‘Miserable EU to be led by half state’
ISTANBUL / Brussels
French President Sarkozy (L) meets Greek Cyprus’ President Christofias. REUTERS photo
Turkish President Abdullah Gül slammed the prospect of Greek Cyprus taking over the European Union presidency next year as “half a country” leading a “miserable union,” Turkish newspapers reported yesterday.
His comments to Turkish journalists during a visit to Britain underscored Ankara’s frustrations with its EU accession process, which came to a standstill over the division of the Mediterranean island and opposition from France and Germany.
Gül said the failure to open new chapters in Turkey’s negotiation process was harming the 27-nation bloc’s reputation, possibly making it suffer its biggest loss of credibility in 2012 when Greek Cyprus takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.
“Now this half a country, this incomplete country will take over the EU presidency,” Gül was quoted as saying by daily Hürriyet newspaper. “There will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union…It is a miserable situation, [the EU] has to question itself. This is the most miserable situation that the EU could have been in.”
Gül also said almost all the chapters in Turkey’s EU accession process cannot be opened, calling this disreputability for the EU. Meanwhile, Turkish Cyprus President Derviş Eroğlu said the EU will have to face its mistake when Turkey freezes relations with the governing body after Greek Cyprus takes over the EU presidency.
Compiled from Reuters and AA stories by the Daily News staff.