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OpinionsOpinion by Fikret Bilal

“Through EU Commissioner for Enlargement Guenter Verheugen, the European Union pushed a solution to the Cyprus issue like so: ‘We did this deliberately; this is a political message.’ Now even if Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul say, ‘This isn’t a condition and isn’t among the Copenhagen criteria,’ it’s still a political condition.

Actually the government accepted it in advance as before the EU officially brought the Cyprus issue to the agenda, Erdogan and Gul accepted this condition and supported the beginning of an all-out campaign against Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Rauf Denktas. During this process, the government signalled along these lines: ‘Denktas is the obstacle to a solution, but let us deal with him.’

Now Verheugen has the same style, that is, he’s saying, ‘We believe the problem will be solved in the period following December’s elections.’ These words also mean that the EU is telling the government to solve the problem. How will they do it? Opposition parties will likely come to power in the Dec. 14 TRNC elections, and then yank away Denktas’s authority as negotiator, appoint a new one, and the new government and negotiator will then do what the EU and Greek Cyprus expects, thus solving the problem! The EU put pressure on our government by making the Cyprus condition official. It’s saying, ‘You told us that you could solve it, and now you can.’ If you treat Denktas firmly and encourage the EU and the Greek Cypriot administration, of course the EU would advance such a condition, and so it has. The government was thinking that the EU wouldn’t stipulate a Cyprus condition due to the government’s anti-Denktas policy to date. However, just the opposite occurred. The EU didn’t miss an opportunity presented by the government. From now on it will be difficult for the government to act like Denktas’s supporter. In addition, those who supported the government’s anti-Denktas policies are somehow now starting to blather about ‘Denktas’s importance,’ which is funny. The TRNC isn’t Turkey’s burden, but rather its strength in its EU membership bid.”

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