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Kurt, Süleyman

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Zaman - Turkey | 13/06/2006

Formal start to Turkey's membership talks

"Compromise reached on Cyprus veto," proclaims the moderate Islamic daily. "By continually changing their position last week, the Greek Cypriots sought at all costs to block the opening of membership talks with Turkey. But this little game came to an end late yesterday afternoon. Hence, we ended up seeing a repeat of the scenario of October 3, 2005 [the date of the official launch of membership negotiations that Austria had sought to block at the last minute]. The fact that the Cypriots were unable to put up as much resistance as the Austrians can be easily explained by the fact that they failed to obtain the backing of any member state. While even the Greeks abstained from backing Cyprus, the European Commission and Austria expended a lot of energy on resolving the issue. Austria ... made one offer after another to get Cyprus on board."

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