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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 06-11-09

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 <>



  • [01] Highlights of EU Progress Report 2006.
  • [02] The Turkish Government on the EU progress report 2006; It repeats that the Cyprus problem should not have an impact on Turkey´s negotiation process.
  • [03] Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan on the EU Progress Report.
  • [04] Gul on the EU Progress Report.
  • [05] Talat stated that Finland´s proposal aims to help Turkey´s accession process and not to solve the Cyprus problem.
  • [06] Lagendijk stated that the EU Progress Report is balanced.
  • [07] How M0LL0YET newspaper covered the EU Commission Progress Report on Turkey.
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties met at another round table meeting.
  • [09] Arinc meets the Algerian Prime Minister; Criticizes France on Armenian genocide claims.
  • [10] Five persons were taken into custody in occupied Famagusta for issuing forged identity cards.
  • [11] The soccer team of the Bar in occupied Lefkosia will take part in the European Championship.

  • [12] Let us give a break to the negotiations.


    [01] Highlights of EU Porgress Report 2006

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reported the following from Brussels:

    The European Commission released the report on the progress made by Turkey in the membership talks with EU, and said that the EU will continue to monitor developments closely and make an assessment before this year ends.

    In the 75-page report, the Commission underlined that Turkey has not opened ports and airports to the Greek Cypriot ships and aircraft, a condition of the Additional Protocol (to Ankara Agreement), according to EU sources.

    The Commission's report mentioned the political and economic developments recorded by Turkey in the last year.

    Noting that the ninth reform package has not been completed before this report is made public, the Commission praised the initiatives to settle ombudsman's office in Turkey.

    In the report, the Commission said that Turkey has made some progress (up to EU standards) in adjusting the relationship between the military and the civilians , and avoided trial of civilians by military courts.

    However, it indicated, Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) is still influential on politics; and referred to remarks by some military commanders about Cyprus, secularism, Kurdish problem and Semdinli incidents.

    On the other hand, the Commission complained about the Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, saying that it is also used to restrict expression of non-violent opinions. But at the same time, it emphasized the legal arrangements made by Turkey and training of the judiciary.

    Mentioning the Semdinli incidents as an example, the report expressed doubts about how the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors function.

    The report also said that Turkish institutions and policies aiming to counter corruption are not so effective.

    The progress report stated that Turkey is under obligation of enabling free movement of goods for the ten new members of the EU, including the Republic of Cyprus under the Ankara Agreement. "EU will monitor whether or not Turkey fully implements this until the end of 2006," the Commission pointed out.

    Recalling that Turkey has always been committed to a comprehensive solution reached in Cyprus under the auspices of the UN, the report said that Turkey also supports the establishment of technical committees in the Island.

    However, the report noted that Turkey has not fully implemented the Additional Protocol, and has not opened its ports to Greek Cypriot ships. "This limits free movement of goods and means violation of the Customs Union agreement", it added.

    The report stated that the same restriction is also valid for air transportation, and referred to remarks of Turkish authorities, particularly Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, who have voiced many times that the additional protocol will not be implemented unless the isolation of the TRNC (secessionist regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) is ended.

    On the other hand, the report quoted EU authorities as saying that "TRNC's status quo should not be linked with opening of ports and airports" and claimed that implementation of the Additional Protocol is Turkey's legal obligation.

    Also the Commission mentioned Turkey's "action plan" for Cyprus, but said that Turkey continues to veto participation of the Republic of Cyprus to international organizations like the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development).

    The European Commission argued that there are communities which can be defined as a minority in Turkey other than Jews, Armenians and Greek Orthodox people, according to international and European standards.

    On the minority rights, the Commission said: "Turkey's position on minority rights has not changed. According to Turkish authorities, minorities in Turkey are defined by the Lausanne Treaty signed in 1923 as the Jews, Armenians and Greek Orthodox people ."

    Referring to the lawsuits filed against Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) regarding human and minority rights, the Commission's report drew attention to the fact that Turkey adhered to some international conventions on human rights in the last one year, and asked Turkey to improve human rights and the related institutions.

    The report noted that cases regarding torture and mal-treatment are declining, but emphasized necessity of improving forensic medicine practices.

    On the other hand, the Commission stated that Turkey made some progress in broadcasting in local languages and dialects.

    Pointing out that the Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code (TCK) constitutes an obstacle before the freedom of expression, the report said that the Supreme Court of Turkey ratified the punishment of journalist Hrant Dink.

    The progress report noted that Turkey has to amend Article 301 to get closer to EU standards, and expressed concern over the newly-enacted Anti-Terror Law.

    Under the religious freedoms chapter, the Commission complained that the seminary in Heybeliada is still closed and the religious minorities are restricted from raising clergymen. Also noting that the rights of religious foundations to acquire properties are restricted, the report claimed that the Directorate General of Religious Affairs is "assuming a hostile approach" to the missionary works.

    Referring to the Alawites, the Commission's report said that there are problems in opening their places of worship, and these places are not supported by state funds.

    On the other hand, the report referred to some other topics like violence in the family, honor killings, not letting girls to go to school, insufficient participation of women in politics, and gender equality. However, it said that Turkish people are getting more and more conscious about women's rights.

    On union rights, the Commission argued that Turkey made no progress in the last one year.

    The report recalled that Turkey allowed two local channels to broadcast in Kurdish within the scope of cultural rights, but criticized the time limitation in this regard. It said that children, whose mother tongue is not Turkish, cannot learn their mother tongue in schools.

    Recalling that victims of terrorist attacks have been compensated, the progress report said, "the PKK, which is in the list of EU terrorist organizations, staged 774 attacks between November 2005 and June 2006 and 44 soldiers, five police officers and 13 civilians lost their lives in these attacks."

    The report also referred to some measures taken by Turkey and Greece to prevent recurrence of some incidents over the Aegean like the recent "dog fight" which resulted in death of a Greek pilot.

    [02] The Turkish Government on the EU progress report 2006; It repeats that the Cyprus problem should not have an impact on Turkey´s negotiation process

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    In a press release issued today in regard to the 2006 Turkey Progress Report and Strategy Document, the Turkish government indicated that the report affirms the Turkish government's commitment to the reform process, and points out that legal arrangements in Turkey, in general, are in harmony with EU norms and regulations.

    "The report draws attention to the fact that there could be some problems in the implementation of certain laws" said the government.

    According to the government's declaration, the Cyprus problem is a political one and should not have an impact on negotiation process which is a technical issue.

    In reference to comments on Cyprus and the Additional Protocol in the Progress Report, the Turkish government remarked that the difference of opinions between Turkey and the EU have been reflected on the report.

    "Views expressed by the European Commission will be decided on at the EU Heads of State and Government Summit between December 14th and 15th, 2006," told the Turkish government.

    The Turkish government looks at the period between now and the December summit as a period to evaluate the Turkish-EU relations.

    "It is up to the EU Heads of State and Government to secure the continuation of the membership process. At this point, much of the responsibility to continue the process depends on the EU rather than Turkey," expressed the Turkish government.

    Reacting to the Progress Report, Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullatif Sener noted that Turkey will continue to make efforts in order to facilitate successful negotiations.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Young Businessmen's Association (TUGIAD) issued a press release in response to the Progress Report. TUGIAD's statement read that the European Union must fulfill its promises made on Cyprus. "It is clearly evident that the Additional Protocol can not be implemented unless all isolations of the TRNC (secessionist regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) are ended," it noted.

    [03] Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan on the EU Progress Report

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reports from Ankara that the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erodogan said on Wednesday: Unless isolations on TRNC (secessionist regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus) are lifted, we will maintain our determination that we have assumed so far in regard to opening of ports and airports.

    Replying to questions on the Progress Report that was released by the European Commission today, Erdogan stated: "It has positive as well as negative aspects."

    Erdogan noted that the progress report had an expectation that Turkish authorities could assess the Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) in a meeting with representatives of non-governmental organizations within next three or four weeks.

    "They (European Commission authorities) will make a recommendatory decision on Cyprus issue before the EU Summit of Heads of State and Government (in December). The report also has eulogies regarding Turkish economy. We are studying the report carefully," he stressed.

    Asked whether there can be a development on Cyprus issue till the summit to be held in December, he noted, "unless isolations on TRNC are lifted, we will maintain our determination that we have assumed so far in regard to ports and airports."

    "If isolations are lifted, we will take a step on the opening of our ports and airports, Erdogan indicated.

    Stating that TRNC took the most important step on April 24th, 2004, Erdogan said that Republic of Cyprus acted against the demands of the EU.

    "Promises made to TRNC have not been fulfilled yet. After these promises are fulfilled, we will do what is necessary," he added.

    [04] Gul on the EU Progress Report

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reported the following from Ankara: "Turkey's reform process will continue," said Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Wednesday.

    Gul returned to Turkey after attending the Third Turkish-Italian Forum meeting in Italian capital of Rome.

    Holding a news conference at Ankara's Esenboga Airport after his arrival, Gul said: "The European Commission released its Progress Report for Turkey earlier today. The report eulogizes Turkey's achievements. On the other hand, it refers to Turkey's deficiencies. Actually, we know what should we do. We are aware of our deficiencies. Turkey's reform process will continue with the same determination. The European Commission has released its ninth Progress Report for Turkey since 1998. We have been maintaining our transformation process to increase living standards of our people."

    There are some points in the report which we do not agree with. We will discuss them with European Commission officials," he said.

    Referring to the Cyprus problem, Gul said: "Our government is determined to this end. We will continue supporting the efforts of Finland, which holds rotating EU presidency. We hope that some positive developments will occur. The most important thing is that all relevant parties should assume a compromising attitude. In order to reach a solution, all parties should take steps mutually."

    Upon a question about his meeting with Italian Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema, Gul said that he had informed D'Alema on recent developments about the Cyprus issue and on Turkey's reform process.

    Gul added that Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer would pay a visit to Italy in January.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia (08.11.06) reports from Rome the following:

    "What is important for Turkey is to complete EU accession talks successfully. It is transformation of Turkey," said Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul.

    Holding a joint press conference with his Italian counterpart Massimo D'Alema in the 3rd Turkish-Italian Forum in Rome, Gul noted: "I see that most of European countries are confused. I would like to recall that Turkey's accession talks began on November 3rd, 2005. The goal is obvious. Screening process was completed. What is important for us is to complete the negotiation process."

    Gul said: "We are aware of the fact that Turkey's full membership will take a long time. We don't know how many years the negotiation process will long. It is out of question for Turkey to be a full member of the EU tomorrow or next year. But some countries cause discussions that as if Turkey would be a full member next year and that it should be resorted to referendum. It is wrong.

    Discussions should be made when the right time comes."

    Stating that Italy was among countries which supported Turkey's EU accession, Gul indicated that his meeting with D'Alema was very positive.

    "We are determined to keep fulfilling necessary reforms. We will fulfill our duties. When we do this, member countries should encourage us," he stressed.

    Replying to a question on the additional protocol, Gul noted: "Turkey, Greece and Cyprus can create an extraordinary cooperation, but there is a need to solve the Cyprus issue."

    Recalling that Turkey was in favor of a solution to the Cyprus issue, Gul stated: "We can open our ports and airports, however there is a promise that was made by the EU on this matter. If the embargo imposed on Turkish Cypriots is not lifted, we cannot do such a thing (opening ports to Greek Cypriot ships)."

    Underlining that the EU should fulfill its commitments on lifting economic isolation on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), Gul said: "Let's lift all embargoes."

    "We always assumed a positive manner on a solution. We should be treated fairly. Finland works to find a solution to the matter. We support its efforts. A comprehensive solution should be found to this problem. Everyone should take steps for a compromise," he noted.

    Responding to a question on Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey, Gul said: "Turkey will fulfill its duties including security measures in regard to Pope's scheduled visit."

    On the other hand, D'Alema said that Italy considered that Turkey's EU accession would bring favorable things to Europe.

    Stating that Turkish authorities should not be concerned on the progress report, D'Alema said that they attached importance to the matter that parties should reach compromise to find a solution to Cyprus issue. D'Alema added that Italy considered that negotiations (on Cyprus issue) should be resumed under the roof of the UN with assistance of the EU.

    [05] Talat stated that Finland´s proposal aims to help Turkey´s accession process and not to solve the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.11.06) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the Turkish Cypriot People will not surrender because the Greek Cypriot side has joined the European Union.

    Speaking in a live interview on Bayrak Television yesterday evening, the President of the Republic repeated his view that the Greek Cypriot side will only be made to end its policy aimed at forcing the Turkish Cypriot side to surrender, when the international isolation of North Cyprus is terminated.

    The President was asked, during the interview, to comment about the package of proposals drawn up by Finland, the term president of the European Union.

    He said it has now become clear that Finland, rather than trying to help resolve the Cyprus problem or achieve progress towards this, is more interested in preventing a crisis that would mean a suspension of Turkey's EU accession process.

    He added that Finland has no intention or approach to take on the task of trying to solve the Cyprus problem.

    "It is clear that Finland has been inspired from Turkey's own package, announced earlier this year, which established links with the lifting of the isolation and the opening of Turkey's ports to Greek Cypriot traffic", he said.

    Complaining that the Finnish package of proposals was presented to the Turkish Cypriot side very late, and after it'd been conveyed to the Turkish Foreign Ministry and the Greek Cypriot administration; the President reminded that it was only after the TRNC's discontent over this fact was known - that Finland had decided to invite North Cyprus to the process.

    Expressing the view that the Finnish proposals were utterly unbalanced, President Talat said it has become clear in time that "there was no way this package could be put into practice".

    He said the package had failed to provide a balanced picture of the future, whether one looks at it from the administrative point of view, or as the whole context.

    But Mr Talat was adamant to stress that the detrimental blow to the process had come from the Greek Cypriot administration which refused to accept the Turkish Cypriot side as an "equal" party at the proposed discussions.

    "It is also clear that the Greek Cypriot leader Mr Papadopoulos is still looking for a solution to the Cyprus problem in which Turkish Cypriots will be reduced to a minority status" he stated, but said that the Turkish Cypriot People will never surrender and abandon its just cause because the Greek Cypriot side has joined the European Union.

    Reiterating the Turkish Cypriot side's wish to become an equal co-founder of a united Cyprus and be recognized as such; Mr Talat said the best way to achieve this passes through an end to the international isolation of North Cyprus.

    He also accused the Greek Cypriot administration of even preventing a long awaited letter being conveyed to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, sent by the United Nations Secretary-General's envoy Ibrahim Gambari.

    "It goes beyond doubt that the Greek Cypriot administration has been doing all it could to create all kinds of hurdles in the way of achieving progress for a solution to the Cyprus problem", he said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.11.06) publishes the interview given by Talat to Turkeys NTV where he criticized the Finnish term presidency of informing late the Turkish Cypriot side about its initiative. Asked, when he would be meeting with the outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan and whether this will be a farewell meeting or not Talat said: You could say that it is a farewell meeting but the Gambari process continues. We are waiting for his letter, the Greek Cypriots are trying to prevent Gambaris letter. Why they do this? Because they think that as long as the EU process continues and the Cyprus problem drifts away from the UN they will be in an advantageous position. I will inform the Secretary General about our desire to revive the UN process. Most probably, I will meet him this month but final date is not decided yet. When asked if there was a rift between him and Ankara as regards the Finnish initiative, Talat assured that the relation with Ankara was excellent.

    [06] Lagendijk stated that the EU Progress Report is balanced

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reported the following from Ankara:

    Joost Lagendijk, co-president of the Joint Parliamentary Commission between the Turkish Parliament and the European Parliament, said on Wednesday that the progress report of the European Commission about Turkey, which will be made public today, is a balanced report.

    The report does not include any new expectations, he added.

    Lagendijk and European Parliament Turkey Rapporteur Camiel Eurlings spoke to NTV channel about the Progress Report.

    Lagendijk said that the freedom of speech and civilian-military relations were the most important elements in the report. "The report is not harsh but balanced," he added.

    Emphasizing that urgent steps should be made regarding Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code on freedom of speech and civilian-military relations, Lagendijk said the government could win the elections by fulfilling the reforms.

    Pointing out that the EU wanted to give 3-4 weeks more to ensure Turkey open its ports to all EU members, Lagendijk said a recommendation against Turkey could be made about the negotiations unless a progress is made.

    On the other hand, Eurlings said that in the Progress Report Turkey was encouraged to speed up the reforms.

    Eurlings pointed to the importance of acting together, and noted: "Any crisis or partial or full suspension of talks will not be right."

    Eurlings said the Finnish formula, which was put forth by Finland which holds the rotating EU presidency, for resolution of the Cyprus question, should be discussed night and day, and indicated: "A solution should be found and train crash should be hindered."

    [07] How M0LL0YET newspaper covered the EU Commission Progress Report on Turkey

    Turkish daily M0LL0YET newspaper (09.11.06) in its front page and under the title The path continues with slow pace , reports on the results of the EU Commission Progress Report on Turkey, as these have been announced by the European Union yesterday. As the paper writes, the European Commission has announced a balanced report, while a recommendation was not made for a partial or a temporary suspension of Turkeys negotiation talks with the European Union, due to the fact that the ports of Turkeys are not opened to the Greek Cypriot vessels.

    According to the paper, the positive and the negative points of the document are as follows:


    Turkey continues to sufficiently meet the Copenhagen criteria

    Turkey continued the political reforms

    Turkey continued to contribute to efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem under the roof of the UN

    There is a progress in the reforms in the area of jurisdiction

    There is a limited progress on the legal amendments regarding the fight against the irregularities

    The decrease in the complaints regarding tortures and mistreatment continues

    There is an increase in the womens rights sensitivity.

    There is a limited improvement on childrens rights

    Turkey is still bearing the characteristics of a free market economy

    The arrangement that the military courts can not judge civilians is positive

    The creation of a climate for open debates regarding sensitive issues is positive

    The restrictions of the freedom of gathering and participating in organizations were decreased

    Responsible for the bad situation in the Southeast is the PKK organization

    Turkeys relations with Greece have been developed

    Turkeys role in making steps in harmony to EU in the field of the Common Foreign Policy and its constructive role in the regional problems is important


    Relations with Cyprus need to be normalized. The Additional Protocol needs to be implemented in full

    Turkey still needs to make plenty of reforms in the field of the freedom of expression

    The army is still influencing Turkish politics

    The application of the jurisdiction creates a complex picture

    The Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code needs to comply with the European standards

    The fight against irregularities taking place in the country is still weak.

    The religious minorities problem still exists and the Theological School of Chalki remains closed

    Alevis are remaining exposed to unfair practices

    There is no change on the approach towards minorities

    Apart from their mother tongue, the Turkish educational system is not assisting the students to learn other main languages in schools

    Government does not have a comprehensive social-economic plan for the Southeast region

    There is a broad definition of what terror means on the Terror Fight Law. There are restrictions in the law for the freedom of expression and the press

    Superfluous force is shown by the Security Forces during some demonstrations

    The crimes of honor needs to be investigated in a further systematic form

    Turkey needs to make improvements on securing the Trade Union rights


    [08] Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties met at another round table meeting

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.11.06) reports the following:

    Some Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties have come together at another round table meeting organized by the Slovakian Embassy.

    During the meeting, the parties stressed once again the need to maintain and improve dialogue between the two sides in Cyprus.

    The meeting at the Ledra Palace Hotel was attended by the Democrat Party, Peace and Democracy Movement, Communal Liberation Party, Cyprus Socialist Party and United Cyprus Party from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    And, from South Cyprus, ADIK, AKEL, Cyprus Greens, DISY, Social Democrats and United Democrats attended todays one-and-a-half-hour long meeting.

    Meanwhile, representatives of some political parties and some members of the press were refused entry into the Ledra Palace Hotel on the grounds that their names were not included in the list of those to attend todays meeting.

    Omer Kalyoncu and Ozdil Nami from the Republican Turkish Party who were among those refused entry, left the place in protest of the practice.

    After dialogue between representatives of Turkish Cypriot political parties and UN officials, and an initiative by the Slovakian Ambassador Jan Varso, representatives of political parties and members of the press were allowed entry into the Ledra Palace Hotel.

    In a short statement, Mr Varso said that the necessary measures will be taken to prevent the repetition of such events in future.

    At the end of the meeting, the Slovakian Ambassador told reporters that the political parties discussed ways of maintaining and improving dialogue between the two sides in Cyprus during todays meeting.

    Mr Varso also announced that the sub-committee established by the political parties during their previous meeting will hold its first meeting on Monday, the 20th of November.

    The sub-committee was set up with the aim of organizing bi-communal events to materialize the ideas of rapprochement.

    The next meeting of the leaders and the representatives of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot political parties will be held on the 13th of December, 2006.

    [09] Arinc meets the Algerian Prime Minister; Criticizes France on Armenian genocide claims

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.11.06) reported the following from Algeria:

    Turkish Parliament Speaker Bulent Arinc met Algerian Prime Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem at Algerian Prime Ministry Palace on Wednesday.

    Belkhadem told reporters that Turkey, as it happened in Ottoman period, should pursue an active and sound policy, adding that the region needs Turkey.

    Noting that Algeria does not think Turkey needs the EU, Belkhadem said that Turkey, alone, is a strong country, adding that the EU is not sincere regarding Turkey's membership.

    Criticising policy of France regarding so-called Armenian genocide, Belkhadem said that Algeria, for long years, has been waiting for France to accept that it committed massacres and made mistakes in Algeria.

    On the other hand, Arinc said: "It is a big contradiction for France to make statements about so-called Armenian genocide. I saw one more time in Algeria that France's statements about freedom, justice and equality are hollow."

    He added that France is applying double standards.

    [10] Five persons were taken into custody in occupied Famagusta for issuing forged identity cards

    Turkish Cypriot daily KIBRIS newspaper (09.11.06) reports that five persons were taken into custody in occupied Famagusta for issuing forged identity cards. Among the arrested there is a civil servant employed in the identity card issuing department of the occupation regime. The paper reports that police suspect that a gang is involved. The issue became known when Suphi Bekar (26) from Turkey wanted to cross into the free areas of the Cyprus Republic through the British Bases. At the British Bases check point Bekar produced a TRNC Identity Card in the name of Osman Komurcuoglu. Police at the check point suspected that the document is forged, arrested the man and returned him to the occupation authorities


    [11] The soccer team of the Bar in occupied Lefkosia will take part in the European Championship

    Turkish Cypriot daily HALKIN SESI newspaper (09.11.06) reports that the soccer team of the Bar in occupied Lefkosia has taken an official invitation to take part in the European Championship, which will be held, in St. Tropez, in France on March 2006. The official invitation to the Turkish Cypriot Bar was made by the Chairman of the French Bar Union and organizer of the tournaments, Maitre Vincent Piantel.

    According to the paper, the Lefkosia Bar soccer team took also part at the 13th World Cup of World lawyers that was held in Antalya on last May, whereas the Bar soccer team of the Republic of Cyprus was not invited.


    [12] Let us give a break to the negotiations

    Under the above title Turkish M0LL0YET newspaper (09.11.06) reports the following:

    The former Foreign Ministers, who have put their signature to Turkeys EU policies during the last quarter of the century, put forward the proposal of freezing Turkeys negotiations for a period of time. The former Ministers said that the Cyprus problem must be solved on the condition of the realization of the full accession.

    MILLIYETs columnist, Can Dundar discussed the issue of the Support to the EU on his Why program broadcast the night before yesterday on NTV. Former Foreign Ministers Mümtaz Soysal, Ilter Türkmen, Murat Karayalç1n, Sukru Sina Gürel, Emre Gönensay and former Prime Minister Mesut Y1lmaz, who has also been Minister of Foreign Affairs, participated in the program. The former Foreign Ministers said, in summary, the following:

    Mumtaz Soysal: An inconsistency exists on the Cyprus problem. Before the approach of the EU on this issue, it could be said that I do not play this game. The negotiations might be interrupted, but we are badly frightened, saying that the negotiations might be interrupted. Actually, they are also afraid, because they benefit from the continuation of these negotiations. We cannot benefit.

    Murat Karayalcin: The interruption of Turkeys relations with the EU or the withdrawal of its application is not the end of the world. We will continue to live just as we have been living until today. Actually, perhaps this could be tantamount to the creation of a great chance for the Europeans, who want to give Turkey a special status. The Customs Union can be evaluated separately. We cannot carry out this job like this. Perhaps it is necessary to draw back for one year or for a longer period of time and take a breather mutually, so that one day we go forward further.

    Emre Gonensay: Turkeys Plan B is itself. If we remain outside the EU, our alternative is to still carry on with this project, to develop rapidly using Turkeys great economic potential in a wise manner and to secure political stability. As for Cyprus, the condition of the solution when we become a full member of the EU could be put.

    Sukru Sina Gurel: We must put an end to the insincerity. This is perhaps for the benefit of both sides. Let us behave in a more constructive manner and not cause great disappointments in our relations.

    Mesut Yilmaz: I think that the proposal, which has been developed on the issue of the relations with the EU, is right. It is necessary for it to be further developed.

    Ilter Turkmen: If we will really enter into a deadlock, a break could be given to the negotiations in the end of this year, on the condition they will begin again. We have the presidential election before us, we have other elections as well and we have parliamentary elections. That is, I wonder, lets say, what if we took a direction, to determine a date on the condition we begin again the negotiations after one year? Of course, this can be done, we could think about it. Of course, once you give the direction, this has the danger of not having a second part time. It is not easy for this government to undertake this political responsibility.



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