Statement By Ambassador Necati Utkan, Spokesman Of The Ministry Of Foreign Affairs, In Response To A Question March 30, 1998 (Unofficial Translation)

The EU is launching today (30 March) the accession process of the ten candidate countries and the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus, as provided for in the decisions taken at the Luxembourg European Council. The political map of Europe will assume a new appearance at the end of this process.

Our country which fulfils the conditions necessary for inclusion in this process on an equal footing with the other candidates, has been subjected to a discriminatory treatment in utter disregard of the pacta sunt servanda principle. The legal basis of the Association Agreement which constitutes also today the foundations of Turkey-EU relations has been ignored. Moreover, the EU has opted to overlook one of the most vivid proofs of Turkey’s eligibility for full membership, i.e. the fact that the Commission has prepared an Opinion when Turkey applied for full membership in 1987. The current approach of the EU is self-contradictory.

The EU has stated at the Luxembourg European Council that it accepted Turkey’s inclusion in the enlargement process. It is not possible to bring a rational explanation to why Turkey’s candidature can simply not be pronounced in spite of this statement and the above-mentioned legal facts. This very reason compels one to seek other, unlikely reasons behind the EU’s attitude.

It is the EU’s responsibility to rectify the erroneous decisions which it took at the Luxembourg European Council. The chance still exists to turn into reality the statements made by various EU officials that a mistake was made.

Until this mistake is rectified, Turkey will pursue its relations with the EU within the context of the Association Agreement. The responsibility here also belongs to the EU which has not even implemented its commitments under the Customs Union Decision and is thus in violation of its legal undertakings. The fate of the Communication recently submitted by the Commission to the Council will constitute a new test-case in the EU’s credibility in honouring its commitments.

It is our wish to see Turkey-EU relations return to their normal course. This is possible, however, only if the discrimination against Turkey is brought to an end and the principle of pacta sunt servanda is observed.