Former Turkish President Abdullah Gül, gave an in-depth interview with German radio broadcaster ARD. The comprehensive inverview covers, inter alia, Turkey’s relationship with the EU. It is in reference to this issue that Gul said that granting Cyprus EU membership, ahead of solving its territorial issues, was against EU principles and had further complicated the Cyprus issue.
He said that Turkey “states its intention to become a full member and strives for it. But there are mutual mistakes in getting to this point. Both the EU has its faults and Turkey’s situation. One of the biggest reasons for this situation is the Cyprus issue. Although the Annan Peace Plan in Cyprus was rejected by the Greeks and accepted by the Turks in 2004, it was a big mistake to accept Southern Cyprus as a member of the EU. This membership was also contrary to EU principles, because it was out of the question for a country to become an EU member without solving border issues. This principle was ignored by the EU and the Cyprus problem was brought into the EU with Southern Cyprus becoming a full member. Thus, this problem has become intricate“.
Former president Gül, who was in office between 2007-14, has published a full transcript of the interview which can be viewed here.