29 December 2004
Foreign Ministry says the Dec.17 decision foreseeing permanent restrictions are ex-parte decisions that can't be implemented without Ankara's consent
ANKARA - The Foreign Ministry yesterday said Ankara has delivered a letter to the EU concerning possible restrictions on the free movement rights of Turkish citizens, in the case of full membership, in order to fetter its views over the wording of the Dec.17 decision that it did not agree with.
The statement came in response to ongoing domestic debates in a letter delivered to the EU Council Secretariat, the EU Term Presidency and the executive EU Commission by Turkey's Permanent Representative to the EU Oğuz Demiralp on Thursday.
The ministry said the Dec.17 decisions were ex-parte decisions that could not be implemented without Ankara's consent.
"The EU Council, at this stage (by the Dec. 17 decision) is proposing to the EU Commission to negotiate implementation of a long transition process in some chapters and some exceptional safeguard measures along the negotiation process (with Turkey)," said the statement.
The ministry, nonetheless, emphasized it would only be possible to incorporate final arrangements concerning these matters when the time comes to sign the Accession Treaty after closing all negotiation chapters and only if the Turkish side agrees.
The right of free movement is one of the basic principles of membership; so far, the EU has not implemented any permanent restrictions on citizens from any member country since it would be a deviation from EU norms.
Turkish Daily News, 29 December 2004