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Erdogan blasts Merkel for comments on Turkish Cyprus

The Local · 15 Jan 2011, 15:10

Published: 15 Jan 2011 15:10 GMT+01:00

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"Such attitudes and statements do not give the image of a far-sighted and visionary leader," the popular Vatan daily quoted Erdogan as saying.

"We expect Mrs Merkel to review her history knowledge and apologise to the Turkish side, which has made all sacrifices for a settlement on the island," he said.

During a visit to Cyprus on Tuesday, Merkel praised the Greek Cypriots for efforts to end the island's 36-year division and blamed the Turkish Cypriots.

"We see the many steps you are taking and we also see how the Turkish side is not making the adequate response," she said, addressing Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, a Greek Cypriot whose government is the island's internationally recognised administration.

She also stressed Turkey had been punished by sanctions in its accession negotiations with the European Union.

"The Turks kept their word at the referendum. Who did not? The Greek Cypriots. And who was awarded? The Greek Cypriots," Erdogan said, referring to a 2004 referendum on a UN-drafted plan to reunify Cyprus.

The plan was approved by the Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by the Greek Cypriot side.

Shortly afterwards, Cyprus, represented by the Greek Cypriots, joined the European Union, with the Turkish Cypriots left out in the cold.

Erdogan slammed the EU for having failed to keep promises it made at the time to ease the economic isolation of the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC).

He stressed Ankara would not back down from its Cyprus policy in return for speeding up its EU accession, according to Vatan.

The Cyprus conflict remains a major stumbling block in Turkey's membership bid as it refuses to recognise Cyprus in its current state, and is the only country to acknowledge the TRNC, where it maintains a military presence.

Story continues below…

In 2006, the EU froze eight of the 35 chapters the accession talks cover over Turkey's refusal to allow Greek Cypriot vessels use its air and sea ports under a trade pact with the EU.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey occupied the north in response to an Athens-engineered coup in Nicosia aimed at uniting the island with Greece.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:33 January 15, 2011 by tallady
EU accession is a long way away if it ever happens, I think the Chancellor should stand firm on her comments.,and I have no illusions that Turkey will not back down on it's Cyprus policies either .....they know accession in to the EU is not on the table at this time .
16:56 January 15, 2011 by lovelybug
The question is not that Chancellor should stand to her comments. The question is that what she said is historically correct or not. So far as the entry of Turkey in EU , that is impossible. Turkish also know that and that's why more than 50% Turkish are already against that. :). 62% percent of turks think that joining EU will not be good for Turkey.

For real facts , please refer to "The Economist 23-29 Oct,2010". Please see page number 07 of the special report.

I think Merkal just want to score more political points , any nothing more.
17:44 January 15, 2011 by wenddiver
This should be good practice, because if Germany continues it's current immigration policies the government will probably be working on a Partitoon of Christain Germany and Turkish Germany.
19:47 January 16, 2011 by DOZ
Sign of the times when Christianity has full control. This is why Muslim Countries must distance themselves from the West, make it on their own and ignore the west completely. First Major step needs to be raising the price of Muslim Crude by 45%.
21:31 January 16, 2011 by hOU
^ cheap talk, it will never happen.

They ain't that dumb and they know what side their bread is buttered (ie both).
22:57 January 16, 2011 by DOZ
Just wait and see. With growing numbers who have had enough of Countries like Germany, USAR, Canada and Britian trashing our children in the name of Capitalistic Christianity. Soon, very soon.
00:30 January 18, 2011 by Prufrock2010

That wouldn't be a terrorist threat by any chance, would it?
07:20 January 18, 2011 by Kreuzritter
I doubt the Arabs have a choice. If their dictators aren't already licking USA heels, they have the CIA to sort the troublemakers out :)
11:47 February 25, 2011 by alpik79
Merkel smartly plays for inner politics. But She does not have the naive Erdogan , as at the beginning of his career ,anymore
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