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Europe freezes membership talks with Turkey

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Europe freezes membership talks with Turkey


The European Commission has recommended a partial suspension of talks with Turkey on joining the EU over its failure to open its ports to Cyprus. Negotiations on eight of the 35 policy areas will be frozen. Talks on Cyprus failed on Monday although the Commission will continue negotiations on other issues. So far Turkey has provisionally concluded just one area – science and research.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says Europe is making a serious mistake in the long term by sending this negative signal to Ankara. There has been no reaction as yet from Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul. Turkey has said it will open its ports to shipping from Cyprus if the EU fulfils a pledge to end the economic isolation of Turkish Cypriot northern Cyprus, which the internationally-recognised Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia has blocked. Ankara says the Cyprus problem should not be linked to its accession bid.

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