The EU talks begin on October 3. Despite all the speculation, yes, they are starting. But Cyprus sits there in the middle of everything like a huge barrier. The last statement from the EU on the Cyprus issue makes everything clear:
"You need to recognize Cyprus officially during the accession talks. During the talks you also need to open your ports and airports to Greek goods."
For such an amendment to have been added to the framework document is a real success for the Greeks. Because this becomes not just the view of the Greeks then, but of the official EU delegation.
For Austria though, this is not enough. It is insisting on an amendment which says "Full membership may not be the result of these meetings."
This is as much as we know. There have been official statements to this effect. Now we enter into the arena of unknown, secret manuevers. The meetings between Turkey and the EU have been divided into exactly 33 different sections. Agriculture, education, environment, industry, culture, citification, inflation, budget, transportation, communication, tourism, local government, and anything else you can even think of in terms of basic sectors and organizations. All of these will be examined one by one. It is a fine toothed comb search on the part of the EU through Turkey's insides and outsides. After this search is over, and following a possible general acceptance on the part of the EU, the decision would then have to pass through the parliaments of all the EU countries one by one.
On October 3, the education and culture part of the fine toothed comb search begins. Then we move on to science and technology. And then, the critical moment: "Recognize the Greeks, open your ports and airports to them...." This is the third lesson. Whatever is being readied in Brussels, what it is that we come up against in this third lesson? The free passage of goods and services! Every country that is a member of the EU has to open their ports up to the others. If we want to continue with our talks, we have to do this. Otherwise, it's a stop! Turkey has no other choice if it wants to become an EU member.
Which is why the protests against the framework documents by FM Abdullah Gul and other administration authorities carry no weight. The only practical solution is to work directly with the Greeks.