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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 04-07-20

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.136/04 20.07.04

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] AFRIKA newspaper: The 30th anniversary of the most tragic day of Cyprus.
  • [02] The Turkish Armed Forces celebrate the destruction of Cyprus.
  • [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister on illegal visit to occupied Cyprus.
  • [04] While the Greek Cypriots mourn the thousands of dead, missing, wounded and raped beloved ones the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament promises to pave the way for the occupied territories of Cyprus to international fora.
  • [05] Erdogan in France for Turkey´s EU course.
  • [06] Turkish National Security Council Secretariat warns that Turkey might be forced to recognize the Republic of Cyprus.
  • [07] The proposal of the RTP for holding early "elections" was rejected.
  • [08] The so-called Foreign Ministry Undersecretary was appointed as the occupation regime´s representative to Abu Dhabi.
  • [09] A new paper in the occupied areas.
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] US officials are quoted by SABAH columnist to have said that the Aegean problem is more or less solved.
  • [11] Billion-dollar bargaining with Chirac.

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] AFRIKA newspaper: The 30th anniversary of the most tragic day of Cyprus

    Under the title "Mourning and Festivities, in its first page leader and head title "the 30th year of the most tragic day of Cyprus", local daily AFRIKA newspaper, covers today's picture in the free and the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    The paper writes the following:

    "Cyprus was divided into two 30 years ago as a result of the Turkish Army operation and, what a shame, it remains divided until today. Southern Cyprus has been mourning since 1974, while Northern Cyprus has been celebrating with victorious festivities. Mustafa Akinci stated in a message broadcast yesterday `Let not the mourning of the one be the feast of the other. Let us be able to enjoy happy occasions together´. Talat stated that `The Turkish intervention buried enosis in a way that it will not be able to be resuscitated´. Rauf Denktas saying that `This is the last 20th July that I am celebrating in `office´ ´, announced that he will not be a candidate (for the `presidency´) again."

    [02] The Turkish Armed Forces celebrate the destruction of the Republic of Cyprus and the hardships against the Greek and Turkish Cypriots for 30 years

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.07.04) broadcast that Gen Sukru Sariisik, secretary general of the Turkish National Security Council who will represent the Turkish Armed Forces in the celebrations that will be held to mark the anniversary of the barbaric invasion of 20 July, 1974 arrived in the occupied areas of Cyprus today. General Sariisik was welcomed at occupied Tymbou Airport by Fatma Ekenoglu, so-called speaker of Ankara´s occupation regime, Lt Gen Isik Kosaner, commander of the Turkish occupation force in Cyprus, and other military officials.

    In a statement at the airport, General Sariisik explained the Turkish Armed Forces' approach on the Cyprus problem and his assessments on the future, as follows:

    "Esteemed members of the press, I am happy to be among you. I am also happy to be in the `TRNC´ on the 30th anniversary of the Turkish peace operation.

    It is common knowledge that Turkey, which views Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's teaching peace at home and peace in the world as its main principle, acting in accordance with the authority given to it as a guarantor power by international agreements, realized the peace operation to end the inhuman atrocities committed against the Turkish Cypriots prior to 1974, obstruct the Greek Cypriot dream for Enosis [union with Greece], and establish peace and security on the island. The present atmosphere of peace and security was established after the intervention.

    Turkey and the `TRNC´ actively contributed to the process of solution. They displayed their goodwill for the solution of the problem by saying yes in the referendum. Considering the point that has been reached at the present time, we believe that it should be the Greek Cypriot side to make initiatives and display the will to solve the Cyprus problem. Furthermore, we believe that the high percentage of the Greek Cypriot no votes in the referendum has rendered the effort made to find a durable, just, and viable solution very difficult.

    The Turkish Cypriot people clearly demonstrated their will to contribute to the solution of the problem. In view of that, we expect the sides concerned to act in accordance with the promises they made to remove the embargoes and take measures to ease the Turkish Cypriots. It is common knowledge that a durable, just, and viable solution can be found only between two equal sides. In view of that, the present situation on the island clearly shows that a solution can be found to the Cyprus problem if the `TRNC´ and the Greek Cypriot side are recognized as equal entities.

    To conclude, I want to say that the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to support `TRNC President´ Rauf Denktas, whose personality as a statesman will be renowned in history, and the Turkish Cypriot people."

    [03] The Turkish Foreign Minister on illegal visit to occupied Cyprus to celebrate with the occupation troops the anniversary of the unprovoked barbaric invasion against a small defenseless peace-loving country

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.07.04) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul left for the occupied areas of Cyprus on Monday. Gul will represent the Turkish government at the 30th anniversary of July 20 invasion and occupation of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Holding a press conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport prior to his departure, Gul said that "a new era has begun in Cyprus and Turkish Cypriot people's expectations will come true sooner or later. No one can prevent it any longer."

    "The Cyprus Peace Operation, which Turkey staged as a part of its international obligations, was aiming to protect the interests of not only our country and Turkish Cypriot people, but also to bring peace and stability in the region," Gul alleged.

    Gul stated that he would meet with the occupation regime´s so-called Prime Minister Mehmet Ali Talat to discuss recent developments in Cyprus. Noting that this year's celebrations had a particular importance, Gul said that referenda were held in Cyprus for the first time since 1974, and Turkish Cypriots demonstrated that they favored peace.

    "However", Gul said, "the referenda proved that the Greek Cypriot side was thinking differently".

    Gul noted that a new status quo had been established in the island after the April 24th referenda and said that he would have the opportunity to review these developments with Rauf Denktas and Talat.

    Recalling that the European Union (EU) Commission had prepared a new regulation on Cyprus, Gul said that he expected this regulation to come into force as soon as possible.

    Calling on the Turkish businessmen, Gul said, "Turkish Cypriots' future is bright. I invite you all to invest in TRNC."

    He also called businessmen of other countries to invest in occupied Cyprus, and added that he would inaugurate a big hotel in the occupied areas during his visit.

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (19.07.04) broadcast the following statement made by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul upon his arrival in the territories of the Republic of Cyprus under the illegal occupation of his country´s troops since the brutal invasion of 1974:

    "Esteemed gentlemen, we are here on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the peace operation in 1974. I am here to represent the Turkish Government, Deputy Speaker of Parliament Nevzat Pakdil is here to represent the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, and Ret Gen Neziihi Cakar is here to represent President Sezer. The representative of the main opposition party is also among us.

    Some 30 years have passed since the intervention took place in 1974. It was a serious development. It was an operation that was aimed at guaranteeing the future of the Turkish Cypriots, safeguarding their rights, and bringing peace to the island. It not only safeguarded the future of the Turkish Cypriots but also established stability in the region. Yes, some 30 years have passed since the operation took place. Many developments took place in that period. The Turkish Cypriots proved that they can stand on their own feet. They established their democratic structure, elected their representatives, and set up their own state.

    Undoubtedly, 2004 is an important year. A referendum was held on the island after 30 years. The Turkish Cypriots clearly showed that they support peace. The referendum was a very important development, in that it helped the foreign countries to see the realities in Cyprus.

    We hope that more attention will be paid to the realities. We hope that an effort will be made to find a durable solution in the light of the realities. Undoubtedly, we will always maintain our vision for a lasting solution. However, the protection of the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and the removal of the embargo and policy of isolation against them is more important than everything else. The foreign countries are no long able to deny that. Nor is it possible for them to avoid seeing the facts. So, that is what all of us will continue to expect in the forthcoming days.

    It is a fact that the Turkish Cypriots can no longer be prevented from making initiatives to achieve economic development. So, we invite the Turkish Cypriots on the island and those who live abroad to invest in Cyprus. We also invite investors in Turkey and the other countries to invest in Cyprus. The island will always have a bright future. Turkey will always support the Turkish Cypriots. It has acted with a sense of responsibility thus far and it will continue to do so in the future. We have proved that during the past 30 years and we will do so again when necessary.

    We hope that everyone will look to the future and that the Greek Cypriot side will have a vision for a durable solution. We hope that the Greek Cypriots will appropriately assess the approach and goodwill the Turkish side maintains for peace. Undoubtedly, we will participate in the jubilant ceremonies that will be held to mark the 30th anniversary of the peace operation tomorrow. I want to convey Turkey's greetings and affection to all our brethren here in north Cyprus."

    [04] While the Greek Cypriots mourn the thousands of dead, missing, wounded and raped beloved ones the Speaker of the Turkish Parliament promises to pave the way for the occupied territories of Cyprus to international fora

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.07.04) reported from Ankara that the Speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly, Mr Bulent Arinc, said on Monday: "Turkey will intensify its efforts to pave the way for "TRNC" to take the place it deserved in international fora."

    Arinc sent congratulatory messages to the so-called President of Ankara´s regime in occupied Cyprus Mr Rauf Denktas, and to the so-called Parliament Speaker Fatma Ekenoglu on the eve of the July 20 invasion of the Republic of Cyprus byTurkish troops.

    In his message to Rauf Denktas, Arinc said: " The Turkish parliament has always defended the legitimate rights of Turkish Cypriots and their struggle to live freely and in peace. It will continue to do so in the future. The Turkish side has fulfilled its responsibilities to find a fair and lasting solution to the (Cyprus) problem. Turkey will also do everything in its power to put an end to unfair embargoes and isolation of the `TRNC´."

    In his message to Ekenoglu, Mr Arinc said: "The Turkish Cypriot people have proved their determination to live freely since 1974. They were able to found the `TRNC´ thanks to the atmosphere of security and tranquillity provided by the Peace Operation. And despite all those embargoes and efforts to isolate them, they have made a significant progress."

    [05] Erdogan in France for Turkey´s EU course reminding that a twelve billion dollars defence industry project was cancelled in the recent past to develop joint projects with foreigners

    Ankara TRT 2 Television (19.07.04) broadcast that aboard the plane to France, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan replied to reporters' questions on the EU. Explaining that both French President Chirac and German Chancellor Schroeder think positively of Turkey's EU membership, Erdogan pointed out that Chirac had not yet made any statements to the effect that he is not supporting Turkey's EU membership. Recounting that 50-60 percent of the French public opinion is in favor of Turkey's EU membership, Erdogan added: "I believe that this approach will put the political will at ease." Noting that Schroeder and Chirac thought positively of Turkey's EU membership since the Copenhagen summit, Erdogan expressed belief that this approach will continue.

    In reply to a reporter's question on whether Turkey may be given a date on July 2005 instead of December 2004, Erdogan said: "I do not know about such a date and it is inappropriate for me to make a prediction. A date will be given on December 2004, however." Upon being recalled the conditional yes proposals of various European leaders, Erdogan noted: "Turkey will not accept such a thing. It is impossible for us to accept such an imposition. I believe that a decision will be made on 17 December."

    Erdogan continued by saying the following: "At present, there are twenty-five plus two countries, which are full members or have been carrying out negotiation process. There was not any question of such an implementation for these countries. It is impossible for us to accept the concept of imposing a rule, which does not exist in the EU acquis, on Turkey."

    Reporting on the issue the semi-official news agency Ankara Anatolia added: "Asked whether Turkey could accept a conditional yes, Erdogan said, 'first of all, there are twenty-five plus two countries at the moment. There are two things, the harmonization and the implementation laws. They tell us there is deficiency. Those related to the harmonization have already been said. It is actually clear that the implementation is not possible until 2004. Because we have been changing the mentality. It is impossible to finish this change in a very short period of time. Even full members could not finish it yet. While even full members could not finish it yet, I think that asking Turkey to finish it for start of entry talks contradicts EU's ethic understanding at the point of its decision-making,' he said.

    Asked whether or not France wanted to join military projects and bid for privatization tenders together with Turkey, Erdogan said, 'all issues whether or not they are military matters are totally based on the principle of interest. It is done if it is a requirement of mutual interests. It is done with France or United States or Germany according to the country's interests. In the recent past, we cancelled a twelve billion U.S. dollars of defense industry tender. These were matters which were left hanging in the air. We cancelled and we brought a brand new understanding. Our aim is to strengthen domestic industry and develop joint projects with foreigners. The Defense Industry Undersecretariat has been preparing such projects.'

    Replying to a question about relations with Israel, Erdogan said, 'this is what has happened recently with Israel. We have to sign agreements with a country which has the most advanced technology. I mean to say that we sign agreements with Israel or United States or Germany or Korea, which has the most advanced technology.'

    Replying to another question, Erdogan said that work on purchase of planes from France by the Turkish Airlines (THY) had been under way."

    [06] Turkish National Security Council Secretariat warns that Turkey might be forced to recognize the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish mainland daily HURRIYET newspaper (20.07.04) reports that Turkey's National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS) in a statement warned that in Turkey's relations with the EU and within the framework of the application of the Customs Union, Turkey could face serious problems in its relations with the Greek Cypriot side and in the end it could be forced to recognize the "South Cyprus Greek Administration".

    The Cyprus section in "The National Security Bulletin" published by the NSCS maintains that the Greek Cypriot side could put before Turkey new demands and the EU, prior to giving a date to Turkey could force Turkey to make serious concessions on Cyprus and give the chance to the Greek Cypriots to force a new solution on Turkey.

    Subtitle: Possible demands

    "The Greek Cypriot side could demand the removal of the Turkish troops from the Island. It could demand return of the citizens emigrated from Turkey to the TRNC. The Greek Cypriot side could attempt to abolish the Treaty of Guarantee with the claim that an EU member state can not have another state as guarantor. It seems possible that by giving the Turkish Cypriots superficial rights in the Republic of Cyprus they could insist to patch up the Turkish Cypriots to the Republic with minority status."

    Subtitle: Blackmailing through the use of the veto

    In the Bulletin the NSCS draws the attention to the fact that the Greek Cypriots, with the help of the EU could impose "a new solution proposal" that includes more gains than the gains won in the Annan Plan and there is a possibility that this initiative will be put on the agenda prior to December 2004 and through the use of the veto blackmail, attempts could be made to force Turkey to accept it. In the Bulletin it is also mentioned that the Greek Cypriots could use the cases opened in the European Court of Human Rights as a means to exert pressure.

    [07] The proposal of the Republican Turkish Party for holding early "elections" was rejected by the occupation regime´s assembly

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (20.07.04) reports that the proposal of the Republican Turkish Party (RTP) of Mehmet Ali Talat for holding early so-called elections in the occupation regime was rejected yesterday by the so-called assembly. This development took place after the RTP's proposal for early "elections" was rejected at the meeting of the "legal and political affairs' committee" of the "assembly" a few days ago.

    As the paper writes 22 "deputies" voted in favour of the proposal while 24 "deputies" voted against. In favour of holding early "elections" voted the "deputies" of the RTP, the "deputies" of the Peace and Democracy Movement (PDM) of Mustafa Akinci and the "deputies" of Communal Liberation Party of Huseyin Angolemli. The Democratic Party of Serdar Denktas, which is the junior partner of the coalition "government" in the pseudostate, and the National Unity Party (NUP) of Dervis Eroglu, voted against the proposal

    [08] The so-called Foreign Ministry Undersecretary was appointed as the occupation regime´s representative to Abu Dhabi

    Local daily KIBRIS newspaper (20.07.04) reports that the so-called Undersecretary at the illegal Foreign Ministry of Ankara´s occupation regime in Northern Cyprus, Mr Aytug Plumer, was appointed as the "TRNC representative" to Abu Dhabi.

    Mr Plumer will start his duties at Abu Dhabi on 1st September while he will resign from his current duties as of the 1st of August.

    [09] A new paper in the occupied areas

    A new paper, under the name GUNES (Sun) started to be published in the occupied areas of Cyprus. As the paper writes about itself on the 20.07.04, which is the first day of its publication, it has chosen this date because it is the most important date of the occupation regime Ankara set up and maintains through the force of arms. The new paper is supporting the National Unity Party of Dervis Eroglu. The previous paper of the Party, BIRLIK, stops its circulation two months ago.

    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] US officials are quoted by SABAH columnist to have said that the Aegean problem is more or less solved

    Istanbul SABAH newspaper (19.07.04) publishes the following commentary by Asli Aydintasbas under the title: "Tango in the Aegean":

    "For some time, there has been a rumor circulating in the diplomacy backstages. And it is that very soon Turkey is ready to take its disputes on the subjects of the air space and territorial waters with Greece in the Aegean Sea to the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

    The word "The Hague" has almost been a taboo in Turkey ever since the beginning of the 1980s. Technically, the court, which is a branch of the UN, is actually the correct address for the Aegean problems, since it was designed as an institution to solve the disputes among nations.

    In contrast to this, to open policies and principles, which were determined by the mechanisms within Turkey, to the control of the international judiciary, which could make a decision over the national will, not the national will itself, on the subjects of national interests and national security (and every millimeter in the Aegean enters into this category), has always been a debatable subject and is an understandable situation. The intervention in national issues by a court composed of judges from Peru, Malaysia and Denmark, etc. whom you have not chosen, has met with the reaction of the public in many countries of the world, such as the United States, Israel and even Japan, not only Turkey.

    The concept of international justice

    The view of the concept of "international justice" is different in the EU, which in any case, is philosophically established on the transfer of the national sovereignty to a degree to an international structure (Brussels). The public in Turkey, which has entered into the EU process, has in any case, accepted to a great extent the role of the international judiciary in national issues. For this reason, the university students wearing headscarves are taking their cases to the European Court of Human Rights [ECHR]. The press applauds the decision of the International Court of Justice related to the wall built by Israel between Israel and Palestine. Moreover, according to the newspapers, from time to time, a woman in some place in Anatolia, who complains about her husband, is saying things like, "I will take him to court in Europe."

    The statement, "We can go to The Hague", first slipped out of the tongue of Mesut Yilmaz when he was the prime minister and created a strong reaction. Actually, at the point reached, it was the first indicator that Ankara was not completely against international arbitration. In contrast to this, Turkey had announced in the past that if Greece would increase its territorial waters to 12 miles with the authority it obtained from the international agreements, then this would be considered by Turkey to be a casus belli. In 1996 the two countries came to the brink of war due to the Imia rocks. This time, with the involvement of the international judiciary, even if it does not have mediagenic elements, such as the headscarf or grilled sheep's intestines [kokorec], it has the meaning of a permanent and a brand new strategic reality for Turkey.

    Has the problem been officially solved?

    For this reason, both Greece and Turkey have accepted for some time the principle of going to the International Court of Justice after solving the problem between themselves. It is understood that the contacts, which have been continuing for one year and which are kept secret with great care, are being carried out by the Turkish Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ugur Ziyal on behalf of Ankara and by Anastasios Scopelitis, the Greek Ambassador to London and one of the most senior diplomats of Athens, for Greece. The US officials, who have been informed of the existence of the talks, are using the expression, "the Aegean problem is more or less solved", related to the contacts, which continued until the negotiation process started on Cyprus. In other words, the two countries, rather than going to The Hague and being confronted with a surprise, would involve the international judges after solving the problem between them.

    Also, it appears that one of the disputes (air space) would be concluded in favor of Turkey and the other (territorial waters) would probably be concluded in favor of Greece. In any case, this is also the estimate of the jurists and diplomats, who have been interested in the subject for years. If the Cyprus problem and the referendum there had not intervened, then perhaps today we would have officially heard how much progress the two countries have made in solving the Aegean problem. But the secrecy on this point is extremely understandable."

    [11] Billion-dollar bargaining with Chirac

    Under the above title Turkish Daily News (20.07.04) publishes the following commentary by Mehmet Ali Birand on Mr Erdogan´s visit to France:

    "The elite ruling France are prejudiced against Turkey's EU membership and its gradual integration with Europe. Due to psychological and historical reasons, they cannot accept the possibility of Turkey becoming a member of the European club. This state of affairs is especially awkward for the government and President Jacques Chirac.

    Chirac's opinion on the matter is different. Chirac believes that Turkey should become a member of the European family, should it fulfill the admission criteria. However, he needs to persuade and prepare the public during the run-up to December, during which the decision to admit Turkey or not will be made.

    This is the main purpose of the visit by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that began yesterday. He will first wait for the EU Commission's report to ease the pressure on him. If the commission report is positive, he will turn to his people and say: "Turks fulfilled the Copenhagen criteria. No longer can they be refused admission." He will then emphasize the importance of the Turkish market.

    That is why State Minister Ali Babacan, Finance Minister Kemal Unakitan and Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim are accompanying the prime minister. Joint projects will dominate the meetings between French and Turkish officials, even more so than France's decision on Turkey's membership.

    Chirac had already aired his opinion on the matter at a press conference during the NATO summit in Istanbul. No one should expect any additional or alternative statements to be made.

    Subtitle: Shopping list is quite long

    The list of packages on Turkish-French economic and commercial relations is quite long.

    Planes: Turkish Airlines (THY) is preparing to buy new planes. The French want THY to buy the planes from Airbus. There is also the traditional supplier Boeing to consider. Most probably the purchasing contract will be divided in two between Airbus and Boeing.

    Military Investment: France wants to be involved in the modernization of the Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) with large projects. It is planning to transfer modern technology to land and naval forces and make joint investments. A package of billions of dollars is under consideration. The only problem is that the funds Turkey can put aside for this package is very small. That's why France is in favor of carrying out joint production alternatives.

    Privatization: France is especially interested in the privatization process in Turkey. The sectors where French involvement is being considered are: nuclear energy, banking, iron and steel, tobacco, telecommunications and the media.

    A single visit is not adequate to resolve all these matters. However, this visit will concentrate on understanding reciprocal attitudes and finding out whether they may possibly lead to an agreement.

    While Erdogan's visit was described as a working visit, Chirac implemented B-type protocol for him (A-type is only reserved for heads of state) in order to show both the Turkish and the French media the importance he attaches to Turkey. For example, Erdogan entered through the state VIP foyer and was welcomed by guards of honor at a special ceremony.

    We will see whether this process to persuade the French public, which is described by those who follow Turkish-French relations as an education campaign, will fulfill its objectives.

    Subtitle: Armenian pressure will be constantly felt

    The most heated part of the visit will most probably be during the rallies Armenians have said they would hold. The Armenian lobby, which is very strong in France, wants to secure some rewards from Turkey as it gets closer to the EU. Knowing that it will be impossible to force Turkey to accept the so-called "genocide," they are demanding the opening of the border with Armenia and an increase in the number of flights over Turkey.

    Turkey never accepted the inclusion of the Armenian problem into its relations with the EU and it continues to reject it. However, it knows that the matter will become a headache.

    In short, the prime minister's visit to Paris is the most critical, and maybe his last, before the EU Commission releases its report in October. After the report's release, we should expect a series of visits to European capitals during the October-December period.

    Subtitle: Chirac's attitude towards Turkey

    This is exactly what the French president said about the start of EU membership negotiations with Turkey at the NATO Summit in Istanbul.

    "Historically, Turkey is a European country and Turkey has been provided with a membership perspective for the past 40 years. I speak in the name of France when I say that whoever served as the head of state, or the government, France has always supported this perspective. Turkey's candidacy was approved once again at the 1999 Helsinki summit. France was represented by both Barnier and Prime Minister Jospin in Helsinki.

    I believe integration is appropriate, because our economic and political interests demand that Turkey, which has been secular since 1923, become a part of our group. Its membership might set an example. However, just like in other clubs, members should adhere to certain rules. These rules are the Copenhagen criteria. Human rights, freedoms and rights and a free market economy should be at the level designated by the criteria. We know about Turkey's incredible attempts in recent years to fulfill these criteria. No one is disputing this fact. That's why the EU Commission will release a report in October. The report will say whether Turkey has fulfilled all the criteria outlined or not. It will provide an answer to the question: 'Has Turkey implemented all the reforms?' It is not possible for me to say anything about it just yet.

    If the EU Commission report is positive, the European Council can decide to start the membership negotiations, but the negotiations will be long and arduous for both Turkey and Europe, because it will take time to learn how to cooperate in economic, cultural and social areas. If the Commission says Turkey is not ready yet, then we will look at what it has recommended. However, I personally believe that if Turkey's integration with Europe is deemed possible in the future, it will be an irreversable process."

    /SK


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