Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2012-02-15-Speech-3-496-000"

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"Mr President, amongst the items on the agenda at the forthcoming UN Human Rights Council will be Cyprus. I would like to concentrate on human rights issues in Northern Cyprus and their place in negotiations for Turkey’s accession to the European Union. In Northern Cyprus itself, there have been reports of violations of the human rights and freedom from discrimination of minorities, torture, and violations of freedom of movement, religion and speech. In 1974, during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the city of Famagusta was overrun by armour, and the civilian population – fearing massacre – was forced to evacuate, leaving behind everything they could not carry. Only Turks were allowed to remain, and the Varosha section of the city remains isolated and unpopulated to this day. This is in contradiction with UN Security Council Resolutions 550 and 789. Technically, this border dispute does call into question the legitimacy of the Cypriot accession to the European Union. A 112-mile long ‘green line’ still divides the island. 1 588 Greek Cypriots are still on the missing persons list following the Turkish invasion, but still the EU – with the exception of one or two Member States –pushes for Turkey’s accession. By discussing Turkey’s accession whilst unresolved border issues and questions of human rights in Northern Cyprus remain, the EU is undermining the integrity of the United Nations. You are overlooking appalling human rights abuses, and you are making a mockery of the integrity of your own position on human rights. Regarding Turkey’s statement that they would freeze EU ties when Cyprus takes over the EU Presidency, I would ask the High Representative: why is the EU negotiating membership with a country that is acting in such a bullying manner? Although, on second thoughts, the High Representative might agree that such a country would fit perfectly into the European Union."@en1

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