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    Foreign Minister Gul: 40,000 Armenians living in Istanbul

    02.03.2005 - 12:50 | Son Güncelleme:

    Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül told Editor in chief of Hurriyet Ertuğrul Özkok and Hurriyet Ankara representative Sedat Ergin that there are 40,000 of Turkey’s neighboring Armenians living in İstanbul. He also commented on other issues presently on the political agenda.

    In an interview Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül told Hürriyet, “In Istanbul alone there are 40 thousand Armenians working. The majority of these Armenians are believed to be working in technical jobs. According to established research done on civil society it appears that they have very good relations with the Turks. There is some distance between them and the Turkish Armenians.”

    When asked whether Washington had listened to Turkey on the subject of  Iraq, Gul replied, “I spoke of this 7-8 months ago, telling the Americans that by drawing attention to this subject they were forgetting the Turkish People in the process. I even said that they are hindering us from opening a second door with Iraq. If this warning had been taken seriously maybe we wouldn’t be at the point we are at today. The Americans didn't listen to us.”

    Gul also commented on the recent crack down by the prime minister on the misuse of authority.

    “The prime minister is personally addressing unlawful actions that have occurred within the party. As soon as he comes back from Africa it will be on the top of his agenda. We will see whether these problems arose from careless relations or whether they were organized.”

    Gul went on to confirm that the chief negotiator with the EU will definitely be a political person.

    “Our chief negotiator will first and foremost be a political person of some notoriety. He must be able to look at arising issues through a political lens. Furthermore it must be someone who will be able to say ‘no’ without hesitation. They will also have to have an economic background. One who knows the economy and it would also be to their advantage to have a working knowledge of the different sectors as well. They will also have to be intimately familiar with all the membership goals. But our work does not end with finding a lead negotiator. All of the ministers and the people who work within their bureaucracy are going to have to familiarize themselves with our membership goals. The fundamental process begins after this. Its going to be difficult, but we will handle it.”

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