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Media Watch 2003

21 May 2003
Source: Cyprus Mail
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 21 May 2003 written by a staff reporter.
EU hand sought in Turkey ships dispute

CYPRUS HAS asked the EU to intervene in a dispute with Turkey to allow the docking of Cypriot-flagged ships at Turkish ports in view of the island’s accession next year.

According to Communications and Works Minister Kikis Kazamias, one in every four EU ships in international waters carries the Cyprus flag and Turkey’s continued refusal to facilitate Cypriot ships effectively means it would also be blocking a huge part of the EU fleet.

Speaking on his return from Athens, where he took part in a meeting of EU Maritime and Transport Ministers, Kazamias said that the “entry of ten new countries into the EU has increased the participation of the EU fleet in international shipping from 13 per cent to 25 per cent.

“This means that one in every four community ships in international waters carries a Cyprus flag, and we have asked the EU in its bilateral relations with Turkey to point out that it can not for 30 years prohibit the docking and most of all, not serve ships under Cyprus flag”, Kazamias said.

“We have pointed out the need for Turkey, to act accordingly, if it wants to join the remaining 25 countries in the European family”, he added.

Kazamias said: “We believe, bearing in mind the reaction we have had, that Turkey will be in a very difficult position to secure this interstate agreement with the EU without abolishing this one-sided and arbitrary prohibition which has been enforced right after 1974”.

Cyprus has the sixth largest fleet in the world with over 2,500 vessels registered under the Cyprus flag."