Turkish Deputy Prime Minister, Tugrul Turkes, has insisted that the four freedoms for the whole of Cyprus includes Turkish nationals on the island, before Turkey gains access to the EU.
The ‘four freedoms’ of the EU are the freedom of movement of goods, people, services and capital over borders. These key principles lie at the heart of the EU and underpin the single market.
Turkes made these comments shortly before Presidents Akinci and Anastasiades were scheduled to meet again after the Cyprus Conference in Geneva, earlier in January.
The Turkish deputy PM said that if Turkey’s request is refused, then the four freedoms should be denied to Greek nationals also.
He said, “Turkey has requested something of significance in the on-going talks. We said that the four freedoms should be extended to the Turkish side. The free movement of workers and so on. We said ‘implement this issue’ but they were unmoved.”
“So we offered a second proposal. If they cannot be implemented for us, then they should not be implemented for the Greek nationals. We want a solution based on equality.”
Cyprus Weekly states that if the four freedoms are extended across the board in a reunited Cyprus, that would open the floodgates for Turkish nationals to enter Europe.
Earlier this month, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said, “The EU should not stay outside of these talks. They cheated the Turkish Cypriots in 2004 (Annan Plan Referendum). We told them not to do it this time. If there is going to be a solution, if Turkish and Greek Cypriots will jointly be members of the EU, then the EU should take four-party freedoms into consideration.”