Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Dutch Euro-parliamentarians Blast Turkey

The conservative VVD, senior partner in the Dutch coalition government, has launched a fierce attack on Turkey in the European Parliament.

The leader of the VVD delegation, Hans van Baalen, said Turkey had disqualified itself as a potential EU member state with remarks made on Sunday by its deputy prime minister, Besir Atalay. He warned that Turkey would freeze its ties with the European Union if Cyprus occupied the rotating presidency of the EU in the second half of 2012 as planned.

MEP Van Baalen pointed out that Turkey has been illegally occupying northern Cyprus since 1974 and has blocked every attempt at reconciliation between the Greek and Turkish communities. Turkey also refuses to normalise relations with the Greek part of the island.

The VVD wants the European Commission to ask the Turkish government to explain this behaviour.

Turkey has for many years been a candidate for EU membership but negotiations have been difficult, partly because of Ankara’s stance on Cyprus.

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