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Press Release Regarding the Turkish Views on the EU Membership of Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus. (Unofficial Translation) November 11, 1998

At its Brussels meeting on 9-10 November 1998, the EU General Affairs Council has launched substantive negotiations on full membership with the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus.

Despite the fact that on numerous occasions we have stated our views over the EU membership of the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus, it has been deemed useful once again to put on record our position on this issue.

- The Greek Cypriot administration's membership application to the EU, which has been made on behalf of whole of Cyprus, constitutes a violation of international law. The Greek Cypriot side, by unilaterally amending the constitution and by ousting the Turkish Cypriot side from the joint administration and parliament by force of arms in 1963, has brought about the destruction of the 1960 partnership Republic of Cyprus. Since then, a government competent to act on behalf of both peoples in Cyprus and to take decisions on the future of the whole of the island has not existed. The Greek Cypriot administration represents solely the Greek Cypriot community living in the south. In exercise of its free will, the Turkish Cypriot people has set up its own administration by establishing the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Therefore, the delegation which the EU will conduct full membership negotiations will be a Greek Cypriot delegation, but not a delegation representative of the whole of Cyprus and the end result of these negotiations will in no way be binding upon the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

- The provisions of the Zurich and London Agreements of 1959 and the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960 stipulate that Cyprus cannot join international organizations or political and economic unions of which both Turkey and Greece are not members. These provisions were incorporated into the said Agreements in order to secure a balance between the two motherlands, namely Turkey and Greece, with regard to their rights and obligations over Cyprus.

- Since its very beginning, on the basis of the above-referred legal considerations, both Turkey and the TRNC have objected to the membership application of the Greek Cypriot side. They have made clear that the advancement of the Greek Cypriot application would disrupt the basic parameters of the negotiating process in Cyprus, particularly the principle of equality of the parties; lead to the perpetuation of division between the two sides; escalate tensions on the island and leave no option to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus other than to realize an integration process with Turkey similar to the one that would take place between the Greek Cypriot administration and Greece through EU membership.

- Our warnings have been unheeded by member states of the EU. The EU which has put into effect a policy on Cyprus dictated by Greece, has taken a decision in Luxembourg to commence accession negotitations with the Greek Cypriot administration, and has stated that a political settlement should be compatible with the EU acquis communitaire.

- Developments that have taken place during the last year have justified the concerns of Turkey and the TRNC. It is ironic that the Greek Cypriot side which regards the opening of full membership negotiations as a green light in the realization of its aspirations to convert Cyprus to a Greek island, could state that only an autonomous status should be granted to the Turkish Cypriot people. Furthermore, by constructing military bases for the use of Greece and by attempting to deploy S-300 missiles, the Greek Cypriot administration recklessly raises tensions in the military field.

- It has been observed that certain EU countries have started to perceive the problems that might arise if the Greek Cypriot side becomes a member prior to a settlement in Cyprus. In this connection, the joint statement issued by France, Germany, Netherlands and Italy during the General Affairs Council has been noted.

- In their joint declarations adopted at highest levels, Turkey and the TRNC have specified the course of action they will pursue in the face of the progress registered in the membership process of the Greek Cypriot administration of Southern Cyprus. In this framework, both countries have declared that an integration process, similar to the one that would be realized between the Greek Cypriot side and Greece through EU will be put into effect between Turkey and the TRNC.

Turkey and the TRNC are determined to pursue this policy.