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Press Release Regarding The Document Distributed By Greece During The EU Ministerial Council Meeting October 28, 1998 (Unofficial Translation)

It has come to our attention that, during the recent EU Ministerial Council meeting in Brussels, the Greek delegation distributed to the members of the press and other delegations a document containing inappropriate and unfounded allegations on the situation of human rights in Turkey, the Turkish-Greek problems and the Cyprus issue. The document, titled as "Relations between the EU and Turkey" is yet another proof for the hostile policy of defamation conducted by Greece in its relations with Turkey. This document is reminiscent of the similar papers distributed by Greece on 27 April 1998 during another EU Ministerial Council Meeting which also included distorted facts regarding Turkey. We condemn this immoral act of Greece.

Greece, instead of demonstrating its will and desire for the resolution of bilateral problems and for improving the relations with Turkey, continues its attempts insistingly to undermine the relations between Turkey and the European Union and to leave those problems, the existence of which it even denies, unresolved, by escalating tension in bilateral relations and flaming hostility through negative propaganda activities, in all fields including those issues which are not relevant in the context of Turkish-Greek relations.

The objective of Greece is crystal clear. Greece tries to prevent rapprochement between Turkey and the European Union, by employing tactics which have no place in relations between the civilized countries and ignoring the well-established diplomatic traditions .

What is expected from Greece that constantly disseminates baseless allegations about Turkey, is to stop providing support to terrorist organizations as it was also repeatedly reported by international press.

The human rights record of Greece is not satisfactory at all either.It has been ascertained by several international organizations that Greece has practiced ethnic discrimination against minorities living on its territory, introduced restrictions to the freedom of speech and assembly, and in particular practiced severe human rights violations vis a vis the Turkish minority in the Western Thrace.

It is a fact which cannot be hidden any more that Greece is the party which obstructs the improvement of the Turkish-Greek relations . Turkey has done all what is expected from it by introducing several proposals and overtures in order to resolve the existing disputes in this relationship. Greece, however, persistently avoids entering into a dialogue for the settlement of these problems and even denies the existence of several of them. Such an approach of Greece, which does not conform with the standards of good neigbourliness and being a serious state, is well-known by all other EU countries, as well.

In the document circulated during the afore-mentioned meeting,the Greek delegation criticizes Turkey for the Cyprus issue. While doing this, however, they seem to have forgotten the destructive role and the heavy responsibility of their own country in Cyprus. They do not want to remember that Greece provided terrorist Grivas' EOKA organization with arms; that the Turkish Cypriot people were massacred by these arms; that the ambition of the annexation of Cyprus led Greece to the edge of a coup attempt in the Island in 1974; that even Makarios accused this country of harbouring designs of occupation before the UN Security Council. International community knows not only these realities but also the fact that it is actually Greece which escalates tension in the Island by deploying heavy armaments in Cyprus within the framework of the Greek/Greek Cypriot Common Defense Doctrine, by attempting to deploy S-300 missiles there; by establishing air and naval bases in Southern Cyprus and applying offensive scenarios in the joint military exercises.

Greece is the perpetrator of the Cyprus problem. Greece has so far not made even a smallest constructive contribution for the lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, on the contrary, it did not hesitate to waste all opportunities which came about at the UN sponsored negotiation process.

We advise Greece to show the necessary will and courage to negotiate these problems with us, as expected from a civilized and responsible state, instead of engaging in petty tricks. Turkey deems it necessary that common sense should at once prevail over the Greek Government and expect that this country changes its mentality regarding its relations with Turkey.