Turkish Press Says Turkey is Cyprus? ?Toy? in EU Talks

ANKARA (AFP)–Turkey has turned into a "toy" for Cyprus as it strives for European Union membership–the Turkish press has said one day after the stormy start of Ankara’s detailed entry talks with the EU.

"A rough start," wrote the left-leaning Cumhuriyet–referring to the talks–whose beginning was delayed by objections from the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot Government.

Cyprus wanted Turkey to recognize it as a state and open its ports to Cypriot ships and planes–EU deman’s Ankara has yet to meet–before the talks begin.

The EU’s Austrian Presidency clinched a last-minute deal at a Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg–narrowly avoiding a new crisis for the bloc.

Several commentators harshly criticized both Cyprus for its stance and Turkey for putting up with it.

"Turkey has turned into a toy for a country of a few hundred thousand people," said a commentator Tuesday in the mass-circulation Hurriyet–calling on Ankara to end the "mascarade."

Many newspapers stressed that Turkey would continue to face veto threats from the Cypriot Government as the EU votes on the opening and closing of each of the 35 detailed policy chapters to be negotiated–plus a final vote when all the chapters are completed.

"At least 69 more crises to go with Europe," headlined the liberal Radikal.

"Cyprus will continue to be capricious on the political front until the last minute… [inflicting] Chinese torture" on Ankara–a commentator in Milliyet–another liberal daily–wrote–calling for action from Brussels.

"The EU should either stop the Cypriot administration from acting capriciously whenever and wherever it wants–or should change its rule for a unanimous vote in order to get work done," he said.

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