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Thursday, December 15, 2005

Surreal Events

Mr. Selcuk Gultasli from the Turkish Daily Zaman doesn’t hold back his displeasure at the “sequence of surreal events in Cyprus” which is what he titled his column today. Like so many other Turkish columnist, he starts off his column by reminding us of who it was that rejected the Annan plan … “We wrote hopeful stories after the Greek Cypriots said “no” to the Annan Plan." Mr. Selcuk Gultasli also quotes from the then-EU Commissioner for Enlargement Gunter Verheugen…“The Greek Cypriots cheated on us.” Perhaps Mr. Gultasli can tell us what Mr. Verheugen said about the elections in northern Cyprus and Kurdish rights in Turkey or did Mr. Gultasli not keep those quotes for his columns? Mr. Gultasli then compares The President of Cyprus to that of Austria’s Joerg Haider. Why all this rhetoric? Because The President urged the Cypriots to vote down the plan which would have happened at any event as the majority were against it. It was our democratic right to say we want better and that obstructionism will not lead to concessions in negotiation. Mr. Gultasli questions the EU’s reputation for…as he put it “rewarding” Cyprus and not isolating it and its President, Papadopoulos. He resents the fact that Cyprus is in the EU and as such, playing a role in Turkey’s accession course. Joining the EU was no reward for Cyprus…it earned it by closing all 30 chapters. If Mr. Gultasli is looking for a reward being handed out then he should look no further then the first sentence in his own column. The Turks rewarded with the Annan plan had many people taken aback at the surreal events in Cyprus.

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