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REMARKS BY H.E. ABDULLAH GUL, MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF TURKEY,
ANKARA, APRIL 24, 2004
We regret that the UN Secretary General’s proposal for a comprehensive settlement submitted to referenda on the two sides of the Island today has been rejected by the Greek Cypriot side. The rejection by the Greek Cypriot side of the most comprehensive and serious settlement plan to date regarding the Cyprus issue, which was brought about by the efforts of the UN Secretary General and the initiative taken by Turkey recently, has led to the loss of an important opportunity. This development has also clearly revealed the real source of opposition to a solution in Cyprus.
The Turkish side has always been in favor of a just and lasting solution in Cyprus. However, the results of the referenda demonstrated that the Greek Cypriot side was not ready for a new partnership and co-existence and reconciliation with the Turkish Cypriots. At the same time, the Greek Cypriot policy of blaming the Turkish side and Turkey with intransigence through distortion of facts has also gone bankrupt.
The UN Secretary General’s proposal for a comprehensive settlement was aimed at reaching a balanced compromise in Cyprus before 1 May 2004, and the full membership of the Island to the EU under a new partnership structure and as a whole on that date. The said proposal, based on the notion that the future of the Island would be co-determined by the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, had foreseen the establishment of a new bi-zonal partnership formed by the two equal constituent states. The UN Secretary General’s proposal stipulated that in case one of the sides voted „no“, the Plan would be null and void. Unfortunately, this is what we face today.
These referenda, which were held for the first time in the Island following the UN negotiation process of almost 30 years, have created a new situation in Cyprus. The international community has to analyze and assess this situation accurately. We believe that the two peoples on the Island should draw necessary conclusions from this new situation and live side by side in peace and security.
The results of the referenda have also created a highly paradoxical situation for the EU. On one hand the EU is admitting to membership the party which has voted against a solution and the unification of the Island, while on the other leaving out in the open the party wishing to find a solution and unite the Island.
Under the circumstances, we expect the Greek Cypriot political leadership and international community to remove the unjust and illegitimate embargoes and restrictions, imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people. Through this referendum, the Turkish Cypriot people have demonstrated their desire to integrate with the World. No one has the right to further isolate the Turkish Cypriot people in the international arena. We expect the international community to respond favorably to this call of the Turkish Cypriots. It is now high time for the international community to assume its obligations towards the Turkish Cypriot people, who live in a pluralistic democratic structure respecting human rights.
As a country contributing to enhancing security and stability in her region and in the World, Turkey has set for itself, as a strategic objective, full membership to the EU. In the same vein, Turkey will continue to spend efforts to further develop its relations with Greece. We hope that Greece will duly assess this new situation that emerged in the Island and adopt a consistent and constructive attitude.
The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot people will continue to find motherland Turkey at their side. We are confident that the Turkish Cypriot people will maintain their unity and harmony. Turkey will fulfill its obligations with regard to the prosperity and well-being of the Turkish Cypriot people. Nobody should doubt this.
Although it has not been possible to achieve a positive result, today, we wish to extend our gratitude to the United Nations team, first and foremost to the UN Secretary-General, who have deployed great efforts, during the past four years, in order to reach a successful outcome in this exercise, as well as to the countries concerned, for their contributions.
Canadian ordinary (personal) passport holders require
a visa for Turkey. The visa can be obtained either from this Embassy or upon
entry to Turkey if the purpose of the trip is pleasure, business or
1- Visa fee at the point of entry is US$45.00 or Euro 45 (cash).
This visa allows the holder to stay in Turkey for a maximum period of 90 days
and is valid for multiple entries during that period.
-Holders of Canadian travel documents must obtain a visa from this Embassy prior to departure. Application should be made well in advance. The Embassy should be contacted for detailed information.
Anniversary of the Proclamation of the Republic
Courtesy of BYEGM
The International Republic Cartoon Contest is being organized as part of celebrations marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the Republic of Turkey. Through this contest, the Directorate General of Press and Information and the Cartoon Foundation hope to produce permanent works concerning the Republic.
Special awards by B’nai B’rith Canada
Mountain Lake PBS TV network aired the award winning documentary film “Desperate Hours” on February 12, 2004 at 8.00 pm. It was the television world premiere of the documentary and was also a first for North America. “Deperate Hours” was produced in 2001 by Mrs. Victoria Barret, an American film maker and it was recently named “Best Documentary” at the Independent Film Festival of Washington, DC in 2003. The film is about Turkey’s efforts to save Jews of Turkish origin in Europe from the Holocaust before and during the years of the Second World War.
On the occasion of television world premiere of the film, B’nai B’rith Canada hosted a reception at the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Montreal on February 11, 2004 with the participation of more than 140 distinguished guests. Following the reception and the special screening of the “Desperate Hours”, H.E. Mr. Aydemir Erman, Ambassador of the Republic of Turkey and Mrs. Victoria Barret, Producer were presented special awards by B’nai B’rith Canada.