ANKARA: French Left Seeks Armenian Condition

ZAMAN Online
04.08.2004 Thursday

French Left Seeks Armenian Condition

The French Socialist Party favors Turkey’s membership in the European
Union (EU) in general, but suggested on Wednesday that Turkey should
solve the Armenian issue in order to persuade the French public.

Socialist Party Foreign Affairs Secretary-General, Pierre Moscovici,
spoke about Turkey in a Paris meeting where he said that their Turkish
policy has not changed and that they want negotiations to start if
Turkey fulfills the Copenhagen criteria. However Moscovici, underlining
that the French public should be persuaded, defined three main problems
facing Turkey: securing secularism, the army’s role in politics and the
so-called Armenian genocide issue.

The French politician said that they are entertaining an idea by Turkish
Ambassador to Paris, Uluc Ozulker, to establish an independent
investigation committee into the Armenian genocide allegations.

A.A.’s false report creates a stir

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister, Michel Barnier, said that there is
no change in France’s policy on Turkey’s E.U. membership and said they
will wait for the European Council’s decision. Barnier, answering
questions at the parliament, said that the doors were opened to Turkey
in 1963 but said Turkey has not yet fulfilled all the requirements. The
French Minister’s words were misunderstood by Anadolu News Agency
(A.A.), and falsely reported to be, “we will refuse Turkey’s
membership,” causing quite a stir that reached many web site headlines.

A. Ihsan Aydin