Cyprus aims to link Turkey's EU course with human rights
Nicosia, Dec 10 (CNA) - The aim of the Republic of Cyprus at the European Council later this month is to directly link Turkey's EU accession course with the full respect of human rights, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said today.
In statements on the occasion of today's 56th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Chrysostomides said that in the event Ankara receives a date to commence EU accession negotiations, the Cyprus government wants Turkey to be under constant observation by all 25 EU members regarding the protection and respect of human rights, adding that it was not possible for Cyprus to be excluded from the protection of human rights.
Chrysostomides pointed out that Cyprus ''suffered harsh violations of human rights by the occupation force, which affect all Cypriot people, especially the refugees, the relatives of missing persons, and those enclaved'' in the areas under Turkish occupation since the 1974 invasion of the island.
He noted that European Court of Human Rights rulings verify these violations and that the October 6 European Commission report on Turkey also makes reference to violations of rights to property, fundamental issues concerning the enclaved, the right to education and others.
''It is of special importance to us, now and until the December 17 summit, to link Turkey's EU course with the full respect of human rights. This is done to a great extent in the draft conclusions and is a central point, which is of great interest to the Republic of Cyprus,'' he said.
The Spokesman noted that ''one of our aims throughout the accession negotiations, if Turkey receives a date to begin accession negotiations, is for her to be under continuous observation for the protection and respect of human rights by all 25 EU member states, in the context of the Intergovernmental Conference, which will be the framework of negotiating Turkey's accession course.''
Chrysostomides added that ''this is of special importance to us because the protection of human rights is a universal value and violations are not accepted anywhere in the world, and thus it is not possible for Cyprus to be excluded from this global benefit.''
''This it is one of our aims on December 17 to link Turkey's accession course with the full respect of human rights,'' he concluded.