Opening the Line
As expected, Denktash was severely criticised for his stance at The Hague.1 But it was the Turkish Government that was facing the problems as a result of the Turkish Cypriot leader’s rejection of the referendum proposal. In a briefing just hours after the collapse of the talks, Jean-Christophe Filori, the Commission Spokesman for Enlargement, explained that Turkey would be in a very difficult situation after 1 May 2004. For a start, Ankara would be in the anomalous position of wanting to join a club without recognising one of its members. In fact, under these circumstances accession would be impossible as a failure to recognise a member of the EU would automatically mean that Turkey would be unable to meet the terms of the acquis communautaire, the EU’s body of laws. This point had also been made a few days earlier by Gunter Verheugen, the EU Enlargement Commissioner, during a speech to British parliamentarians.2 At the same time, there was also a severe problem insofar as Turkey would be considered to be in occupation of the territory of an EU member state.3 Thirdly, following their accession, the Greek Cypriots would have a veto over the start of membership talks between the European Union and Turkey. The enormity of the situation was confirmed a few days later by Prime Minister Simitis, who was now representing the European Union at the head of the rotating presidency, when he explained that without a solution Turkey could not expect to join the EU.4
KeywordsEurope Turkey Straw Iraq Concession
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