EU DECISION CAN NOT CHANGE TURKEY'S ROUTE: PM

People's Daily Online, China
Oct 3 2005

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that any
EU decision can not change Turkey's route.

Erdogan made the remark as Britain, which currently holds a six-month
rotating EU presidency, has called an emergency meeting of EU foreign
ministers in Luxembourg on Sunday to end the bickering over the
guiding principles of Turkey's accession talks.

"Targets for the future of Turkey are not indexed onto Oct. 3 or any
other date. Turkey fulfilled its responsibilities prior to Oct. 3,"
Erdogan told a meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party
(AKP).

Turkey's entry talks are scheduled to start on Oct. 3. EU foreign
ministers must agree on a negotiating mandate for Turkey to begin
talks at the Sunday emergency meeting, less than 10 hours away from
the scheduled negotiation date.

"Now it is the test time for the EU. Regardless of any decision,Turkey
will take its own decision. This decision will never affect or cease
structural reforms, democracy and human rights.

Because Turkey fulfilled all of these to establish its prosperous
future,"Erdogan said.

"The picture which will appear on Oct. 3 will be determinant for
the future of the EU, more than future of Turkey. The EU will either
decide to be a global actor or accept to be a Christian club," he said.

"Turkish government's policy reached success regarding Cyprus issue.

Now, nobody lays the blame on Turkey and Turkish Republic of Northern
Cyprus (TRNC) regarding insolubility," he said.

EU leaders agreed last December that Turkey had carried out necessary
reforms on human rights, society and economy, which qualify Ankara
for official EU membership talks.

But strains flared anew after Ankara reaffirmed in July its refusal to
recognize the Republic of Cyprus, which joined the EU on behalf of the
whole island. Ankara recognizes the breakaway Turkish Cypriot north.

Turkey has come under pressure to admit what Armenians call a genocide
against their people by the Ottoman Empire during and at the end of
World War I -- an event that remains highly sensitive for Turks.