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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 05-10-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No.189/05 04.10.05
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister before leaving for Luxemburg for the launching of Turkeys EU accession talksIstanbul NTV television (03.10.05) broadcast live the press conference by Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul at Esenboga Airport in Ankara prior to his departure for Luxembourg for talks on Turkey's accession to the EU.
Following are Mr Guls statements and his replies to questions: Esteemed colleagues, it is common knowledge that Turkey and the EU have had relations for a very long time. They began in 1963. Turkey has focused on Europe for more than 40 years. It moved toward becoming a full member in that period. There have been fluctuations from time to time. However, a historic point was reached today. It is the commencement of talks with the EU on full membership.
God willing, the talks will begin with the intergovernmental conference. Term President Britain will be the first to address the conference on behalf of all the 25 members. He will be followed by EU Commissioner for Enlargement Oli Rehn. I will address the conference after him. The statements we will make will be brief. They will be symbolic. Undoubtedly, each side will be bound by what it says.
I described the commencement of the talks as a historic development because the status of the country that will hold talks will change. The way that country will be looked upon will change. Its position will be different. Undoubtedly, many governments and leaders contributed to the effort Turkey made to reach this point. That also applies to many countries, governments, and leaders in Europe. That is the point that has been reached.
Very intensive talks were held with the EU Term President during the past few days. The talks continued until 0400 [0100 GMT] this morning. They were resumed early today. They ended about half an hour ago. A mutual agreement was reached. I will not disclose its details at the present time. However, I must say that Turkey is taking a new step toward a new era. I hope that it will be auspicious to our people, nation, and country.
The matter goes beyond being related to Turkey's accession to the EU. Turkey's position is different from the other countries. First of all, Turkey will be the only Muslim country in the EU. It has a large population, a great history, and wide-scale relations- from the Turkic republics to the Muslim countries. So, all those countries will feel that they are, in a way, represented in the EU when Turkey joins the organization. From that point of view, Turkey will make a significant contribution to the EU. It will have a strategic value. In view of that, statements were made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and the Arab League. The Arab League urged the EU not to treat Turkey unjustly. Actually, everyone has sincerely supported Turkey. Many friendly countries and all the leaders in the EU have supported Turkey. Let us not forget that all the EU heads of state signed the resolution adopted during the EU summit on 17 December 2004 for a decision on the commencement of talks with Turkey.
I hope that the talks will be successfully maintained after they begin. I also hope that Turkey, the EU, and the entire world will gain from the process.
Question: Can you comment on the agreement you have reached on article 5?
Answer: I do not want to discuss the details. What is important for us is the existence of a perspective for full membership. No other alternative exists. Preferential membership is out of the question. Turkey will implement the EU criteria if it is successful in the talks. It will become a full member if it is successful. Turkey and the EU will sign the document that will be binding on them if the process is successful. The framework document will be binding on the EU at the present time. We will have our own position, which will be binding on us. The Association Partnership Document will be taken up at the end of the negotiations process. We will sign the document. That will be binding on everyone. I hope the process will be auspicious.
 As the EU launches accession talks with Turkey Mr Gul reminds the world of the realities of the presence of 40,000 Turkish troops in CyprusAnkara Anatolia news agency (04.10.05) reported the following from Luxembourg: Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said that the start of entry talks between Turkey and the EU was an important and historic milestone.
In a press conference held after the intergovernmental conference in which negotiations between Turkey and the EU started formally, Gul indicated that the first meeting of the intergovernmental conference started on October 3rd. Recalling that there had been relations between Turkey and the EU since 1963, Gul noted that today was the milestone of this important process.
Stating that the start of negotiations should be assessed in "win-win" understanding, Gul stressed that not only Turkey but also the EU and the world would benefit from Turkey's accession.
Gul noted that Turkey had different features, stating that Turkey's membership would contribute to world peace, better comprehending of different views and EU's having more role in global world.
Abdullah Gul said that full membership perspective was clear for Turkey, noting: "Turkey gained what it wanted. Its full membership perspective is clear. Another alternative is out of the question.
Stating that Turkey would perform well, Gul indicated that he believed that when the right time came, accession agreement would be signed. "It (negotiation process) is not easy. There will be problems from time to time, but they will be overcome. Other countries also had similar problems, but these problems were overcome," he noted.
When a reporter told Gul that France said that Turkey's situation would be assessed again in 2006, Gul said that some officials could make statements for their own public opinions. Recalling that there were many control mechanisms during the negotiation process, Gul noted that all of them were known. He noted that they never considered that Turkey would be a full member of the EU automatically.
Gul stressed that the Turkish government would continue to implement reform packages in a best manner. He noted that everyone considered Turkey "China of Europe", adding that when Turkey fulfilled its duties, they also expected the EU to fulfil its responsibilities.
Asked whether he thought that Turkey's membership negotiations would be concluded in 2014, Gul stated that Turkey had been a member of the Customs Union for ten years, indicating that many issues have been solved already. He added that they were not in a hurry. "I believe that Turkey will become a full member of the EU in the end. Then those who have some hesitations about Turkey, will have totally different views," he said.
Upon a question, Gul said: "The whole world is aware of the importance of our armed forces. We are proud of it."
Replying to a question about Cyprus, Gul said: "Our view about the Cyprus issue is clear. There is no change. There are two different realities on the island. Our only target is a lasting solution. We want a comprehensive solution under the control of the United Nations. We want Turkey, Greece and a unified Cyprus to be the best sign of cooperation in Eastern Mediterranean."
Upon a question about relations between Turkey and Austria, Gul said: "We have good relations with Austria. We aim to further improve those relations. It will be also beneficial for Austria. Austrian public opinion can have some hesitations. But they will see that Turkey will make valuable contributions in the future." Replying to a question about bilateral problems between Turkey and Greece, Gul said: "Turkey has lifted visa application unilaterally. There have been mutual visits between the two countries. Our relations have been improving day by day."
 The Commander of the 1974 Cyprus Invasion Forces General Nurettin Ersin diedTurkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (04/10/05) reports that the commander of the Turkish landing forces in the 1974 Cyprus invasion and occupation, General Nurettin Ersin, died in Ankara yesterday at the age of 87.
The paper reports that General Ersin was also one of the generals who conducted the 12 September 1980 Military coupe in Turkey. He also headed the Office of the Turkish Chief of the General Staff. On 6 December 1983 he retired voluntarily.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Does he want the withdrawal of the troops as well?Under the above title Sener Levent writes the following in his regular column in Turkish Cypriot daily AFRIKA newspaper (04.10.05):
The Republic of Cyprus, they say, celebrated the 45th anniversary of the proclamation of its independence. Those who hear this ask: Which independence? Is Cyprus not under occupation? If it is under occupation what is this celebration for the independence? Until today where have you seen people under occupation celebrating their independence with military parades?
Neither Papadopoulos nor Christofias made a call to the Turkish Cypriots during this independence festivity of this republic. They did not say to them: Come take your place in this republic. They did not say: The 24 of the seats in our parliament belong to you. No one said that the Turkish Cypriots are one of the equal partners of this republic and that this partnership right continues. Only Mustafa Akinci said this. He said: Those 24 seats are our right. Even if this is a demand that came late, it is still a valid demand. Have the Zurich - London Agreements died? They have not! Is Turkey not continuing its rights of guarantee based on these agreements? Are the British bases not a result of these agreements? Is it not thanks to these agreements that the Republic of Cyprus not still exists?
Very well, everybody preserves his rights. Why do the Turkish Cypriots not preserve their rights? This is actually a question that should have been asked a long time ago. However, the Turkish Cypriots, who after 1974 began looting and plundering, preferred living in a puppet state under the patronage of Turkey, by putting aside their rights in this republic. They did not want to return to their rights in the Republic of Cyprus, because the conquest mentality of 1974 had a strong influence (on them). That is, the Turkish Cypriots must search the blame in themselves, if the Republic of Cyprus has been turned into a Greek Cypriot Republic for many years. Some Turkish officials, who say we have demanded this, but the Greek Cypriot side did not agree, are not telling the truth. If this right has really been demanded, there were reliable legal ways to seek it. If the Greek Cypriot side rejected it, why did we not recourse to the legal means? Has anyone taken the issue to the European courts?
The first who replied to Mustafa Akinci was Dimitris Christofias. First he explained what the return to the Republic of Cyprus means and then he made a wish. According to Christofias, this would mean the end of the occupation in Cyprus and the withdrawal of the troops. His wish was the following: Let the Turkish Cypriot leadership submit Akincis view and let us unite again under a common roof.
After this answer of Christofias, the following question could easily be asked to Akinci: Do you want the withdrawal of the troops and the occupation to end? Until today Akinci did not say that Cyprus is under occupation. He said many times that the political will of the Turkish Cypriots is usurped by Turkey, but he never used the word occupation. He did not also say that the Turkish troops should withdraw from the island before the solution. In this situation, I wonder, what answer will he give to such a question. Can he say: I want the demand of our rights in the Republic of Cyprus, but I oppose to the withdrawal of the troops? If he says this, will he not fall into an amazing contradiction? Is it possible on the one hand to demand your rights in the Republic of Cyprus and on the other not to accept that there is occupation in Cyprus? While Akinci demands the 24 seats, at the same time should he not oppose to the occupation of Cyprus by Turkey?
Look what the dervishes discussed between them:
When will the solution and peace come in Cyprus?
When the troops go away.
And when the troops will go away?
When the solution and peace come.
Is it not now the time for us to break this vicious circle?