gogu 06 Oct 2006 http://www.turkishdailynews.com.tr/article.php?enewsid=55950 Turkey calls off MEPs' visit over Matsakis Friday, October 6, 2006 ANKARA - TDN with wire dispatches Turkey has postponed at the last minute a visit by a European Parliament delegation because of the inclusion of an outspoken Greek Cypriot lawmaker, officials on both sides said on Wednesday. European parliamentarians planned to meet with the Turkish ministers of environment, health, energy and agriculture to review Turkey's progress in applying European Union environmental standards. But Turkey's mission to the European Union demanded that the group leave out Greek Cypriot Marios Matsakis, who was detained for two days in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) earlier this year after an incident involving a flag, German conservative deputy Karl-Heinz Florenz was quoted as saying. "We will not let anyone dictate what members should make up our delegation," Florenz said in a statement. "Turkey's reaction is completely unacceptable. A democratic country ... must be able to put up also with difficult guests." Danish socialist parliamentarian Dan Jorgensen called it a "scandal" that could have serious effects on Turkey's chances of becoming an EU member. "This shows that Turkey has completely misunderstood democratic rules," Jorgensen was quoted as telling Danish Radio DR. A spokesman for the Turkish EU mission confirmed the visit was put off because of Matsakis, saying it was not because of the deputy's nationality but because of his past behavior. "This is not the best time to have such a crisis in Turkey," he said. Turkey does not recognize the Greek Cypriot administration, which joined the bloc in 2004. Matsakis was held for two days in a KKTC prison early this year, accused of removing a Turkish flag from an army post on the "green line" that divides the Mediterranean island. "He's not a blank page, but he's a member of parliament and not a terrorist," Florenz said, adding that a democracy like Turkey must be able to tolerate such differences.