Ankara blames EU for “unfair treatment”
By Lénaïc Vaudin d’Imécourt | Monday 12 December 2011
After the 8-9 December European Council endorsed the conclusions of the General Affairs Council that was held in Brussels on 5 December regarding Turkey, Turkish officials have lashed out against the “unfair treatment” they have received during their EU accession negotiations. The 27 member states reiterated their concerns over the Turkish threat to freeze all talks during the upcoming Greek Cypriot Presidency of the EU, starting in July 2012. The Union “urges the avoidance of any kind of threat [...] source of friction or actions that could damage good neighborly relations and the peaceful settlement of disputes. Furthermore, the EU stresses again all the sovereign rights of EU member states which include, inter alia, entering into bilateral agreements, in accordance with the EU
acquisand international law, including the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea,” the General Affairs Council said in a statement.
According to Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s chief EU negotiator, the “criticisms of the EU on freedom of expression, visa, migration, the Cyprus issue and on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean region are not acceptable”. He added that references to “alleged threats” over the Greek Cypriot Presidency of the EU were also unacceptable, noting that “it is disappointing to see that the Greek Cypriots have once again took hostage the EU’s agenda”. He urged the EU to stop “hiding behind the ‘principle of solidarity’ that is abused by the Greek Cypriots on every occasion”.
Turkey applied for membership of the EU in April 1987 and officially started negotiations in October 2005, at the same date as Croatia, which signed its Accession Treaty on 9 December. For the past year and a half, Ankara has failed to open any new chapters in its accession negotiations.