Turkey signed an additional customs union agreement in July, which extends its existing agreement to all 10 new members of the EU – as required by the EU, however, a document was included which said that Ankara did not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration and that Turkey's ports would not be open to Greek Cypriot ships.
Turkey's EU accession date came under the spotlight yesterday as British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw said that Turkey would have to normalize ties with the Greek Cypriot administration ahead of October 3, the date set for accession talks to begin with the European bloc. However, Straw did say that he was "reasonably confident" that Turkey would join the talks on time. The UK currently holds the revolving EU presidency.
Turkey's accession talks were being discussed by EU foreign ministers at a meeting being held in Wales, where all ministers agreed that they would vote on Turkey's accession date at the end of September, following the ironing out of the now "unworkable customs agreement".
Mr Straw said that he hope the document would be agreed upon by ambassadors next week. "I remain reasonably confident that the European Union will be able to meet that deadline and there will be prior agreement to doing so," said Straw.