Turkey Watch

Watching the Turkish nail being put into Europian coffin.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

EU to Disclose Next Progress Report on Turkey

From Zaman

The European Union (EU) Commission has announced that its next Progress Report on Turkey is to be revealed on October 24.

In the report, the Commission is expected to focus on the Turkish government's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot traffic.

Diplomatic sources say that the EU may propose the suspension of accession talks.

One third of the EU member states is required to back the proposal to halt the talks, while the support of at least 13 out of 25 members would be needed implement the proposal.

Last year, Turkey had signed the additional protocol of the Ankara Agreement that extended Turkey's custom union agreement to the 10 new members of European Union including Greek Cyprus.

The signing of the additional protocol had been a condition imposed by the EU prior to the opening of accession talks in October of last year.

At the time Turkey made it clear that its signing of the protocol did not extend to recognition of Greek Cyprus.

Turkey has since declined to implement the EU protocol refusing to open its ports to Greek Cyprus, without it first lifting the sanction against the Turkish Cyprus.

However, top EU officials have repeatedly warned Turkey that the failure to meet its obligations in full will affect overall progress in the negotiations.

On June 12 in Luxembourg, Turkey opened its accession talks with the EU in the area of science and research - the first of 35 policy fields that will be dealt with in the accession talks.

The Greek Cypriots had threatened to veto the beginning of Turkey's talks but were persuaded not to intervene after long hours of discussions with EU officials.

Cyprus has been divided along ethnic lines since 1974 when Turkey took control of the northern part of the island in response to a Greece-backed coup which aimed to unite the island with Greece.

Peace hopes on the divided Mediterranean island had faded away in 2004 when Greek Cypriots overwhelmingly voted against the Annan peace plan which was approved by the Turkish Cypriot side in a simultaneous referendum.

The southern Greek side of Cyprus joined the EU as representative of the whole of the island on 1 May 2004.

The TRNC, which is isolated internationally, is only recognized by Turkey.

Neither Turkey nor the TRNC recognize the Greek Cypriot Administration.

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