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Media Watch 2005

29 July 2005
Source: BBC
Author:
Comment: The following article appeared on BBC online on 29 July 2005.
Turkey signs EU customs protocol
""it is regrettable... that a candidate for accession declares that it does not recognise one of the member states of the union it wishes to join""


Turkey has signed a European Union protocol which extends its custom union to the 10 new members including Cyprus, a country Turkey does not recognise.

This move paves the way to accession talks due to start in October.

But Turkey has issued a declaration explaining that the signing is not tantamount to a recognition of the Republic of Cyprus.

The breakaway state in the north is only recognised by Turkey, which maintains 40,000 troops there.

"The signing, ratification and implementation of this protocol in no way means recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, which the protocol refers to," a statement by the Turkish foreign ministry says.

Perplexity
Cyprus reacted to the move by expressing its "deep regret" and said it would look into whether the customs union would still be valid despite Turkey's unilateral statement.

"it is regrettable... that a candidate for accession declares that it does not recognise one of the member states of the union it wishes to join," said government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides.

The EU had previously warned that if the statement had been formulated in a way that went against the spirit of the accord, this might have held up the signing.

Cyprus has been split into the Greek-Cypriot controlled south and the Turkish-occupied north since Turkey invaded in 1974 in the wake of an abortive coup by supporters of union with Greece."