ANKARA: Turkish FM: Turkey Is Knocking On EU’s Door

Turkish FM: Turkey Is Knocking On EU’s Door

Anadolu Agency
May 19 2004

BRUSSELS – Turkey was knocking on the door of the European Union (EU),
Turkish Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul said
early on Wednesday.

Gul, who is in Belgian capital Brussels to attend the meeting of
Turkey-EU Association Council, told reporters that he informed his
interlocutors about recent reform wave in Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Minister Gul said that he also told his interlocutors
that Turkey had adjusted with Copenhagen political criteria at
great extent.

Gul stated that Turkey was preparing those reform packages for its
own sake not for the EU.

Turkish Foreign Minister Gul recalled that he had earlier told his
interlocutors during the former Association Council meetings that
Turkey would not knock on EU`s door before it met the political

Gul noted that he had earlier said that “he could not say that Turkey
met the political criteria if he was to write a report on Turkey.“

Also, he had earlier noted that “Turkey would not knock on EU`s door,
being aware of its shortcomings but it would knock on EU`s door when
it met all the criteria“, Gul stated.

Gul said that he told his interlocutors during this Association
Council meeting that “Turkey was knocking on EU`s door.“

Turkey had still some problems stemming from implementation of the
reforms, Gul pointed out.

Gul noted that all those problems would be overcome and said, “we
won`t stop launching new initiatives saying we have fulfilled most
of criteria we have to do.“

He and his interlocutors also took up Cyprus issue during their
meetings, Gul stated.

Gul recalled the approach that “Cyprus is not a political criteria
for Turkey`s EU accession but is a political fact.“

“Our Cyprus policy has created sympathy and has been supported. This
will definitely be reflected on the progress report to be prepared
by the EU Commission,“ Gul said.

He explained Turkey`s Cyprus policies during his meetings and noted
that economic embargo on Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)
should be lifted without losing any time, Gul said.

Gul, who went to Belgium on Tuesday morning, held separate meetings
with EU Commissioner for enlargement Guenter Verheugen, EU foreign
policy chief Javier Solana and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
the same day.

Aliyev and Gul exchanged views about Armenia-Upper Karabakh and Cyprus
issues during their meeting. Gul thanked Aliyev for Azerbaijan`s
support to Turkish theses during the senior officials meeting of the
Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

Gul and Aliyev also took up starting flights between Azerbaijan and
Cyprus and lifting embargo imposed on TRNC.

Foreign Minister Gul will leave Belgium on Wednesday and go to
Russian capital Moscow to hold meetings on Middle East peace process
and Cyprus.