cyprus be made permanent President of the EU, if it means that all communications between Brussels and Ankara come to an end. Turks may think their nation is in demand at the EU, but nothing could be further from the truth.
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