Sunday, 1 November 2009

TURKEY’S HARDENING POSITION ON CYPRUS

TURKEY’S HARDENING POSITION ON CYPRUS

According to the ‘Journal of Turkish Weekly’ (Saturday, 31 October 2009) Turkey's President Abdullah Gul said: "All the world should know that Turkish Cypriots would never be in a minority status in the island." He was speaking at a press conference with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. The fact, however, whatever President Gul thinks or says, the Turkish Cypriots are a minority on the island. There is no power on earth, not even Turkey and Pr. Gul that can change in anyway the numerical facts. Unless of course Turkey wishes to introduce to the world a new mathematical concept. In which case Turkey has to apply it firts within her boundaries in connection with similar problems, like the minorities, which will not be minorities any longer within her realm.

Mr. Talat was in Turkey to be briefed on the new tactics Turkey will be following and which were decided earlier –in his absence- at a meeting organized by the Turkish Foreign Ministry. Immediately afterwards there was a flood of leaks to the Turkish press about a ‘plan B’ should the Greek Cypriots reject Ankara’s demands for a confederal solution of two states in Cyprus. If anything, what came out of Talat’s meetings in Turkey is the hardening of the Turkish position. : “There is no way to open ports to Greek Cypriot ships and planes unless a comprehensive solution is reached on the divided island,” the Foreign Ministry said. And this was in reference to the obligation Turkey undertook as a candidate country to abide by the requirements of the European Union and conform to so-called Ankara protocol as far as her responsibilities are concerned.
So far the policy followed by Turkey was that she would lift all embargoes against the Republic of Cyprus, member of the European Union which she aspires to loin, if what she considers promises to the Turkish Cypriots are fulfilled. No matter that she had signed the Ankara protocol.
The bottom line which the Europeans should take very seriously into consideration when the talk about Turkey, is her credibility. And there is an issue of credibility here. Turkey tends to accept and confirm and sign protocols on many issues in order to get what she wants. And what is worse is that instead of talking to Turkey in a language that she would take seriously into consideration, the European Union follows a policy of appeasement towards Turkey, thus putting the EU’s own credibility on line.

NICOSIA
2.11.2009

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