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Candar: Turkey has to take a more flexible position on Cyprus issue
Turkish Daily News ^ | 9 October 2002 | Murat Unlu

Posted on 10/09/2002 9:09:58 PM PDT by pkpjamestown

The question marks in Turkish foreign policy seem to continue in the near future, and the new government will face the Iraqi issue, Cyprus issue and Turkey's membership process just after it comes to power.

On the eve of elections we asked these lasting issues to the specialist and Yeni Safak's prominent columnist Cengiz Candar. Candar responded to our questions on the problems awaiting the new government which will be established after the November 3 elections.

Candar says the most urgent problem awaiting the new government after the elections is Cyprus adding whatever we say on the Cyprus and Turkey's EU relations, EU officials are establishing a contact between Cyprus and Turkey's EU membership.

According to Candar the most important issue is the Cyprus problem that the new government will face after the November 3 elections. "As you know the EU will decide on EU enlargement in the Copenhagen summit. Then they will decide on both Cyprus's membership and Turkey's membership. This decision will affect Turkish-EU relations and also the enlargement process directly."

"The most urgent one the Cyprus problem and in connection with Turkish-EU relations," said Candar and added it seems that the EU has not reached a decision on the enlargement process for the Copenhagen Summit up to now.

Candar pointing out the importance of a concrete will of the government regarding the Cyprus issue said, "A concrete will should be shown by the government on the Cyprus issue," and added: "Turkey has to take a flexible position. This is a problem which belongs to last century and we cannot solve the problem with the parameters of the last century. We have to approach this problem with new parameters for a solution."

Candar continued sharing his views on the international intervention on the Cyprus issue with us, "There is an activity for the solution of the problem but I think the United Nations even the U.S. should intervene and contribute to the solution of the problem. These interventions will contribute to the solution on the island. But also a flexible approach for Turkey is needed."

Responding to our question, "Do you think a new government can bring a new approach on the issue?", Candar said, "Yes it has to otherwise, there will be no solution on the island, I am emphasizing again we have to change our approach and take a flexible position."

Candar also shared his views with TDN on Turkey's EU process and said: "We don't want to relate Turkey's membership and Cyprus issue but the EU seems to have established a direct contact between these two issues. The implementation of the harmonization acts are also important, this will directly affect the membership process. But a concrete will is needed also in this issue."

Candar continued explaining his views on Turkey's Iraq policy: "It seems that an Iraqi operation will occur at the same time. Turkey should make its Iraq policy concrete. Turkey should say to the U.S. and international area what kind of Iraq it wants. It has to say what kind of situation in Iraq it does not want to see in Iraq after the Saddam regime. We have to have an Iraq policy, we haven't got any Iraq policy I think. We have to say to them we don't want a federal structure in Iraq. We have to explicitly determine our role in Iraq."

Responding to our question on the Turkomans, Candar criticized Turkey's Turkoman policy and said: "We have to say what we are demanding for the Kurds in the region. We are using the Turkomans for anti-Kurd policy this is false. We have to say explicitly that we are wanting cultural rights, schools, broadcasting in mother tongue for the Turkomans," and continued, "If a federal Iraq will occur after the Saddam regime the Turkomans should also take part among these federative structures. We are seeing them like a card which might be used against Kurds. Our new policy should contribute to a compromise in the region, only by this way we can have an influence on the Kurds in the region."

Responding to TDN's question, "Is it possible for a Kurdish state in the region." Candar said: "A Kurdish state is not possible in the region. The U.S, did not support the Kurds and even left them alone in 1991, against Saddam. This state is not feasible in the region. There are also Kurds in Syria, Iran and Turkey. These states of course will not give permission to the establishment of a state. I think the U.S. will not even attempt this, because this type of a state will be farfetched," and added, "I also think the U.S. attitude on an Iraqi operation is crucial, and it might pave the way to instability in the region."

Candar also commented on the possible performance of the political parties which might come to power after the elections, and said "the rhetoric of the government will be important after the elections. I think a coalition government which will be lead by Republican People's Party can solve the problems. And if Justice and Development Party will govern Turkey its success and solution of the problems depends on its rhetoric."

Candar also attracted attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and said that "this conflict may affect Turkey. Because Turkey has a cooperation with Israel which is continuing well, but Turkey has also important links with the Arabs, both coming from history and sourcing from regional problems."

TOPICS: Editorial; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: cyprus; eu; turkey
"A Kurdish state is not possible in the region. The US left the Kurds alone in 1991 against Saddam.This type of a state is not feasible in the region"

"Turkey has to take a flexible position. This is a problem which belongs to last century and we cannot solve the problem with the parameters of the last century. We have to approach this problem with new parameters for a solution."

1 posted on 10/09/2002 9:09:58 PM PDT by pkpjamestown
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2 posted on 10/09/2002 9:10:26 PM PDT by Anti-Bubba182
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