Greek foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis commented that Turkey was not ready for EU membership. Bakoyannis noted that Ankara should open its ports to the Greek Cypriots as it has already inked agreements where Turkey pledged to fulfill this commitment in 2006. Currently, Turkey does not allow the Greek Cypriots to use its ports and the Greek Cypriots accuse Turkey of violating the customs union agreement between the EU and Ankara. In fact, last year Turkey signed an additional protocol that extended an existing customs union agreement with the Block to the new member states including Cyprus. However, the Turkish parliament has not ratified the protocol yet and that attitude of Ankara attracts criticism from Brussels
On a related note, the Turkish government's spokesperson Cemil Cicek said that the EU screening process would be completed by Oct. 13. According to Cicek, introductory screening processes on 15 out of 35 chapters have been completed. Meanwhile, the daily Sabah reported that the talks between Turkey and the EU on the customs union chapter started in Brussels yesterday.