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    Strong division within Turkish opposition parties regarding EU developments

    Hürriyet Haber
    05.10.2005 - 00:00 | Son Güncelleme:

    Political parties in opposition to the ruling Justice and Development (AKP) Party are divided down the middle in terms of their reaction to Monday's start-up of EU accession talks for Turkey. Decidedly not in favor of the recent developments are National Movement (MHP) Party and Deniz Baykal's Republican People's (CHP) Party. In support of PM Erdogan's moves towards getting Turkey closer to the EU are the Motherland Party (ANAP) and the True Path Party (DYP). Following is a brief look at what the leaders of the opposition parties are saying in the wake of October 3: Those who do not support accession talks MHP co-chairman Murat Sevkatli has said "Developments which go against the interest of Turkey continue with the EU process." Sevkatli, who says that the start-up of talks doesn't change anything, went on: "As far as we are concerned, the EU will never completely close its doors to Turkey. But the steps leading up and through its doors will never end when it comes to Turkey. These talks will never end. Every opportunity will be used to get Turkey to give up more. Now they want us to officially recognize Greek run Cyprus. We do not want this kind of membership. We are on the side of an honorable membership."  Deniz Baykal, leader of the main opposition party, CHP, has been consistent with his criticism of PM Erdogan's moves regarding the EU. Baykal has insisted that whether or not the framework documents specified it, Turkey has implicitly accepted a "special status" with the EU, as well as agreeing to recognize the Greek run Cypriot authority. Baykal said: "This framework document is full of booby traps...these include the official recognition of Kurdish and Alevi (Shiite) populations as minorities, the opening of the monastery on Heybeliada, and the diversion of water from the Tigres and the Euphrates."  Those who support accession talks Leader of the Anavatan or Motherland Party, Erkan Mumcu, has extended his congratulations to the AKP Party for its work on the EU accession talks. Said Mumcu: "It is a day to be optimistic. But with this optimism, we must approach the road before us with patience and calm, and we need very careful analyses of the situation....This road will last for more than 10 years. We will shoulder the responsibilities which come to us."  True Path Party leader Mehmet Agar has said that the picture which has emerged is a great success for the Turkish Republic, but reserved some criticism for the controversial framework documents: "Despite all the barriers which are brought out against it, Turkey will continue on this road. I am worried that there will be new crises with the EU during the talks. The framework documents have brought Turkey backward from where it stood on December 17...."
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