While Turkey has been waiting for years to see if it will be admitted into the European Union, it’s getting some unlikely help in edging its way there: from Cyprus, which isn’t even recognized by Ankara.
The Cypriot government and Parliament are taking measures to help Turkish-Cypriots participate in elections for the European Parliament in May, 2014 Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides said.
Speaking at an event hosted by the European Parliament office in Cyprus for the elections, Kasoulides said that the Turkish Cypriots cannot be granted observer status in the European Parliament but may be able to gain seats.
Kasoulides called on the Turkish Cypriots to participate in the elections and even to run for a seat in the European Parliament through a single electoral list, the Cyprus Mail said.
“They have this opportunity and the Cypriot government will take all necessary measures and will request the Parliament to approve legislative measures that would facilitate and render their participation as accessible as possible,” the Minister said.
He went on to say that given the number of Turkish Cypriot who acquired a Republic of Cyprus identity “they could elect up to two Turkish Cypriot MEPs through a single electoral list, pursuant to the EU acquis which does not discriminate for the EP elections.”
Kasoulides said that Turkish Cypriots should forget the possibility of obtaining observer status in the European Parliament.
Cyprus has been divided since an unlawful invasion by Turkey in 1974 which still occupies the northern third of the island and keeps a standing army there. Reunification talks have been fruitless and Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades recently said he believes they are dead.