Werthmann: "Demonstrations for democracy are also held in Europe"

An aspect of the Cyprus problem

Wien (OTS) - MEP Angelika Werthmann returned last week from a delegation with the "High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish-Cypriot Community in the Northern Part of the Island".

Werthmann states that "nobody can change the past, nobody con change the history, but what can be changed is the present to build a better future, especially one that has as a basis democracy, the respect of human rights and transparency" -- this in view of the on-going negotiations between the two communities' leaders, President Christofias and Mr. Eroglu, with the goal to find a solution to the 'Cyprus Problem' - and also considering the recent demonstrations organised by Turkish Cypriot Trade Unions in the Northern Part of the island.

The demonstrations were held as a clear sign to Ankara that the Turkish Cypriots want to live without the control by Turkey in every respect. They want to put a clear end to the division of the island. They want to be without any military occupation and do not want to be overrun by Turkish settlers anymore - since 1974 the island remains divided, and the northern part of Cyprus is not only militarily controlled by but also financially obligated towards Turkey. Werthmann referred to these conditions also in a One-Minute-Speech yesterday, in the frame of the Plenary week.

Concerning the 'settlers'-issue MEP Werthmann points out that one has to be aware of the severe demographic changes that the Northern Part of the island has undergone in the past years - it is estimated that only 1 out of 3 school-students is Turkish Cypriot anymore. Therefore, Werthmann urges "of utmost importance is a census organised and supervised by an international body, like the UN (together or jointly with the EU or EP) in order to have a clear picture of the status quo concerning the population - and it needs definitely to be carried out before any referendum. There is not much time left, considering that the negotiations are supposed to come to an end in April as some voiced it," says Werthmann.

MEP Werthmann is convinced that "both sides, the Greek Cypriot as well as the Turkish Cypriot side are committed to find the best possible solution to solve the 'Cyprus problem'".

Rückfragen & Kontakt:

Büro MEP Mag. Angelika Werthmann
Parlement européen
Bât. Altiero Spinelli
60, rue Wiertz/Wiertzstraat 60
B-1047 Bruxelles/Brussel
Tel.: +32 (0)2 28 45768