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Media Watch 2005

26 July 2005
Source: The Times
Author: Martin Packard
Comment: The following letter appeared in the Times of London on 26 July 2005.
Turkey's accession to the EU
"Sir, Whitehall’s over-ardent lobbying for Turkish assession to the EU has not only flown in the face of popular EU opinion but has almost certainly been counter-productive and done a disservice to Ankara. It has, not surprisingly, been widely seen as principally designed to further British interests: the blocking of any EU movement towards federalism and the maintenance of a British imperial presence in Cyprus."

"'Turkey's accession to the EU

Sir, Whitehall’s over-ardent lobbying for Turkish assession to the EU (report, July 19) has not only flown in the face of popular EU opinion but has almost certainly been counter-productive and done a disservice to Ankara. It has, not surprisingly, been widely seen as principally designed to further British interests: the blocking of any EU movement towards federalism and the maintenance of a British imperial presence in Cyprus.

British policies in the eastern Mediterranean, still based on a concept of divide and rule, have not only brought tragedy to Cyprus but also undermined opportunities for regional convergence, and thereby been hugely damaging to both Turkey and Greece.

I suggest that British interests will in fact best be served, and Turkey in the long run best helped, if Whitehall adopts both a more ethical approach to the area and recognises that immediate accession would not necessarily be in Turkey’s best interests.

MARTIN PACKARD
(Nato intelligence analyst, Mediterranean area, 1963-66)"