Saturday, October 31, 2009

President of Cyprus Likens EU-Turkey Relations to Nazi Appeasement

In a Guardian article of Thursday Ian Traynor reports on the difficulties in the ongoing Cyprus talks. Cypriot President Christofias took a harder line by warning against EU concessions to Turkey.

“The president of Cyprus today urged Europe to get tough with Turkey, likening the EU's concessions to Ankara to the appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s, and playing down expectations of any breakthrough in the quest for a settlement of 35 years of partition in Cyprus.”

The article further reports on a warning by Hans van den Broek, who sits on the independent Commission on Turkey, if talks fail: “the island will certainly head towards partition. Tensions will rise in the eastern Mediterranean and EU-Turkey tension will deepen.”

Christofias further said: "I don't compare Turkey with Nazi Germany ... But it is not reasonable to say don't challenge Turkey because it will get angry. There are rules and unfortunately Turkey does not respect those rules ... This reminds me of the situation before the second world war, appeasing Hitler so he doesn't become more aggressive. The substance of fascism was the substance of fascism. Hitler was Hitler."

Hellenic Defence News Note: Christofias is certainly no hardliner but it is refreshing to (finally) see him take a tougher stance. Cyprus is currently angering several EU member states due to its stance. One third of Cyprus is currently occupied by Turkey and Cyprus is actually considering Turkish accession to the European Union. Appeasement is a complete understatement even with Christofias statements above. Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it.

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