Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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Letters

To: Olli Rehn, Commissioner for EU enlargement.
23 December 2008
EU Commission report on Turkey

Dear Commissioner Rehn

 

In writing these comments and observations about the recent report of your Commission regarding Turkey, Lobby for Cyprus respectfully requests the opportunity for a meeting with you and those of your staff who have a direct role in matters concerning Cyprus and Turkey.

 

Quite frankly, since the Commission’s November 7 report, we have seen no movement from Turkey towards a final and just settlement of the problem of a divided Cyprus. Nor, quite frankly, did we expect any movement. It is not in Turkey’s nature to move from an entrenched position because Turkey fully expects that others will move from theirs. History has taught us how Turkey approaches those it perceives as weaker than it, and the past 34 years of negotiating with Turkey has shown that it is the Republic of Cyprus that has made every advance, every concession, every movement towards a solution.

 

In your Commission’s report, there is a statement regarding “relevant UN Security Council resolutions.” Permit us to comment that there are 24 such Security Council resolutions which Turkey has ignored – all relating in one way or other to its illegal occupation of 37 percent of the north of the island. Surely, we suggest, the Commission’s report should have noted that fact and urged Turkey to begin to conduct itself according to the “rule of law” also requested of Turkey in the report.

 

Your report also makes reference to the Turkish-created “Compensation Committee.” With respect, the fact of the existence of the Compensation Committee – whether or not it is biased toward Turkey (which it is), whether or not it is fair to those Cypriots who have lost their properties (which it is not), whether or not, in fact, it is legitimate (which it is not) –

is not the Commission’s jurisdiction and therefore its comments and references are unnecessary.

 

Need we remind you and the Commission and the entire European Union that Turkey is still in defiance of the Ankara Protocol and refuses to not only recognise the existence of the Republic of Cyprus but also refuses to permit its ports and airports access to Cypriot ships and aircraft. Turkey even stops other ships and aircraft from using its facilities should they have had a prior stopover in the Republic of Cyprus. Are these the actions of a credible law abiding state bidding to join the EU?

 

Permit us therefore to ask how an “Enlargement Commission” can ignore that fact and not make Turkey’s compliance the first order of the day?

 

It is not our intention to make this a long letter, because we hope for the requested meeting, but permit us to say that the simple solution to the “Cyprus problem” is for Turkey to remove its 43,000-man army of occupation (are you aware that number is larger than the American army in Afghanistan which begs the question; “Who is the enemy in Cyprus?”), for the repatriation of the 160,000 Anatolian colonists who have been imported to change the demographics of the north (and which is in direct contravention of Geneva Accords, amongst other international legal obligations), and for all refugees to return to their homes.