ECONOMICS > Bağış urges investors to avoid Cyprus for Turkey


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It better for investors who have money in Greek Cypriot banks to invest in Turkey, EU Minister Bağış says, warning against consequences of Cyprus’ crisis. AA photo

It better for investors who have money in Greek Cypriot banks to invest in Turkey, EU Minister Bağış says, warning against consequences of Cyprus’ crisis. AA photo

Investors who loan their cash to Greek Cyprus’ banks should consider investing in Turkish lenders instead, Turkey’s European Union minister has said as Ankara prepares to revive its frozen relations with the bloc.

“Investors who have money in Greek Cypriot banks should think carefully; this [economic] crisis could affect them, too. It is better for them to invest in Turkish banks,” EU Minister Egemen Bağış told Anatolia news agency in a recent interview.

Bağış is scheduled to visit Dublin next week where he will conduct talks with the next term president, Ireland, on opening negotiation chapters after a two-year hiatus. Bağış said Irish officials had already expressed their optimism at opening at least one chapter during their presidency after Turkey froze its relations with the EU amid the ongoing Greek Cypriot presidency. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is also expected to soon begin a heavy diplomatic schedule that will feature a number of meetings with key EU leaders.

Stating that the economic crisis that hit the country was no surprise to him, Bağış said Nicosia was taking confusing steps in the European Union. “If the Annan Plan [to reunify Cyprus] had been accepted in 2004, Greek Cyprus wouldn’t be in an economic crisis because there would be investments, income from tourism and a positive atmosphere.”

Commenting on the south’s economic hardships, Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister İrsen Küçük said they could direct a Greek Cypriot aid call, if there is any, to Turkey, assuming the intermediary role between two countries.

Bağış recently said Turkey would consider helping Greek Cyprus if they applied fro help from Turkish Cyprus, although Küçük said they had not received any application for economic aid while stressing that Turkey was still growing despite the economic crisis.

“Turkey has recently helped countries in an economic crisis like Libya and Sudan. However, Turkey’s non-recognition of Greek Cyprus is an obstacle for establishing bilateral relations, as well as for economic aid,” Küçük said.

The prime minister admitted that the EU had not been able to solve the country’s problems despite its support. “The economic crisis began before Greek Cyprus’ EU presidency, but it deepened more during this period. Despite the facilities and credits provided by the EU, it shows that the situation is quite serious in the south,” said Küçük.

Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, meanwhile, told reporters in the Central Anatolian province of Kırıkkale that almost-suspended negotiations between Turkey and the European Union were expected to be reactivated in 2013.

“We are going to launch a very speedy process with the Irish term presidency,” Atalay said, adding that Erdoğan would pay visits to European countries early next year.

Erdoğan’s itinerary includes a visit to Austria in February but he will also host German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande. Erdoğan is also expected to meet the ambassadors of EU countries in January, when he will deliver important messages to the EU.

“We are going to have serious and speedy traffic with the EU in this process, and we will reactivate our EU process,” Atalay said.


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Notice on comments

Aydin Amsterdam

12/16/2012 5:55:20 PM

Nikos, first you are not obliged to read HDN. second, for your information, HDN is a Turkish news website. In Turkey they acknowledge the state Turkish Republic of North Cyprus. third, i never read your positive about Turkey or Turkey related news items. so who are you calling evil??? Johanna, he is minister for eu affairs, so why shouldn't he poke in eu relations???

Chris Green

12/16/2012 5:41:31 PM

Good advice, given that both south Cyprus and their Athenian patrons are economically (and militarily) irrelevant and this is likely to remain the case for some time to come. The comment someone made about Turkey owing Cyprus vast sums over the land issue is quite laughable given the Turkish Cypriot lands that were also lost during a conflict that was entirely the fault of the Greeks and more particularly their church. Perhaps the latter should pay out for land losses! They are the guilty ones!

Adam Polk

12/16/2012 11:43:57 AM

@Nikos T. what is your problem my friend? your comments on every page of this newspaper, everyone of them is anti-turkish, they still publish your comments, you still blame HDN being biased... please man, give them a brake... try writing anti-greek on greek newspapers, you will see how they will kick you out in seconds.

Johanna Dew

12/16/2012 8:24:17 AM

This Minister tweeted after Galarasaray beat Manchester United B team 2 weeks ago: ''I congratulate GS with teaching Europeans another lesson'' (which was the previous one sir). And now Cyprus.Do you think one person in Europe or one investor is listening to this obnoxious self indulgent behavior poking in EU relations? And Turkish banks are already in majority in foreign hands.

Cilginbebek Ms

12/16/2012 6:52:10 AM

Wow. Turks doing what the Greeks have done to Turkey for centuries. How does it feel to be dirt poor and be taken advantage of? Only time will show that Turkey and Turks are stronger and more rich and powerful than you. Plus everyone on Wall Street want Greeks to be chucked out and Turks let into EU. The EU is trying to save face by keeping these losers in the eurozone but eventually you guys will be amputated like the gangrene infected foot that is attached to a dead corpse.

ismail demir

12/16/2012 3:29:04 AM

Bagis should stop speaking about cyprus, He decreases Turkey s status to Cyprus level by giving too much empasize.

Frank Turk

12/16/2012 2:27:46 AM

As a Turk i dont care for the failed european union and i hope we never join Turkey our country doesnt need this rabble as for the Cyprus issue the greeks had a chance of a lifetime to form a partership with the turks which they chose to hide behind europe which has sucked them dry.. Most turks dont care for the union so if we dont get in i wont be losing anysleep As an inverstor it is a no brainer you would invest in turkey before south cyprus whch is run by crooks..

john albay

12/15/2012 10:05:51 PM

The evil greek cypriots will steal any money they can get their hands on,and Bagis is 100% correct it would be far better and safer to invest in Turkey.I still diagree with him on the EU issue,we should not join this Bankrupt,undemocratic club of failed power mad money grabbing fools in Brussels.I would not give 1 lira to help the bankrupt,corrupt statelet of greek occupied cyprus.

Stelios Michaelides

12/15/2012 8:23:16 PM

Bagis, yet again exaggerating Turkey's financial strength.Turkey has no money to pay its own debts to the Greek Cypriots through their own IPC which has been set up to deal with all land and property which has been taken from their rightful owners. The IPC procrastinates in order to make claimants accept 10% of the land value. There is not even a formula for land in Famagusta ! When will Turkey realise that rhetoric is not the solution to their EU membership. They need to be honourable !

mara mcglothin

12/15/2012 7:20:46 PM

Lets all hope that Erdogan can control himself and act more like a statesman that a boorish playground bully when he delievers his "important messages". I am hopeful, but not optimistic.
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