Turkey threatened Sunday to cut off its ties with the European Union if Cyprus receives the rotating presidency seat in 2012, as planned. "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," Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Besir Atalay was quoted as saying, “because we will then freeze our relations with the EU. We have made this announcement, as a government we have made this decision.”
Turkey last week threatened to send battleships to the Eastern Mediterranean if Cyprus proceeds with explorations for oil and gas in its territorial waters later this month, as planned. Turkey is not a member of the EU, although it still has an application for membership pending.