Parents try to save Cyprus ‘marriage’: Turkish EU Minister Bağış

Parents try to save Cyprus ‘marriage’: Turkish EU Minister Bağış

BRUSSELS - Anatolia News Agency
Parents try to save Cyprus ‘marriage’: Turkish EU Minister Bağış

EU Minister Bağış says Turkey still desires to join the bloc. DAILY NEWS photo

Turkish and Greek Cyprus are a couple whose troubled marriage requires the intervention of their “parents” – Turkey, Greece and Britain – if the bond is going to be saved, Turkish EU Minister Egemen Bağış has said.

“They are like married couples. Turkey, Greece and Britain are like parents who want to save their marriage. Both sides in Cyprus should decide if their marriage will continue or not, just like adults. Whatever their decision is, we will respect this,” he said in an interview with Luxembourg’s Wort newspaper.

Bağış also denied the Cyprus issue would be an obstacle preventing Turkey’s EU accession, given that it had not hampered Greece’s EU membership in the past.

“We should encourage both sides in Cyprus to find a solution together,” Bağış said in an interview with Luxemburg Wort newspaper.

Bağış also criticized the EU’s visa procedure toward Turkey. “It has not been possible to solve the visa issue due to prejudices against our citizens. The only member country of which its citizens need a visa to enter the Schengen zone is Turkey. This issue can only be solved if prejudges are left aside,” he said.

The EU minister, however, also emphasized Ankara’s desire to join the bloc. “Turkey’s interest in the EU continues strongly. For us, the European Union is the biggest peace project of humanity. If states that fought each other for hundreds of years, such as Germany and France, could come together under the EU, then Turkey should also join this union,” Bağış said, adding that Turkey had been waiting for 45 years to start negotiations to join the 27-member bloc.