A few hours after Turkey and the EU agreed last Sunday on a package of incentives for Ankara to help the bloc with the migrant crisis, Turkey sent a letter to the Commission saying its position on the non-recognition of Cyprus had not changed and the proposed visa-free travel scheme would not be implemented for Greek Cypriots.
According to Phileleftheros it has secured a copy of the letter, and the response from the Commission. Last Sunday Brussels agreed to give Turkey 3 billion euros, open one negotiating chapter immediately and look at opening others – some blocked by Cyprus in 2009 – and also discuss visa-free travel next year.
The newspaper said on Sunday that no sooner was the ink dry on the deal than Ankara sent the letter saying its commitment to the visa-free travel deal should not be interpreted as a variance from its well known position on Cyprus.
The letter was sent with an accompanying note making it clear that until a Cyprus settlement was reached, Turkey’s stance on the non-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus would remain unchanged. It added that Ankara was committed to helping find a solution.
Reportedly the letter was sent as there was no opportunity for Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu enter the Turkish position officially during last Sunday’s summit in Brussels. All he said on the day to the 28 EU leaders was: “You know our position on the island of Cyprus”.
The response to the Turkish letter on December 2, according to Phileleftheros, reminded Ankara that the EU has 28 member states and that all commitments applied to all of them.