The EU has partly frozen its membership talks with Turkey. This was in response to Ankara’s failure open ports to Cyprus. The European Union foreign ministers voted to suspend work in eight of the 35 policy areas into which the accession negotiations are divided and to review Turkey’s compliance with its obligations annually until 2009. EU Enlargement Commissioner Ollie Rehn explained further considerations:
“The accession process is also an opportunity to demonstrate that Islam, which is the second biggest religion on our continent, can be compatible with Europe and its values, that is: democracy, human rights and morality.”
The ministers also agreed in principle to end the economic isolation of Turkish Cypriot northern Cyprus. Those arrangements will be worked out under the German EU presidency which takes over from Finland in January. Meanwhile, other sectors of the negotiations will go ahead.