Turkish Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Wednesday that Greek Cypriots were blocking Turkey’s EU membership.
Speaking at a conference at the Paasikivi Society, a prominent Finnish think tank, he said;
“Greek Cypriots are blocking Turkey’s membership to EU. They suppose Turkey is weak and will beg for membership, but I think you may compare our current performance with Greek Cyprus or other countries. We will never beg. If there is integration, it must be fair,” he said in a response to a question from Greek ambassador to Helsinki, Filippos Kritiotis, over Turkey’s commitment to the EU’s Progress Reports.
Davutoğlu also recalled that Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan for Cyprus reunification, for which a referendum was held on April 24, 2004. He stressed that Greek Cyprus became a member of the EU despite the vote on May 1, 2004.
“Despite all commitments by the EU and the ‘no’ vote by the Greek Cypriots, they still joined the EU. Now, they continue to isolate the Turkish Cypriots,” he said.
He added that if the Greek Cypriot administration had approved the Annan plan, there would now be a united Cyprus and there would have been full economic integration between Turkey and Cyprus. Turkish soldiers would also no longer be on the island and even the Greek Cypriot economy would not have faced bankruptcy.
“All the issues will be solved after achieving peace, and a united Cyprus will become an EU member,” Davutoğlu said. “Without having peace in this way, nobody can put pressure on Turkey. The choice is yours. Be sure that Turkey will fulfil its commitments, as everyone knows what Turkey’s promises mean”.