Turkey Watch

Watching the Turkish nail being put into Europian coffin.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Turkish FM Gul Warns of Anti-western Backlash in Turkey

From Zaman

Turkey's Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul has warned that vacillations in negotiations for Turkey's European Union membership coupled with the US policies in the Middle East, are fueling an anti-western backlash in Turkey.

In an interview with the London Financial Times on Thursday, Mr Gul said that failure to resolve the Cyprus issue was "tainting" Turkey's EU membership negotiation process.

In addition, the Turkish FM opined that failure to solve the Cyprus issue has had a "global impact" on other areas, such as security cooperation.

Gul went on to stress the backing of Turkish government the latest efforts by the United Nations to re-start the Cyprus peace process with a proposal to set up technical committees to deal with cross-border matters such as crime.

Minister Gul also warned that some EU members using Cyprus as a pretext to delay the negotiations.

Gul added that US support for Israeli actions in Lebanon would result in a backlash throughout the Middle East.

As regards the effect of EU difficulties and the Middle East crisis on the public attitude in Turkey, FM Gul went on to declare, "Moderate citizens (in Turkey) are becoming anti-American and anti-EU."

"If our young, dynamic, educated, and affluent population becomes bitter, if their attitudes and feelings are changed, it is not good. Their views have changed towards these global policies and strategic issues. This is dangerous."

Speaking about the continued presence of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Northern Iraq, Gul stated, "This is very dangerous…We cannot tolerate this. We will definitely use all our rights under international law.

"Of course we understand the Iraqi government's position, but if they are not able to control their land, they should co-operate with us.

"If they cannot stop it, we will have to take action."

Gul added that the PKK was armed with guns and explosives obtained in Iraq and from the Iraqi army.

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