PM Erdogan reiterates no deal unless EU acts to open trade with Turkish Cyprus
Turkey is ready to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels and aircraft only if the European Union takes steps to end the economic isolation of Turkish Cyprus, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated yesterday. Speaking to reporters, Erdogan said not to expect any change in Turkey's position on Cyprus. "If they're ready to open [their ports and airports] simultaneously, we're ready to do so too," he said. "Our officials have been saying this consistently. No one should expect us to act any differently." Erdogan's remarks were in response to reports that the EU is working on a compromise deal under which Turkey would at least partially open its ports and airports to traffic from Greek Cyprus in return for further progress in its EU accession talks. Meanwhile, Erdogan also dismissed claims that Ankara is ready to revise its position that the extension of Greek territorial waters in the Aegean to 12 miles would constitute a cause for war. "There is no such agreement," he said, adding that talks on the issue are continuing.