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    Erdogan in NYC: Cyprus is a dramatic story

    Hürriyet Haber
    14 Eylül 2005 - 00:00Son Güncelleme : 14 Eylül 2005 - 00:01

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in New York for a United Nations summit, has referred to the Cyprus situation as a "dramatic story." Speaking at a panel entitled "Turkish Foreign Policy in the 21st Century: A Stabilizing Force Aiming at Global Participation," PM Erdogan used the first part of his speech to relay condolences from Turkey to those Americans affected by Hurricane Katrina. Touching on Cyprus, Erdogan said "The passage of years with no solution is due to the Greek authority, and now that EU membership has been awarded to them, the situation is even more intractable." PM Erdogan also noted the good relations that have developed between Turkey and Greece in the last years, noting that the current tensions over Cyprus may be helped in general by the presence of a stronger and more creative friendship between the two countries.  "Cyprus is a dramatic story" Briefly, PM Erdogan also said: "However, Cyprus is a dramatic story. The Greek authority, rather than participating in finding a solution, directed the people to vote no on a referendum. Now that they have been awarded with EU membership, the problem has become even more intractable. The whole world would like to see a fair solution to the problem. The Greek Cypriot policies will in the end have to come face to face with the strong desire and realities of the rest of the world I believe."  "It was wrong to accept Southern Cyprus into the EU"“The Southern Cyprus situation is ugly. It was wrong to accept it into the EU. It was made clear, while it was accepted as a member, that as a nation it had not fulfilled the Copenhagen Criteria."  Accession talks The PM, in speaking about the October 3 EU accession talks for Turkey, noted that it was an end point, or a beginning of an end point, to a process which had been begun in 1963.  Erdogan continued: "Which is why we then ask the EU countries: If you were always going to approach Turkey so negatively, why then did you accept Turkey into the Customs Union in 1996? Why did you accept Turkey as a candidate country in Helsinki? Why did you tell Turkey in 2002 at the Copenhagen Summit that 'as long as you are not late bringing these political criteria into order, we will begin talks'?" KirkukIn speaking about Iraq and Kirkuk, the PM asserted that an Iraqi policy of democracy as well as a united land and people must be pursued. Noting that Kirkuk was "a sensitive point in terms of the future of Iraq," Erdogan said that "for a small section of the collective mosaic of Kirkuk to try and claim rights to the city" (referring to the Kurds in Kirkuk) was something that the Turkmen living there would not welcome. Erdogan also noted that tension arising out of the Kirkuk region would endanger the peace not only of that immediate area, but of a much wider regional realm. 
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