Turkey will freeze its relationship with the European Union if Cyprus takes over the rotating presidency of the EU in 2012, stated the vice-president of the Turkish government Besir Atalay, referring to a crisis between Turkey and the European Union.
“If the peace negotiations (in Cyprus) are not concluded and the EU gives the rotating presidency to south Cyprus, then the real crisis will be between Turkey and the European Union”, said the vice-president in the Turkish-Cypriot media network Bayrak, during his visit to Northern Cyprus, according to Anatolia News Agency.
“Because then we will freeze our relations with the EU. We are making this statement since, as a government, we have reached this decision”, Atalay added.
Nicosia will take over the six-month presidency of the European Union in July 2012.
Talking on Friday to CNN Turk, the Turkish Foreign Minister also mentioned that “everyone should know that the East Mediterranean is not a place where Turkey can be squeezed. As a state with the biggest coastline, we will not allow the behavior of some states that believe that in international waters they can have their saying”, noting that Turkey’s interests are related to an area extending from the Suez canal to the Indian Ocean.
“Any move that would restrict free navigation, is a blow against our own sovereignty rights as well” he mentioned and added “everyone should be concerned about their territorial waters. There cannot be unilateral interventions in areas beyond the territorial waters”.
Regarding the research in Cyprus Mr. Davutoglu mentioned “two scenarios. Cyprus will either be a unified state, meaning that the Greek-Cypriots will wait for a solution and then joint exploit their resources, or the Greek-Cypriots want to say the following: this territory belongs to me and I can do whatever I want. In that case there is also a territory belonging to KKTC and this leads to a two state solution. Then we can also sign the agreement with KKTC regarding the continental shelf, deepening thus the gap between the two countries”.
“We wish for eastern Mediterranean to be an area of peace, stability and prosperity. But if some people claim that these areas are our backyard and we will do whatever we want, then we also have the right to proceed to measures that will point out that this is not correct” said the Turkish minister.
“If the Greek-Cypriot administration insists, then the agreement between Turkey and KKTC regarding the continental shelf will be signed. Hopefully, the Greek-Cypriot administration, instead of provoking, will come to the negotiation table and together we will find a just peace’ he said.
Answering to a question regarding remarks that “Ankara’s zero problems policy has failed” Davutoglu indicated that this policy was correct, and pointed out that what Ankara was aiming for was “a change in Turkey’s perception and image”, adding that “ all the goals that we put as we elaborated this term, have been achieved”.
“We have achieved the goal regarding zero problems, not with the governments, but with the peoples” mentioned the Turkish minister and underlined that “a huge step has been made in foreign policy, and now there is an effort to wear down one of the main components of this step. The concept of zero problems has not been deactivated because of the internal problems that exist in some countries. It is active in the level of peoples and it will be continued.”
ΤΑ ΝΕΑ, 18 September 2011, Τουρκία: Κρίση με την Ευρώπη αν δώσετε στην Κύπρο την προεδρία της ΕΕ
translated from Greek by Anastasia Koutri