NICOSIS, Cyprus—Turkey’s European Union Minister Egemen Bağış declared that Turkey will not participate in any EU session whe Cyrpus takes over the rotating presidency of the 27-nation union.
Bağış said that while Turkey will boycott the Presidency of the European Union, it will continue its cooperation with the European Commission and the European Parliament.
“Our relations with the EU Commission and the EU Parliament will remain intact. We will just not sit across the same table as the term’s presidency,” said Bağış.
Turkey had previously threatened to freeze all relations with the EU if Cyprus was to take over the EU Presidency, a threat that like many is not being carried out. Cyprus is expected to take over the presidency during the second half of 2012.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Abdullah Gul slammed the prospect of Cyprus taking over the European Union presidency next year as “half a country” leading a “miserable union.”
Gul said the failure to open new chapters in Turkey’s negotiating process was harming the 27-nation bloc’s reputation and that it could suffer its biggest loss of credibility in 2012 when Cyprus takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.
“Now this half a country, this incomplete country will take over the EU presidency,” Gul was quoted as saying. “There will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union. That is exactly the expression I said to EU leaders.”