Cyprus dispute could sour Turkish hopes

TURKEY'S bid to join the European Union appears to be heading for the rocks because of the country's failure to soften its stance on Cyprus, which has been an EU member since May 2004.

By Graham Dines

TURKEY'S bid to join the European Union appears to be heading for the rocks because of the country's failure to soften its stance on Cyprus, which has been an EU member since May 2004.

Brussels is demanding that the Turks stop boycotting trade with the Greek speaking part of Cyprus. But Ankara has refused to compromise and if there is no move by the Turkish government before December 11, then accession talks are likely to be aborted.

Erkki Tuomioja, foreign minister of Finland which holds the EU's rotating presidency, has been negotiating on behalf of the 25 nation with Turkey's foreign minister Abdullah Gul.


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Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded it anticipating an attempt by Greek-speakers to forge a union with Greece. Turkey is the only nation in the world to recognise the Turkish Republic of North Cyprus.

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