OPINION

Bargaining, the Eastern way

After marathon negotiations, Vienna finally relinquished its demand for the European Union to embark on a «privileged partnership» with Turkey rather than offering it full membership. However, the significance of Austria’s initiative will become apparent further down the road of negotiations when other member states try to divert Ankara’s accession bid in the direction of a special relationship. Despite Austria’s submission, the deadlock continued well into the night. This time, it was the other side that was to blame. Faithful to their original tactics, the Turks tried to eliminate the provision of the framework which called for them to lift their veto on Cyprus joining international bodies such as NATO. Turkey is ensuring that NATO’s door remains closed to Cyprus. It is also keeping Cyprus out of the EU military force as the latter uses NATO’s infrastructure. It is indicative of Turkey’s attitude, however, that at a time when it crucially needed Cyprus to support its EU accession bid, it continued to block its entry to certain international organizations. Further, Ankara tried to change the EU’s common position for the lifting of this veto. This behavior provides uncontestable proof that the Turkish regime is far from approaching European standards, and therefore far from ready to start the accession process…