ANKARA (JTW) Turkish National Security Council (MGK), the country's top consultative body, called on the European Union (EU) Thursday not to impose any conditions on Turkey when it starts membership negotiations with the bloc next year.
At The Summit of December 16-17, the EU leaders agreed to opening accession talks with Turkey on October 3, but attached a series of tough conditions for Turkey, including recognition of Greek Cyprus as the only state of the island and permanent derogations. Most of the Turkish people think that the EU leaders are not fair and sincere towards Turkey according to the ISRO Survey (For the EU Perception Survey please visit: http://www.turkishweekly.net/survey-eups.pdf) Some Turkish politicians also accused the EU of for religious discrimination. Turkish population is mainly Muslim, and Turkey will be the first and only Muslim EU member.
The Turkish National Security Council welcomed the firm date set by European leaders for the start of accession talks, but underlined that the summit conclusions also contained some ‘«›negative elements'.
"The council notes the importance of carrying out (membership) negotiations without any discrimination or conditions against Turkey," it said in a statement, without elaborating.
The council was once the most powerful institution in Turkey through which the military wielded powerful influence on domestic politics, but has since had its wings clipped through EU-minded reforms. It has been transformed into a think tank where civilians outnumber the military almost 19.
Dr. Sedat Laciner from International Strategic Research Organization (ISRO) said "there is a common mistrust towards the EU after the Summit among the Turkish people". Laciner similar to the Turkish Council Decision argue that the December, 17 Summit was not fair and the Decision contains some ‘«›negative elements'.
"The most disturbing condition is Cyprus" said Dr. Laciner.
"The EU accepted the Greek Cyprus State as full-member in May 2004 though the Greeks had border problems with the Turkish side. Normally the EU written agreements and the founding agreements of Cyprus State do not allow the Greek Cypriot Side's integration with the EU. The Greek voters strongly rejected the UN Peace Plan, and the EU did give membership gift to the Greeks and punish the Turkish voters for their vivid support for the UN Peace Plan. The EU has not kept its promises to the Turkish Cypriots. The Turkish side is still economically and politically isolated. Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is the only European country under the strict embargos. Turkish people on the island did all the EU, US and the UN asked, while the Greek Cypriots rejected all the EU, US and the UN wanted. That is why the Turkish public do not trust the EU, UN and US in Cyprus issue. Promises given should be kept. Otherwise the negotiation process will be difficult for both sides" added Dr. Laciner.
"We Will Fight for Cyprus"
Turkish Greater Unity Party (BBP) leader Muhsin Yazicioglu said that asking for the recognition of the Greek Cypriot Administration and withdrawal of Turkish soldiers from the island would mean for Cyprus to become Crete. Saying that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was established by bloodshed in Anatolia, Yazicioglu added, "If anyone cheats us and steals these rights from us, we will die and fight for it again".
Yazicioglu, participating in the "In-service Training Seminar of the Foundation of European Turkish Culture Associations", advocated that the December 17 EU summit result was not necessarily a victory. Reminding that Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayip Erdogan, had promised to solve the Cyprus issue by October 3, Yazicioglu said: "What is lacking from the result? In the European leaders' minds, the solution is the recognition of Southern Cyprus, the destruction of TRNC and withdrawal of Turkish Armed Forces, which means Cyprus will be treated like Crete. None of us is fooled. I address the TRNC Prime Minister, Mehmet Ali Talat. Don't be fooled by dreams, Cyprus is a reality for us. They abuse the souls of martyrs and they will certainly be brought to book."
Cyprus was divided after the illegal Greek Military Coup on the island in 1974. Turkish forces had to intervene the Cyprus affairs when the Greek armed militants started to massacre Turkish Cypriot civilians. The island was divided into two: Turkish and Greek in 1974 and the Turkish side established its own state in 1981 when the Greek Cypriot side did not allow any Turkish participation to the Government matters. Since then the Greek side has monopolized the Republic of Cyprus and claim there is only one legitimate state on the island. Turkish Cyprus State demands recognition and abolition of all embargos and limitations imposed on the Turkish side. The Greek side has a strong army with long-range missiles while the Turkish Cypriot state has to depend on Turkey's security assistance.
JTW, 31 December 2004