Foreign minister Abdullah Gul has given notice that the expected signing of a customs protocol with the EU to include Cyprus does not mean it implicitly recognises the Greek Cypriot authorities in Nicosia.
Gul said “I must point out that we will not recognize the administration as the sovereign and legal representative of the whole island. Turkey can only discuss recognizing (the) Southern Cyprus Republic after achieving a long-lasting peaceful solution on the island.”
Ankara said a protocol extending the country’s customs union with the EU to the bloc’s 10 new members — a pre-requisite for Turkey’s own membership negotiations, planned to start this October — could be signed after the UK picks up the rotating EU presidency, from this July.
In the meantime, the Turks are seeking a resumption of U.N.-sponsored Cyprus reunification talks.