Turkey should reconsider EU bid, says Cypriot leader

By Murat Demirci, Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Top human rights court's judgment a political one and casts doubt on EU's reliability, Turkish Cypriot politician Denktas claims

Top human rights court's judgment a political one and casts doubt on EU's reliability, Turkish Cypriot politician Denktas claims

LEFKOSA, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus - Turkey should reconsider its bid to join the European Union, the deputy prime minister of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has said.

Serdar Denktas -- son of Rauf Denktas, the founding president of the republic – was speaking to Anadolu Agency on Tuesday after Europe’s top human rights court ordered Turkey to pay 90 million euros to the Greek Cypriot administration in compensation for its peace mission in 1974.

“This judgment was passed in order to punish Turkey and to gratify Greek Cypriots and Greece,” Denktas said.

Claiming that the European Court of Human Rights’ judgment was a politically motivated one, Denktas said that it cast doubts on to what extent Turkey could trust the EU.

The court on Monday ruled that Turkey was to pay 30 million euros ($41.2 million) in compensation to relatives of those still missing from the conflict and 60 million euros for Greek Cypriots enclosed within Turkish-held Karpas peninsula in the island.

The Turkish administration's foreign ministry on Tuesday claimed that the judgment was 'erroneous' both in terms of content and procedure as "it ignored the fact that the grounds causing the damages have been repaired."

“Were it not for the peace of 1974, Greeks would have slain every Greek Cypriot who opposed them, and the turn would have eventually have come for Turkish Cypriots,” Denktas said.

In 1974, Turkey launched a peace operation to the island in response to a military coup backed by the junta then ruling Greece against Archbishop Makarios, the first post-colonial Greek Cypriot ruler of the island.

The island has been divided into a Turkish Cypriot administration in the northern third and a Greek Cypriot one in the southern two-thirds since the operation.

The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized solely by Turkey, whereas the Greek Administration in Southern Cyprus is an EU member and recognized internationally.

“Turkish Cypriots’ trust in EU institutions had declined ever since the Annan plan, but the latest judgment completely rooted it out,” Denktas said.

A 2004 deal put forward by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to reunify the Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot communities was defeated by a ‘no’ vote in a Cyprus-wide referendum.

Intermittent talks have since been inconclusive.

The stalled negotiations were resuscitated in February as part of a new initiative to resolve the conflict, with both sides’ leaders issuing a joint declaration on the path towards reunification.

The Turkish republic's President Dervis Eroglu said that Monday's ruling was a politically motivated one that could fuel an uncompromising attitude from the Greek side towards a possible resolution.

He said the judgment might also give the impression that EU is a party of the conflict.  

Turkey’s European Union ambitions are entwined with a solution to the dispute over the future of island. Accession talks are locked due to the ongoing issue.

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