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EU officials warn Turkey

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EU officials warn Turkey

Postby Sotos » Fri Apr 07, 2006 3:27 am

Angelos Marcopoulos reports from Strasbourg

A CHORUS of voices from all three European Union bodies - the Parliament, the Commission and the Council of Ministers - was raised here this week warning Turkey bluntly that it must meet its obligations to Cyprus and that the latest intransigent statements by Turkish officials, including Prime Minister Recept Tayip Erdogan, risk pushing relations with the EU into a 'critical' juncture.

This follows from a number of exclusive statements to The Cyprus Weekly by senior EU Officials including the EU's Rapporteur on Turkey, Dutch EuroMP Camiel Eurlings, the spokesman of Oli Rehn, the EU Commisioner for Foreign Affairs and the Commission;s replies to questions by three members of the EU parliament.

"Turkey has a clear obligation and we expect her to abide by its commitments, including lifting its ban on Cyprus' flagged ships and aircraft,'' said Krisztina Nagy, Rehn's spokeswoman, in reply to a CW question on Erdogan's repeated refusal to open Turkish ports to Cypriot traffic.

The EU's Rapporteur on Turkey, Dutch EuroMP Camiel Eurlings, was also adamant on Erdogan's rejection of Turkey's obligastions.

"Turkey cannot always walk away from what has been agreed and demanded formally by the EU Parliament. I think they (Ankara) must get some new, clear signals that there is also something like the credibility of the EU process,'' he stressed.

"You (Turkey) cannot sign a protocol, and then, say, 'I won't implement it, I won't even ratify it...' because then the credibility of the EU institutions are at stake,'' he said.

In a separate interview with The Cyprus Weekly, British EuroMP Charles Tannock, the vice-President of the EU Parliament's Human Rights Committee, warned that ``Turkey is playing a very hard game now and they are taking big risks....I don't have an answer concerning the Protocol on Cyprus' registered ships and aircraft. But I take the view that Turkey is going to push to the limits and it will soon find that the EU will not be as patient as it has been in the past."

"My advice (to Ankara) is to follow the line of the EU Parliament's latest resolution,'' was the reaction of the influential German EuroMP Has Gert Poettering who is the leader of the largest parliamentary group, the centre-right PPE, who is also due to take over the EU Parliament's presidency next year.

"Even if we cannot change realities from one day to another, we always express our position, and we use our possibilities to influence developments,'' he added in a clear warning to Turkey.

"It's very clear that there is an absence of political will by Turkey,'' said Mrs Laime Andrikiene, a EuroMP from Lithuania, who is a member of the Foreign Affairs and Budget Committees.

She dismissed a claim that Erdogan might face problems by nationalist populism "back home" if he implemented the EU protocol on Cyprus, "because if you really have political will, then, you shall find political means" to accomplish what must be done, she observed.


Austrian presidency warns Erdogan

In another important development, this week, EU Council's President in office, Austrian Minister Hans Winkler also gave a clear warning to Ankara it must meet its obligations on Cyprus.

Replying to a question in Parliament by Greek EuroMP Rodu Kratsa, he said: "The point is whether obligations are fulfilled, or not. These obligations must be fulfilled.

"The (EU) negotiations progress will depend very much to what extent these obligations are fulfilled, and not on this or that excuse. There is no doubt that if the Protocol is not implemented, this will have a detrimental effect on the (EU accession) negotiations".

Winkler also warned that Turkey will be reminded that ``it has certain duties and that it must comply with them."

He was replying to another question by another Greek EuroMP, Panayotis Beglitis, about both Erdogan's refusal to apply the EU Customs Union with Cyprus, and his recent threats of war against Greece if it used its right to extend its territorial waters according the International Law.

"These are short-term priorities which will come up during the coming year, and the EU Council is well aware of them," Winkler said.

``Since Turkey wants to join the EU, it has to share the values that we have so that any dispute has to be solved peacefully,'' Winkler added.



New Rights Commissioner

to review Turkey's failure

to implement Court decisions

TURKEY'S failure to implement judgements of the Human Rights Court of the Council of Europe may be reviewed as part of the general problem of such delays, Thomas Hammarberg, the new Human Rights Commissioner of the CoE said this week.

Asked by The Cyprus Weekly to comment on the problem faced by the Greek Cypriot refugees in such cases, he said: "Even if it is not appropriate for the Commissioner to deal with individual cases pending at EuroCourt, however, we could certainly do something about the general aspects of these Human Rights issues."

The new Commissioner indicated his clear intention of intervening on this issue.

"Now we must move from rhetoric to implementation. More than ever, the period of rhetoric is over. Now we are in the stage of implementation," he said.

Meanwhile, the new President of the EuroCourt's new Chamber 5, Danish EuroJudge Peer Lorentzen, told The Cyprus Weekly that "we are trying to expedite procedures" on pending cases, to make them faster, in a way which might deal also with the delays of Cyprus' Refugees cases.

"We are currently reviewing our mechanisms and procedures," Lorentzen said.

He said this also concerned the so-called "pilot case mechanism" on all pending Greek Cypriot refugees' cases that provoked a controversy.

"We are reviewing that right now,'' he said.
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Postby Agios Amvrosios » Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:24 am

A specialist division should be set up at the ECHR to streamline applications.
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Postby akiner » Fri Apr 07, 2006 8:35 pm

Auch look at that another warning from Eu, very SCARY indeed,
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Postby despo » Tue Jun 13, 2006 2:40 pm

I've noticed that Sotos posts all these "official" looking articles that are supposedly reliable accounts of what is going on in the EU, but he never actually cites his sources (obivously, it's the Cyprus Weekly, though, which is not known for its accurate or unbiased reporting). Moreover, if you look at the actual transcripts of debates in the EU, UN and ECHR and the decisions made by those bodies you tend to find that one of the main characteristics is total and absolute support for the Annan Plan by the EU, and that there is absolutely no support for GC anti-Annan arguments within the EU or UN. I can think of numerous statements made by people cited in this article, such as Nagy and Eurlings, which totally contradicted the statements of the Papadopoulos government.

Anyway, it's interesting to see how low rejectionist GC expectations have gone. From mistakenly believing that the EU was going to demand Turkey remove its troops from Cyprus to requesting that Turkey establish direct trade relations with the Greek Cypriots. Oh, those Turkish chick peas, won't it be great once they start landing in Limassol!
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Postby miltiades » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:01 pm

According to what you have stated so far , Despo , it was completely unnecessary to hold a referendum on the Annan plan , since the rejection of it , in a democratic environment , makes the majority who voted against the plan , in your eyes "REJECTIONISTS "Are we then to presume that in future elections , the outcome based on the fundamental principles of majority voting , should be disregarded as simply projectionist or classified as anything apart from "the majority has spoken.
You make statements such as "" look at the actual transcripts of debates in the EU, UN and ECHR and the decisions made by those bodies you tend to find that one of the main characteristics is total and absolute support for the Annan Plan by the EU, and that there is absolutely no support for GC anti-Annan ""
If you point us to which documents emanating from The EU and the UN , specifically support your statement , as I understood , the EU as well as the UN supported a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the Annan plan and the ensuing referendum results.
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Postby despo » Tue Jun 13, 2006 4:20 pm

Miltiades, yes, I do believe that the rejection of the UN settlement was wrong, especially in a referendum. One of the main reasons is because this ends the possibility of finding a settlement for very many years. Over two years have already gone by and there seems no chance of a settlement in the next two years either, and probably for the next two years after that.

The reason I use the term "rejectionists" is because, if we were to be honest about it, Greek Cypriots have always rejected every single proposal that has ever been put forward. GCs expect the UN, or whoever, to present proposals, but then they always reject them. I'm talking about since the 1950s, and every single UN proposal since 1974. The only proposal we accepted was the foundation of the RoC, and then we worked as hard as we could to dismantle it (do you agree with a TC Vice President and separate voting communities?).

I have, however, yet to hear from those GCs who always reject every single proposal exactly what they would like to see. Come on all you anti-Annan people, put forward proposals yourself, and then also explain how you are going to get them implemented and what support there is within the EU and UN for your proposals! We've been waiting for the past two years for Tassos Papadopoulos's suggestions for exactly how we are going to get a settlement and we still have no clues whatsoever as to how he is going to get this "better" settlement!

The point is, when you have a problem to solve and you say no to one set of proposals, you have to be able to make your own proposals too. What will the Greek Cypriots actually say yes to?

We've just been hiding behind Denktash for too many years, whereas the simple truth is that Greek Cypriots have no idea what kind of a political system they want on Cyprus or how to progress from the current stalemate.

miltiades wrote:
If you point us to which documents emanating from The EU and the UN , specifically support your statement , as I understood , the EU as well as the UN supported a solution of the Cyprus problem based on the Annan plan and the ensuing referendum results.


Sorry, I don't quite understand what you are saying here. Pes mou to sta ellinika, an thes. Are you suggesting the UN did not support its own plan? Or do you want me to present you with documents issued by various organs of the EU where it fully supported the Annan Plan? If so, please wait a couple of days as I have stuff on my old computer and should also be getting on with my work!
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