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AHI Releases Fourth Update On Turkey's Compliance With EU Accession Conditions
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE CONTACT: CHRYSOULA ECONOMOPOULOS
July 25, 2001 No. 40/01 (202) 785-8430

AHI Releases Fourth Update On Turkey's Compliance With EU Accession Conditions

The American Hellenic Institute's 4th update on Turkey's compliance with the three conditions for accession negotiations that were set forth by the European Union at the December 11, 1999 Helsinki Summit is attached. The 4th update covers the period February 1, 2001 to June 30, 2001. The three conditions are:

  1. resolution of "outstanding border disputes" with Greece, or, failing this, referral "within a reasonable time" to the International Court of Justice (ICJ);
  2. EU accession negotiations with Cyprus will continue and a settlement of the Cyprus problem will not be a condition for Cyprus' membership; and
  3. Turkey would be subject to the full political and economic criteria established by the 1993 Copenhagen Council for all candidate states.

The AHI notes with concern that Turkey's efforts during this period for each of the three conditions were negative. With respect to the first EU pre-condition concerning Turkey's unilateral territorial claims in the Aegean, the AHI report notes that Turkey has steadily pursued its expansionist policy and has continued to challenge sovereign Greek territory.

With respect to Cyprus, the intransigence of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots has intensified during this period. Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash continues his refusal to engage in UN and G8 sponsored proximity talks. Turkish Foreign Minister Ismael Cem has seriously poisoned the atmosphere by threatening that the Turkish reaction to Cyprus' EU membership "would have no limits." The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) delivered its judgment on May 10, 2001 in the case ofCyprus v. Turkey. The ECHR found that Turkey violated nearly every article of the European Convention of Human Rights, and held Turkey directly responsible because of its ongoing occupation of the island.

Regarding compliance with the 1993 Copenhagen Criteria, the AHI notes that Turkey's compliance has been abysmal. Among other things, the Turkish government recently banned the Islamist Virtue Party, jailed and tortured 28 Kurdish children who shouted "Damn Turkey," and continued its violent crackdown on non-violent political prisoners who are fasting for humane prison conditions. A recent EU statement condemned Turkey's treatment of these political prisoners, noting that, "Every further death due to the hunger strikes would increase the concern and horror felt by the European Parliament and public." The AHI believes that a democratic and humane Turkey is in the best interests of the U.S., Turkey, Greece, Cyprus and, most of all, the Turkish people.

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For additional information, please contact Chrysoula Economopoulos at (202) 785-8430 or [email protected], and visit our Web site athttp://www.ahiworld.org.