Turkey's PM says EU bears responsibility for Cyprus deadlock

Turkish prime minister made assessments regarding Turkey's EU negotiation process in his first interview with Euronews channel, which launched broadcasts in Turkish on Saturday.

Turkey's PM says EU bears responsibility for Cyprus deadlock

Turkish prime minister made assessments regarding Turkey's EU negotiation process in his first interview with Euronews channel, which launched broadcasts in Turkish on Saturday.

Speaking to the leading European TV channel, Erdogan said that some of the EU member states were not acting honestly during Turkey's ongoing EU process.

"This is where a problem arises. Why am I saying this? Because they are trying to corner Turkey with conditions that do not exist in the acquis communautaire. This is really wrong," he said.

Pointing to French President Nicolas Sarkozy's stance regarding Turkey's EU bid, Erdogan said, "one can not easily comprehend what Mr. Sarkozy does. But no matter what they do, or what kind of obstacles they put in front of us, we will keep walking, patiently. There is, certainly, an end to this. That will be the moment at which all the EU members say 'We are not accepting Turkey'. We will not stop until they say this".

Erdogan also said that the EU should not become a Christian club, and added, "the EU should not take part in a campaign of Islamophobia. Any country doing this must be warned".

"Responsibility for current deadlock"

Replying to a question on Cyprus issue, Erdogan said that the EU had not been honest on the Cyprus issue until now.

"The EU bears a great deal of responsibility for the current deadlock over Cyprus. They made a historical error in accepting south of Cyprus into the EU," he said.

Erdogan also said that calling the southern party of the island "Cyprus" was another political mistake.

"Because in the north, there is another state, which is in conflict with the south. And we, as Turkey, recognised this state in the north," he said.

Upon a question on whether he expected to see Cyprus reunited in the near future, Erdogan said the Greek Cypriot party always avoided a direct approach and thus it must be warned by the EU.

"It must be seen that the peace process is a hostage," Erdogan said.

"We are striving to resolve this issue this year. And we want it to be resolved under the umbrella of the UN," he added.

In his reply to a question on the steps taken by the Turkish government regarding the Kurdish issue, Erdogan said, "this has been one of the most important items on the agenda in recent days. But calling it a Kurdish issue will undermine, weaken this project. This project is one of national unity and friendship".

Erdogan said it would be disrespectful to other ethnic groups in Turkey if such matter was considered as a "Kurdish issue" exclusively.

"This plan, this project, covers all of them," he said.

"Losing a friend"


Upon a question on the future of relations between Turkey and Israel, the Turkish premier said, "Israel should give some thought to what it would be like to lose a friend like Turkey in the future. The way they recently treated our ambassador has no place in international politics. We have done our best for Israel-Syria relations".

Erdogan also said that Israel should take another look at its relations with its neighbours if it believed that it was a world power.

Commenting on the Israeli foreign ministry's recent accusation against him for being a cause of the rising tension between Turkey and Israel, Erdogan said, "I am telling the truth and I will keep telling the truth".

"Unhealthy start"

Replying to a final question on the Armenian constitutional court's interpretation of the recent Turkish-Armenian protocols, Erdogan said, "well, we appear to have got off to an unhealthy start. What are we negotiating about? What are we going to do? Armenia should once again take this into consideration, because we fulfilled our protocol commitments".

Erdogan also said that both sides had road maps and the process would continue.


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Last Mod: 31 Ocak 2010, 16:21
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