16 December 2009
The senior German diplomat in Turkey said on Wednesday that democratic parties should refrain from terrorism.
German Ambassador to Turkey Eckart Cuntz said that all democratic parties should refrain from terrorism and violence.
Cuntz's remarks came after the top court of Turkey, the Constitutional Court, decided to close the Democratic Society Party (DTP) on charges it has ties with the terrorist organization PKK.
"DTP members have a responsibility in this sense," Cuntz told an exclusive interview with AA correspondent.
Cuntz said a new party had been set up, and the members of the banned DTP who would be in charge in the new party should consider supporting the democratic initiative with the feeling of responsibility.
Cuntz said Turkey had launched a decisive and brave "democratic initiative", and aimed to end terrorism, and contribute to co-existence of people of different origins in a democratic structure.
The ambassador said the democratic initiative had been harmed by the recent terrorist attack in the central province of Tokat.
"Such attacks will no way back the initiative, but even it will cause a backward step," he said.
Cuntz defined the closure of DTP as a backward step.
Also, Cuntz said that there were some problems in launching Turkey-European Union (EU) membership negotiations on some chapters, which were probably the issues concerning the Ankara Protocol.
Cuntz said the EU was discussing to open negotiations with Turkey on environment in December.
The German diplomat said the EU opened entry talks with Turkey on three chapters during its EU presidency, which he defined as important for the support his country was extending to Turkey's EU membership bid.
Cuntz said the German government was fully supporting continuation of negotiations with Turkey, and said the German coalition protocol said negotiations should go on with Turkey but negotiations were an open-ended process.
The ambassador said the EU wanted to sign agreements with Turkey regarding Turkish citizens who sneaked abroad, and the union had included the PKK in its terrorist organization list.
"We are extending great support to fight against terrorism, and we are saying that we should counter terrorism and cooperate by regarding our own interests," he said.
Also, Cuntz said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle would visit Turkey at the beginning of January, which he considered as an opportunity to show the importance Germany attached to Turkey.
Cuntz said Westerwelle would focus on political and commercial issues, as well as EU, foreign policy and regional cooperation.
Westerwelle would discuss opening of a Turkish-German University and establishing an Academy of Artists in Istanbul, Cuntz said.
Cuntz also said Westerwelle would be accompanied by economists to boost economic relations with Turkey.