Burning of Turkish flag in Greek Cyprus may be conspiracy, says EU Minister
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Bağış calls on Greek Cyprus to give clear indication on flag burning. AA photo
EU Minister Egemen Bağış has called on the Greek Cypriot administration to give a clear reaction on a reported incident of desecration of the Turkish flag, as he also suggested that this action could be part of a campaign by extremists against the newly elected Greek Cypriot leader, Nicos Anastasiades, who is known for his conciliatory attitude on the Cyprus issue.
“Of course, burning the flag is not their place. We expect the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus to give a very clear reaction to those who burned the flag,” Bağış told reporters March 29 in response to questions about a report that said Greek Cypriots had burned a Turkish flag waved by a person holding French passport among a crowd lined up outside of banks in bailed-out Greek Cyprus.
Bağış indicated that protection of the Turkish flag’s honor must be an issue also for Greek Cypriots since Turkish Cypriots have been providing them with electricity and water when needed. “But I particularly consider this an effort by deep centers that want to put Anastasiades in a difficult position,” he said, noting how Anastasiades had supported a U.N.-led 2004 reunification plan for the island. Bağış also lent support to Economy Minister Zafer Çağlayan, who recently urged the European Union to restructure the terms of the current Customs Union, or cancel the Customs Union altogether and make a separate free trade deal with Turkey.