Wednesday, December 07, 2005

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Baykal: EU efforts threatening Turkey's integrity

Wednesday, December 7, 2005
ANKARA TDN Parliament Bureau

Republican People's Party (CHP) leader Deniz Baykal said on Tuesday that efforts to win European Union membership were threatening the integrity of the country and criticized government policies concerning Turkish identity and Cyprus.

Speaking to a CHP parliamentary group, Baykal pointed to a bill that was being discussed in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Parliament aimed at returning unoccupied properties in the northern part of the island left by Greeks in 1974 and said this meant handing over MaraƟ to the Greek Cypriots. He criticized the law coming at a time when all the promises made by the EU concerning Cyprus had become meaningless.

"All of us are citizens of Turkey. We are all part of this nation. Some people are ignoring unemployment, poverty and injustice and concentrating on ethnicity. Some may be Kurdish, others Laz, but the nation is called the Turkish nation. We all need each other," he said.

Baykal also said they remained committed to early elections in 2006, claiming it was a matter of life and death.