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Media Watch 2004

14 September 2004
Source: Independent
Author:
Comment: The following letter appeared in the Independent of London on 14 September 2004.
Divided island
"Turkey will never become an EU member as long as Turkish troops continue to divide Cyprus."

Sir: Adrian Hamilton, in his article about the prospects of Turkey joining the EU (9 September), quite rightly points out some of the obstacles placed in the path of Turkey by a number of existing member states. However, he fails to mention the one overwhelming reason why the membership of Turkey would be vetoed in current circumstances.

Having spent more than 30 years years visiting and writing about Cyprus, now a full EU member state, I do not believe any government of Cyprus could or would fail to veto the accession of Turkey as long as any Turkish troops remained on the island. It was because by saying "yes" in the referendum on the reunification of the island earlier this year, Greek Cypriots would have been voting for the legitimisation of the presence of those same Turkish troops who invaded and divided their island in 1974, that a very large majority of them voted "no", despite their sincere wish for a resolution of the division.

Turkey will never become an EU member as long as Turkish troops continue to divide Cyprus.

Dr ROGER R DAWSON"