Turkey Signs Customs Union Additional Protocol
In a significant move, Turkey has now signed a protocal that extends its agreement on the customs union with the EU also to the Republic of Cyrprus. This was a precondition for the envisaged launching of accession negotiations on October 3rd.
But at the same time Turkey makes clear that this does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus as the government of the entire island. Such recognition will be given to a government that emerges out of a peace process that brings an end to the division of the island.
There are certain to be protests from Nicosia and efforts to use this to block the accession negotiations. What Athens will do remains to be seen.
But having exelled in both nationalism and populism in blocking the UN-sponsored and EU-supported comprehensive peace plan for the island, which was supported by both Ankara and the Turkish part of Cyprus, Nicosia has given the moral high ground on these issues to the Turks.