Sevag Avedissian, Chargé d' Affaires of the High Commission of Cyprus in New Delhi, writes with reference to the article titled "EU gives Turkey the cold shoulder again" ( The Hindu , December27):
"Turkey, which aspires to join the EU, has certain commitments and obligations in this regard, which it nevertheless refuses to honour: it must, among other things, implement the Ankara Protocol involving the extension of its Customs Union to the ten new EU member states, including the Republic of Cyprus, normalise its relations with Cyprus and discontinue its policy of vetoing the latter's membership to various international organisations and, recognise it as a sovereign State.
"Not only does Turkey's offer to open one port and one airport to Cypriot vessels and aircrafts constitute a mockery of its commitments, it's also designed to extract concessions from Cyprus (37% of which it continues to occupy militarily since 1974) concerning issues that are irrelevant to its accession course, with the sole intent of politically upgrading the illegal entity in the occupied part of the island.
"The allegations propagated by Ankara concerning the so-called `economic isolation' of the Turkish Cypriots, should also be seen in this light. Even under the prohibitive conditions of foreign occupation that has kept the island divided for more than three decades, the Government of Cyprus has been extending a number of services to the Turkish Cypriots, who, in addition, are now able to work in the Government-controlled areas. This reality, along with other measures and the considerable aid afforded by the EU, with the consent and support of the Government, have more than doubled the Turkish Cypriots' per capita income in the last two years only.
"Furthermore, I wish to stress that our accession to the EU was never made dependent on the solution of the Cyprus problem. Accordingly, the result of the referendum of April 2004 was not related in any way to Cyprus' accession course. As to the reasons of rejecting the aforementioned Plan, these are well known; suffice to say that its provisions were unbalanced, unacceptable and not always compatible with the EU Acquis Communautaire.
"Finally, let me underline that Cyprus is not against Turkey's accession to the EU, provided the latter fulfils its relevant commitments and obligations."