Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political human rights organisation campaigning for a reunited Cyprus.
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24 September 2007
Gul's call for EU to ignore Cyprus issue is arrogance
"The call by Turkey's new president to separate the Cyprus issue from Turkey's drive to be admitted to the European Union is arrogance of the first order.

London--"The call by Turkey's new president to separate the Cyprus issue from Turkey's drive to be admitted to the European Union is arrogance of the first order," said Theo Theodorou, spokesman for Lobby for Cyprus.

President Abdullah Gul, speaking before the "parliament" of the occupied north of Cyprus, on September 19--the traditional first overseas visit of a Turkish president--said "It is not right to link the Cyprus problem with Turkey's EU membership."

"What he conveniently neglected to say," Theodorou said, "is that Turkey's membership in the EU is having problems because Turkey refuses to recognise the Republic of Cyprus and refuses to implement the provisions of the Ankara Protocol, which require Turkey to open its seaports and airports to Cypriot ships and airplanes, amongst other things. How Turkey expects to join an organisation one of whose members it refuses to recognise, was also not mentioned by the Turkish President."

Turkish officials have reiterated they will not implement the 2005 agreement to open Turkish ports and airports to Cyprus until the EU lifts the trade embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community. "No nation, except Turkey, recognises the illegal state in the occupied north, and the nations of the world are not permitted to trade with it," Theodorou said.

"However, the people living in the occupied north do not feel isolated," Theodorou continued, "because they have been crossing into the Republic to work, and they have received Passports and identity papers that permit them to travel throughout Europe, thus enjoying the same benefits as the citizens of the Republic."

By insisting on trade and travel, Turkey hopes to give legitimacy to the illegal northern area, Theodorou indicated.

"If Turkey wants an easy solution to the Cyprus problem and accession into the EU," Theodorou said, "all it has to do is remove its 40,000-man army from the north, take with it the 160,000 Anatolian colonists imported into the north to change its demographics, and permit the return of all refugees to their homes."

Lobby for Cyprus is a non-party-political organisation dedicated to the reunification of the island of Cyprus, divided since the illegal 1974 invasion by Turkey.