European Parliament President Martin Schulz has said that the issue of Turkish Cypriot representation at the European Parliament could be solved in a decisive and permanent way by finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, reports Turkish Cypriot daily ‘Havadis’.
In response to written question by Havadis’ correspondent Esra Aygin, Schulz emphasised that it was both unacceptable and a matter of concern that Turkish Cypriots are not represented in the European Parliament.
Schulz reiterated that a Cyprus settlement would benefit both sides. He said that everybody knows that achieving solution in Cyprus will not be easy; however, he added that he is an optimist politician and stressed that the current situation in Cyprus benefits neither the island nor the EU.
Commenting on the decision of the South Cyprus Government to approve legislation that facilitates voting for Turkish Cypriots in the upcoming European Parliament elections on 26th May through automatic registration on the electoral roll, Schulz encouraged the Turkish Cypriots to use their vote in the European Parliament elections and added: “I would like to remind that the one third of the seats for Cyprus in the European Parliament belong to the Turkish Cypriot community”.
Noting that some groups have demanded that the Turkish Cypriots are given“observer” status in the European Parliament as they have in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Schulz said: “We should take into consideration that the structures and the authorities of the two institutions are very different. The status of observer in the European Parliament is for the countries that are carrying on negotiations in order to enter into the EU. This status is not logical and meaningful for the Turkish Cypriots.”
Referring to the normalisation of Turkey’s relations with South Cyprus and Turkey’s attitude towards opening its ports and airports to South Cyprus’ vessels, Schulz stressed that all countries wishing to join the EU should respect and adapt its regulations and institutions.
He went on: “I would like to remind that Turkey is carrying out at this moment negotiations with the EU. If Turkey wants to be an EU full member, then it should behave as any other EU member country. In other words, Turkey should comply with all EU regulations and legislation and should respect all the political institutions of the EU.”