After all, who’s in charge here? From Reuters, with thanks to Anthony:
ANKARA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Turkey has bristled at a toughening of conditions for its bid to open European Union membership talks, including an explicit mention of torture, but Cyprus says the terms are not tough enough.
“It is the just expectation of the Turkish nation that the EU member countries decide to open negotiations in 2005 without delay or (fresh)
conditions, with the aim of Turkey’s membership of the Union,” the country’s political and military leaders said in a solemn joint statement on Tuesday 10 days before EU leaders decide.
It came after the latest draft of next week’s summit statement showed Ankara will have to prove it is implementing EU law rather than just
enacting it to progress towards membership.
The text circulated by the Dutch EU presidency also called on Turkey to settle disputes that could affect its accession bid through the
International Court of Justice if necessary.
And it stuck to a requirement that Turkey tacitly recognise Cyprus as one of the 10 new EU member states despite Ankara’s reluctance to
Nicosia demanded full recognition before talks start and Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said the EU “cannot be satisfied with
the situation that now exists” and urged Turkey to make a move towards recognising Cyprus before the summit.
With the cherished prize of a start date for negotiations within his grasp, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey had done all it could to ensure that EU leaders agree on December 17 to open talks, and its partners should now keep their word.
“Turkey has fulfilled all the political criteria,” he told a rare joint news conference with opposition leader Deniz Baykal, convened to show political consensus on the EU question.
Asked about the mention of the word torture in the new draft, Erdogan said curtly: “Our sensitivity on torture and similar issues is well
Why doesn’t somebody ask this dissembling scoundrel what his Minister of Justice, Cemil Cicek, meant when he said in Iran that Turkey “is ready to make use of Iran’s judicial experiences”?