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‘No fundamental freedoms for Turkish nationals as part of special arrangement’

Government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides

Granting the four fundamental freedoms of the EU to Turkish nationals as part of a special arrangement that will only apply to the reunited Cyprus is out of the question, Government Spokesman, Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday.

The Turkish demand for the four freedoms to be given to Turkish nationals is legally unfounded and the argument that Turkish nationals already enjoy the four freedoms is not valid, the spokesman said in a written statement on Thursday.

The existing legal framework of EU-Turkey relations such as the association agreement and customs union gives little and very specific rights to Turkey and to Turkish nationals such as the movement of processed industrial products and limited rights to Turkish workers legally working in Member States on the basis of the national law, he said.

As regards the movement of services and capital, the spokesman explained that the same provisions of the EU treaties that apply to all other third countries also apply to Turkey.

“The four fundamental freedoms of the EU cannot be dissociated from the member state status, the Union`s citizenship and the constitutional structure of the EU, as foreseen by the EU treaties. They are attributed to nationals of member states that have already been harmonised to meet the Copenhagen criteria and have certain obligations towards the EU,” Christodoulides said.

“The four fundamental freedoms create derivative rights that affect all Member States,” he added.
Granting the four fundamental freedoms of the EU to Turkish nationals as part of a special arrangement that will only apply to the reunited Cyprus is out of the question, the spokesman noted, underlining that Turkish citizens would enjoy the four freedoms when Turkey was fully harmonised with the EU acquis, will have implemented all its obligations, such as those arising from its accession path, vis-à-vis the EU and all its member states and become a full member of the EU.

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