for Justice and Democracy
Avenue de la Renaissance 10
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Email: [email protected]

November 30, 2006
Contact: Vartenie ECHO
Tel: +322 732 70 26


-- The Commission suggests only half-measures, consisting in
suspension of technical chapters of the negotiation process --

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - The European Commission recommended on Wednesday
29th November the suspension of 8 of the 35 tracks, or chapters, of
Turkey's negotiation process toward joining the European Union.
Moreover, the Commission recommended that no already opened chapter
"be provisionally closed".

The eight tracks suspended by the Commission are largely technical in
nature. The Commission refrained from suspending the remaining 27
tracks. In taking these steps, the Commission alleges to give an
appropriate response to Turkey's intransigence - particularly its
refusal to ratify the Ankara protocol which would have meant the
implicit recognition of Cyprus.

As a consequence, the suspended chapters are those which are linked
to some extent to Cyprus issues: freedom of movement of goods (§1),
right of establishment and freedom to provide services (§3),
financial services (§9), agriculture and rural development (§11),
fisheries (§13), transport (§14), customs union (§29) and external
relations (§30).

"The Commission has fallen far short of its obligations to enforce
Turkey's compliance or to punish its flagrant violation of its own
commitments across a broad range of issues. Europeans expect the
Commission to act in a more principled and responsible manners on
this core matter concerning the future of the Union," said the
Chairperson of the European Armenian Federation, Mrs Hilda Tchoboian.

The European Armenian Federation considers these half-measures a
clear retreat from the Council's own decision in December of 2004,
which firmly established the terms of the negotiation framework.
This understanding stipulated that, in case of serious and persistent
violation of the principles on which the Union is based, the
Commission must fully suspend its negotiations with Turkey.

Seeking to explain its decision, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement
declared that "we have agreed that these negotiations have to move
forward at a less rapid pace. There will be no train wreck, but there
is a clear slowing down of the process."

"European civil society does not understand why the Commission keeps
on acting as the hostage of Ankara's demands for double standards and
special treatment. Far from demanding Turkey's compliance, the
Commission is actively ignoring the recent European Parliament
resolution regarding the conditions for the suspension of talks with
Turkey," said Tchoboian. "As such, we call on Member States to
recognize the Commissions moral failure and to enact measures of
their own accord to ensure that the values and the standards of the
Union are respected."