News / Europe

Turkey: Cyprus Crisis is Chance to End Division

Turkey's President Abdullah Gul reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, April 3, 2013.
Turkey's President Abdullah Gul reviews the honor guard during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in Vilnius, Lithuania, April 3, 2013.
Reuters
Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Wednesday the financial crisis in Cyprus presented an “important opportunity” to end the division of the island, split between the Greek Cypriot south and Turkish north.
 
The Mediterranean island concluded a $13 billion bailout deal with the eurozone and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday in order to stave off bankruptcy.
 
It has been divided since a Greek Cypriot coup was followed by a Turkish invasion of the north in 1974. Efforts to reunite it have repeatedly failed and Turkey is the only nation to recognize the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.
 
“There is at the moment significant economic crisis on the island. This should be seen as important opportunity ... Because if the island was to unite, there would be a greater economic potential,” Gul said during an official visit to Lithuania.
 
“There are some restrictions, embargoes on the island. Our suggestion is to lift any and all kinds of restriction or embargo simultaneously so that we can create a new climate for moving forward,” he said. “I hope that this message will be well understood.”
 
Turkey's failure to extend a customs agreement with the European Union by opening its ports to goods from Cyprus has hindered its ambitions to join the EU.
 
Turkey began EU entry talks in 2005, a year after Cyprus was admitted, but its bid has been blocked by the intractable dispute over the island, as well as by long-standing opposition from core EU members Germany and France.
 
German Chancellor Angela Merkel highlighted the Cyprus dispute as a stumbling block when she visited Turkey in February.
 
Relations between Greece and Turkey have thawed over the years, making a resolution more imaginable than in the past.
 
Beset by economic crisis at home, Greece last month pledged to double annual trade with its eastern neighbor to $10 billion by 2015.
 
Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras met his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan in Istanbul and signed deals on issues ranging from agriculture to disaster relief.
 
Gul said the potential for cooperation between Turkey and Greece made the possible benefits of Cypriot reunification even greater.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' at 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid