Erdogan in Finland, for dirst Turkish primiers's visit in 32 years
Turkey expects the European Union to take steps to help relieve an impasse over direct trade with Turkish Cypriots, said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan yesterday. He made the remarks in Finland, for the first visit there by a Turkish premier in 32 years, just two days after a European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee ruling that EU trade with the Turkish Cypriots should be governed directly by EU single market and customs union rules, not the EU's international trade rules. Calling the ruling non-binding for EU member states, Erdogan said, "Two commitments were made to us when Grek Cyprus joined the EU (in 2004); one on free movement, and the other on financial issues. Since then, no steps have been taken on these two issues." For his part, Finnish President Arja Halonen said his country supports Turkey's EU accession to the EU and added: "We are two old friends, as countries and peoples. I was in the Middle East last week. I heard praise for you (Erdogan) and your country. We support Turkey's EU accession. We continue to follow the process with enthusiasm and support."