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    Rehn: "Opening a new page in EU-Turkey talksis bound to good relations with Cyprus Republic

    Hürriyet Haber
    08 Mart 2005 - 16:25Son Güncelleme : 08 Mart 2005 - 16:25

    ''Opening a new page in EU-Turkey talks is bound to good relations with Cyprus republic,'' said Olli Rehn, the European Commissioner for enlargement. Taking the floor in a meeting organized by the Turkish Industrialists' & Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) in Turkish commercial hub of Istanbul on Tuesday, Rehn said, ''Great progress is recorded in development of Turkey-EU commercial and economic cooperation. However, there are promises which Turkish side did not keep.''

    Noting, ''these are unacceptable,'' Rehn said, ''there are issues which do not conform  to Customs Union, such as property rights in medicine and/or import licenses in telecommunication. Also meat imports (from the EU) has been stopped for a few years. It is surprising to see such things in a country which is about to start  entry talks with the EU.''

    Touching on EU financial assistance, Rehn said, ''the EU assistance is 500 million Euro. It will be increased in the following years following the trend of negotiations and it will be given to Turkey to support political and economic reforms.''

    Regarding Cyprus issue, Rehn asked for the restoration of good relations with Cyprus republic. ''I believe business world will  contribute positively regarding this issue. We can help to establish better relations between the two communities in the island'' he said.

    ''I hope disagreements regarding direct trade with northern Cyprus will be eliminated soon. A new momentum is necessary in the next few months to solve Cyprus problem completely. (EU) Commission supports talks to be carried out under the UN auspices. European Commission is ready to help to resume talks. This will be in the best interest of
    everybody,'' he added.

    Rehn stressed that there are conflicting views in European public opinion regarding Turkey's membership and said, ''according to recent surveys in EU countries, young generation is more open-minded towards accession of Turkey.''

    As regards brutal intervention of police in demonstrations in Istanbul which were held on the occasion of International Women's Day,Rehn said, ''I condemn the attitude of police.''

    Rehn also said, ''Many European channels showed the attitude of police during demonstrations in Istanbul and this did not contribute positively to Turkey's image.''

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