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    Turkish PM says Turkey has not decelerated on road to EU

    Hürriyet Haber
    10 Mart 2005 - 11:08Son Güncelleme : 10 Mart 2005 - 11:08

    Turkey has not slowed down its efforts on its road to the European Union (EU), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said early on Thursday. Appearing on a live TV program on a private channel, namely TGRT Haber, Erdogan said, ''it is not necessary to appoint a chief negotiator at the moment since he or she will start his/her mission on October 3rd. But, of course we won't keep secret his/her name till October 3rd.''

    CYPRUS

    Answering a question on Cyprus problem, Erdogan said, ''TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus), which has been shown as the 'defendant party', gave an answer to the world on April 24th (by saying 'yes'. Last year in which both parties in Cyprus voted a UN plan aiming to reunify the island). I said, 'I favor peace in the island, and end this problem.' But, the south (the Greek Cypriot administration) said, 'we don't want peace and don't accept UN plan'. Despite (this negative answer) their stance was appreciated by the EU.''

    Erdogan stressed that OIC's (Organization of the Islamic Conference) accepting TRNC as an observer member under the name of  ''Turkish Cypriot State'' was a very significant progress.  

    THIS IS NOT RECOGNITION

    Responding to claims that ''Turkey has recognized south Cyprus'',(within the framework of Ankara Agreement) Erdogan said, ''we accepted the 19th paragraph (Customs Union), but we add our own objection under this paragraph. We said, 'this is not a recognition'.
     
    And, Dutch PM Balkanende (who was then the president of the EU), British PM Blair, French President Jacques Chirac and German PM Gerhard Schroeder told the international media that this is not a general recognition.''
      
    DEMONSTRATIONS TO MARK INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY

    Referring to the demonstration staged in Istanbul last Sunday (March 6th) to mark the International Women's Day, Erdogan said, ''all television channels criticized the attitude of the police regarding this demonstration. But, nobody asked whether March 6th or 8th was the International Women's Day. I consider it as a provocation. On the other hand, I don't think it is a humane behavior to hit a woman who falls down.''
      
    NO EARLY ELECTIONS

    Answering another question, Erdogan said that his government has no intention whatsoever to hold an early election.

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