Turkey has called off a visit by a group of members of the European Parliament planned for Wednesday, after the parliamentarians refused to agree to Ankara's demand to exclude a Cypriot deputy, an official said.
On the eve of German chancellor Angela Merkel's trip to Turkey, the lawmakers planned to meet with the Turkish ministers of environment, health, energy and agriculture.
But Turkey's embassy to the European Union demanded the group leave out Cypriot Marios Matsakis, whom Ankara accused of using anti-Turkish propaganda, said German conservative deputy Karl-Heinz Florenz.
"We will not let anyone dictate what members our delegation should comprise," Florenz said in a statement. "Turkey's reaction is completely unacceptable. A democratic country ... must be able to put up also with difficult guests."
Turkey must complete 35 so-called "negotiating chapters," each dealing with a different policy field, before it can join the EU, a process expected to take at least a decade.