ISTANBUL - Turkish President Abdullah Gul has slammed the prospect of Cyprus taking over the European Union presidency next year as "half a country" leading a "miserable union", Turkish newspapers reported on Wednesday.
His comments to Turkish journalists during a visit to Britain underscored Ankara's frustrations with its EU accession process, which has ground to a halt over the division of the Mediterranean island and opposition from France and Germany.
Gul said the failure to open new chapters in Turkey's negotiating process was harming the 27-nation bloc's reputation and that it could suffer its biggest loss of credibility in 2012 when Cyprus takes over the rotating EU presidency in July.
"Now this half a country, this incomplete country will take over the EU presidency," Gul was quoted as saying by Aksam newspaper. "There will be a half-presidency leading a miserable union. That is exactly the expression I said to EU leaders."