ANKARA - Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay said EU-candidate Turkey would freeze relations with the European Union if Cyprus is given the rotating EU presidency in 2012, state-run Anatolian news agency reported late on Saturday.
"If the peace negotiations there (Cyprus) are not conclusive, and the EU gives its rotating presidency to southern Cyprus, the real crisis will be between Turkey and the EU," Anatolian quoted Atalay as telling Turkish Cypriot Bayrak Radio and TV at the end of a trip to the breakaway state of northern Cyprus.
"Because we will then freeze our relations with the EU. We have made this announcement, as a government we have made this decision," the agency quoted Atalay as saying.
The internationally-recognized Greek Cypriot government is due to obtain the six-month rotating EU presidency in July 2012.