- Title: TURKEY: TURKEY REACTS TO EU PROPOSAL SETTING TERMS FOR STARTING MEMBERSHIP TALKS
- Date: 17th December 2004
- Summary: (U3) ISTANBUL, TURKEY (DECEMBER 17, 2004) (REUTERS) 1. LV/CU/SV VARIOUS OF STOCK EXCHANGE WITH SHARE PRICES ON BOARD (6 SHOTS) 0.40 2. SV/CU MONEY EXCHANGE OFFICE (2 SHOTS) 0.58 3. CU EURO'S BEING COUNTED 1.00 4. SV/CU MAN CHANGES MONEY (3 SHOTS) 1.19 5. SLV NEWSPAPER STAND 1.25 6. CU NEWSPAPER STAND SHOWING HURRIYET NEWSPAPER HEADLINE "NEW LIFE" 1.31 7. CU NEWSPAPER MILLIYET HEADLINE "CONDITIONAL DATE, SEPTEMBER 3, 2005" (2 SHOTS) 1.42 8. CU NEWSPAPER SABAH HEADLINE "GENTLEMEN!" 1.53 9. LAS MAN READING NEWSPAPER 1.58 10. SLV PEOPLE IN STREET (2 SHOTS) 2.13 11. MCU (Turkish) MAN SAYING: "We will definitely be given a date, there is no problem with that, but we will never get in there (the European Union) this issue goes on like this for many years." 2.20 12. MCU (Turkish) MAN SAYING: "Turkey must recognise Cyprus, it is really an important issue." 2.25 13. SLV PEOPLE ON STREET 2.30 Initials Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
- Embargoed: 1st January 2005 12:00
- Location: ISTANBUL, TURKEY
- Country: Turkey
- Reuters ID: LVA9CIRUN7BBHTJIC96WPTRZP4HT
- Story Text: Turkey reacts to EU proposal setting terms for
starting membership talks.
The European Union and Turkey were locked in
last-minute wrangling over Cyprus on Friday (December 17),
but after a delay for bilateral talks with Ankara the EU
resumed its landmark summit which has set terms for
starting membership talks with Turkey.
The 25 EU leaders agreed on Thursday (December 16) on a
historic offer to open accession negotiations on October 3,
2005, but insisted Turkey, a key NATO ally, must move
towards normalising relations with Cyprus by then, an
acutely sensitive point for Ankara.
Turkey has been knocking on Europe's door for 41 years
but it may have no choice but to walk away if the EU
continues to insist that Ankara recognise Cyprus before
entry talks can begin, political analysts said on Friday.
Turkish markets sagged on Friday as investors waited
tensely to see whether Turkey would swallow the tough
conditions and accept the offer.
The main ISE National-100 share index, which closed at
the latest of its successive highs on Thursday, was down
1.55 percent to 23,563.86 points at 0850 GMT. The market
earlier went as much as 3 percent lower in pre-opening
The lira was trading at 1,422,000 to the dollar
compared to a previous close of 1,403,500. Yields on new
benchmark July 5, 2006, bonds rose to 22.92 percent against
Thursday's close of 22.36 percent.
Turkish markets have climbed fairly steadily in recent
weeks on optimism that Turkey would be the next country to
step onto the EU accession ladder, and some analysts have
warned of a crunch if Ankara decides to reject the EU
In a draft text agreed at their summit overnight, the
25 European Union leaders proposed opening accession talks
with Ankara on Oct. 3, 2005, on condition that it sign an
accord granting Cyprus de facto recognition before that
A Turkish official said Turkey was "disappointed" and
that Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan would have difficulty persuading
the Turkish public that recognising the
internationally accepted Greek Cypriot side was necessary.
Friday morning headlines of Turkish national newspapers
were locked on the summit.
The Hurriyet newspaper said Turkey's foreign ministry
team counselled against accepting the EU's conditions for
The Milliyet newspaper said Italian Prime Minister
Silvio Berlusconi quotes Erdogan as saying he needs more
time over Cyprus. Berlusconi says Austria and France were
more insistent than Greece that Turkey recognise Cyprus as
part of the deal allowing it to start talks.
Sabah newspaper inserted a picture of Kemal Ataturk,
founder of the Turkish republic, into the modern setting of
a Council of Europe session and says the logic of Turkish
history has been leading to this point where Turkey looks
set to start EU talks.
Turkey's supporters say bringing into the EU the vast,
mainly agrarian country on the cusp of Europe and the
Middle East, viewed by Washington and others as a key
Western ally, would spread stability and security, and
promote dialogue with the Islamic world by taking in a
vibrant Muslim democracy.
Opponents say it is too big, too populous, too poor and
too culturally different to integrate into the EU, and the
bloc risks "enlarging itself to death" by extending its
borders to Iran, Iraq and Syria.
Turkey recognises only the Turkish Cypriot community in
the north of Cyprus. For the rest of the world, the Greek
Cypriot authorities in the south represent the whole
Turkish troops invaded the north of Cyprus in 1974
after a brief coup by the island's majority Greek Cypriots
aimed at union with Greece, Turkey's ancient rival. But the
Greek Cypriot government in Nicosia won international
recognition as the sole legitimate authority on the island
while Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash earned criticism
for rejecting plans aimed at reuniting the island.
Earlier this year, however, the roles were reversed
when the Turkish Cypriots, backed by Turkey and against
Denktash's own advice, voted strongly in favour of a U.N.
plan which envisaged a reunited Cyprus with broad autonomy
for the two communities.
But Greek Cypriots, egged on by their leader Tassos
Papadopoulos, decisively rejected the plan. A week later,
they entered the EU under the name "Republic of Cyprus".
Papadopoulos has since blocked EU efforts to lift trade
restrictions on northern Cyprus, stoking frustration in
Turkey suspects the Greek Cypriots want to dominate a
reunited island and that they do not consider the much
poorer Turkish Cypriots as a full and equal partner.
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