Pro-gov’t paper: Çavuşoğlu, Juncker argued over money in Cyprus talks

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Jean-Claude Juncker (L) and Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu

A pro-government paper claimed on Sunday that Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker debated the use of money as a weapon against Turkey during talks on Cyprus last week.

The staunchly pro-government paper Yeni Şafak reported that Çavuşoğlu slammed Juncker and told him not to threaten Turkey over money after the Turkish side refused to allow the European Union to become one of the parties to the Cyprus negotiations.

According to the paper when Greece and the Greek Cypriots wanted the EU to join the talks, not as an observer but as a negotiating party, Turkey rejected the proposal, saying that both Cyprus and Greece are already EU members and that there was no need for EU’s involvement.

Juncker reportedly told Çavuşoğlu that Turkey would remember the EU when it needs money, asking if the EU would only be at the table on money matters.

Yeni Şafak said that Çavuşoğlu told Juncker not to threaten Turkey with money. In addition, the Turkish foreign minister reportedly said that the EU has not yet given the 3 billion euros promised to Turkey for Syrian refugees inside the country.

Although Yeni Şafak is notorious for its fabricated news, it is known for having close connections to the government. The paper presented the news as a slam against the EU before all other pro-government outlets picked up the story and circulated it widely.

After Turkey promised to keep refugees inside the country by shutting down routes of migration, there has been a significant drop in the refugee influx to Europe. Many observers believe this deal between Turkey and the EU is the main reason for the latter’s appeasement of the increasingly despotic President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

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