European parliament chief slams Turkey over Cyprus boycott
ANKARA: The European Parliament's chief criticised Turkey Monday for threatening to freeze ties with the EU when the bloc's rotating presidency shifts to Cyprus, which Ankara does not recognise as a sovereign state.
"I criticise this. This is not possible," said Martin Schulz, the European Parliament's president, who is in Ankara for an official visit.
"I take note that a candidate state says to us we will not negotiate during the presidency of a member state of the European Union," he said.
Cyprus takes over the six-month rotating presidency of the EU on July 1, and Turkey has threatened to freeze ties with the EU during this period.
Schulz said he raised the issue during his meetings with Turkish officials, and stressed that "the Republic of Cyprus is a member state of the European Union."