Memorandum from Professor S R Sonyel
UK RELATIONS WITH TURKEY
Turkey has been, and still is, a staunch supporter
of European defence. She is a loyal and active member of the North
Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), and in that capacity has
made invaluable contributions to the defence of Europe and Western
causes since the establishment of NATO. Turkey's recent and justified
objection to the use by the European Union (EU) of NATO resources
(because Turkey is not a member of the EU but still needs to be
consulted) has now been resolved.
The United Kingdom (UK) has a long relationship
with Turkey, including the military sphere. She is also allowed
to use Turkey's air-space. At a time when the West is taking effective
action against international terrorism, Turkey's invaluable contribution
to those efforts is beyond dispute. Turkey can be a valuable member
of the Western European Alliance and the planned European Rapid
Reaction Force, but she needs to be accepted as a full member
of the EU, and therefore membership negotiations should be initiated
as soon as possible.
Until recently Turkey was treated by the EU
establishment in a rather cavalier manner and marginalised, whilst
Greece became a member without much fuss. Recently the EU-Turkey
relations were soured because the EU allowed itself to be blackmailed
by Greece to accept to consider for membership the unilateral
application of Greek South Cyprus, which poses as "the government
of all Cyprus". The EU ignored completely the de facto
existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and did not
bother to consult the Turkish Cypriots about membership.
Turkey-UK relations also were soured over this
issue, because the Turks believe that the UK should have used
her authority as one of the guarantor Powers of the 1959 Cyprus
Treaties, to veto the application of South Cyprus, which does
not represent North Cyprus. That application is contrary to the
letter and spirit of the 1960 Cyprus Treaties, which the UK officially
still endorses, and which make it clear that "Cyprus"
cannot become a member of any organisation in which both Turkey
and Greece are not members.
If, with the threat of Greece, the EU is forced
to admit for membership a divided Cyprus before a final and viable
settlement is reached on the issue, then Turkey's chances of ever
becoming EU member will be lost forever. Turkey would then have
to find solace elsewhere, while the EU would be lumbered with
the small Greek state of South Cyprus (a market of 650,000 people),
and with the loss of Turkey (a market of 66 million people), and
face prolonged military and political instability in the Aegean
and Mediterranean areas. The UK, too, will stand to lose many
of the advantages she enjoys in the areas.
Professor S R Sonyel