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Media Watch 2005

11 February 2005
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 11 February 2005.
'Turkey hasn’t changed a bit'
"TURKISH Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s criticism of DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades comment that some Turkish troops should be removed from Cyprus showed that Turkish policy has not changed, the government said yesterday."

TURKISH Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul’s criticism of DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades comment that some Turkish troops should be removed from Cyprus showed that Turkish policy has not changed, the government said yesterday.

Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides was commenting on Gul’s statement on Wednesday that Anastassaides reference to the removal of troops from Cyprus was “ugly and inappropriate”.

Anastassiades, along with a delegation from DISY, was on the first day of a visit to Ankara at the request of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.

The visit was organised within the framework of the AKP’s cooperation with the European People’s Party, of which DISY is a member.

Anastassiades said in an interview with Turkish mainland newspaper Milliyet that he would ask Erdogan to remove at least some Turkish troops from Cyprus, and also advise the Turkish government on its relationship with its military.

Chrysostomides declined to comment on Anastassaides statement but said the Cyprus government’s official stance is that all Turkish troops should leave Cyprus.

“It’s a party visit,” he said. “I have no comment for the visit of Mr Anastassiades to Turkey but the statements of Mr Gul confirm that Turkish policy remains inalterable,” he said. The spokesman said as far as he was concerned Anastassiades was speaking on behalf of his party and that the views of the Cypriot people were represented by its government.

DIKO, the centre-right party of President Tassos Papadopoulos also issued a statement on the issue yesterday. It said that after hearing Gul’s comments, “perhaps the leadership of DISY can let go of whatever illusions it had, and finally understand Turkish policy and approaches and objectives”."