Euro Parliamentarian warns Turkey over Cyprus
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 26 (CNA) -- Jacques Poos, rapporteur of the European Parliament for Cyprus, has said that Turkey should not be given the green light to begin accession negotiations with the European Union unless it takes positive steps towards a political settlement in Cyprus.
A press release by the parliamentary group of PASOK (Greek Socialist Party) at the European Parliament said Poos, who was speaking to Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot journalists visiting Brussels, expressed fears that the role of the military in Turkey could be strengthened following last week's terrorist attacks.
This, he pointed out, is expected to increase the influence of the military in Turkish political life as well as the influence of all those who believe Turkey is at risk from the implementation of the acquis communautaire in the country.
The EU has said it will review progress in Turkey towards harmonisation with the acquis communautaire before it decides in December 2004 to start or not membership talks with Ankara.
Replying to questions, Poos said the "green line", dividing Cyprus' government controlled areas from the Turkish occupied part of the island, would become a temporary border for the EU as far as facilitating the movement of persons and goods is concerned.
Leopold Maurer, EU Commission official responsible for Cyprus, said the entire island of Cyprus will join in May next year but the implementation of the acquis communautaire will be suspended in the occupied part of the country.
Maurer allayed fears that the Turkish Cypriots might become second class citizens, stressing that the Commission considers all Cypriot citizens as equals.
Greek Euro MP Mirsini Zorpa, at whose invitation the Cypriot journalists are in Brussels, has warned that a new European dividing wall will be erected to divide the two communities in Cyprus unless there is some change in next month's ''parliamentary elections'' in the occupied areas.
She said Turkey will pay the price of its interference in the ''electoral list'' in the Turkish Cypriot community at the end of 2004 when the EU will decide on whether it will begin accession negotiations with Ankara.
''The European Parliament will continue to support active citizens in Cyprus who work for peaceful coexistence and a just solution. At present our attention is turned to the December elections and we are monitoring developments in occupied Cyprus,'' she said.