Turkey ready to open chapter 23, says EU minister Çavuşoğlu
ANKARAJun 24, 2014 - 12:00 am GMT+3
Jun 24, 2014 12:00 am
Turkey is doing its share to take confidence building measures towards the Greek Cypriot administration to remove the blockage on the 23rd chapter for Turkey's EU membership, according to Turkey's EU Minister on Tuesday.
EU Minister Cavusoglu said that the main reason that the 23rd chapter, which covers judiciary and fundamental rights, continues to be blocked is due to the Greek Cypriot administration's attitude.
"Turkey has completed all the unofficial requirements to open the 23rd chapter," said Cavusoglu at his meeting with British ambassador to Turkey, Richard Moore. "We are in a situation to open the 23rd chapter as well as the 24th," he added.
Turkey continues to pursue EU membership and aims to open not only the chapter 23 on "judiciary and fundamental rights" but chapter 24 which covers "justice, freedom and security" also.
Cavusoglu spoke on the confidence building measures towards the Greek Cypriot administration, and said that the biggest support for the Cyprus issue - referring to the ongoing dispute over the divided island of Cyprus between Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot sides since 1974, came from Turkey.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized solely by Turkey, whereas the Greek Cypriot administration is an EU member and recognized internationally.
He urged the EU to open these chapters without further delay, and hoped the process will be much quicker during Italy's term presidency in the EU, starting in July.
Ambassador Moore also discussed Britain's support for Turkey in its EU membership bid.