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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
04ANKARA5827 2004-10-14 09:23:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Ankara
Cable title:  

TURKEY EXTENDS CUSTOMS UNION TO CYPRUS

Tags:   PREL ETRD TU CY EUN 
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L ANKARA 005827 

SIPDIS

DEPT PASS USTR
DEPT FOR EUR/SE, EUR/ERA

E.O. 12958: DECL: 10/12/2009
TAGS: PREL ETRD TU CY EUN
SUBJECT: TURKEY EXTENDS CUSTOMS UNION TO CYPRUS

REF: ANKARA 5816

Classified By: (U) Classified by Deputy Chief of Mission Robert Deutsch
for reasons 1.4 b, d.



1. (U) On October 2, several days before issuance of the
European Commission's report on Turkish progress toward
accession, the Turkish MFA announced that all new EU
members, including the Republic of Cyprus, would be included
within the
scope of the Turkey-EU Customs Union. The announcement
followed GOT Cabinet approval of an amendment to the customs
union agreement to include all new EU member states. This
amendment supersedes a May 7, 2004 Cabinet decision which
extended the customs union to the other nine new members and
which excluded the Republic of Cyprus. The MFA announcement
(reftel) underscores that this step does not imply
recognition of the Republic of Cyprus or a change in its
relationship with
the Turkish Cypriot administration in northern Cyprus.



2. (C) In subsequent conversations with us, European
diplomats, including the EU President Dutch DCM, averred that
the EU will not require Turkey to take any further steps with
respect to Cyprus prior to the EU Summit in December. MFA
Cyprus Department Head Bilman told us that Turkey does
not contemplate further measures, such as maritime and
aviation links, arguing that these areas are outside
the scope of the Customs Union. He also noted the lack of
concrete progress in easing the isolation of the Turkish
Cypriots. Nor, he added, will Turkey sign a protocol on the
matter with the ROC: making the extension operational is an
internal Turkish matter, he argued, and Turkey had signed no
such protocol with any other new EU member.



3. (C) When we spoke to him on October 4, Bilman worried
that extending the Customs Union would draw criticism from
the nationalistic elements in Turkey, including the
opposition Republican Peoples, Party (CHP) and the military.
CHP Member of Parliament and Vice Chair for International
Relations Oymen claimed to us on October 8 that the CHP
understood Customs Union extension was "unavoidable" if
Turkey wanted to get a date in December, and that the CHP
would not criticize it. On October 13, Bilman said the MFA
had not yet received the criticism he feared.



4. (C) Cemalettin Damlaci, Director General for EU Affairs at
the Foreign Trade Undersecretariat, told Econoff and Econ
Specialist on October
8 that the GOT's October 2 announcement has not actually
been implemented. Implementing regulations must be issued
for the Customs and Foreign Trade Undersecretariats. Asked
about the timing of these regulations, Damlaci implied that
the Greek Cypriots
would need to show a "positive approach" before Turkey
finalized these measures. Conversely, Customs Director
General for EU Affairs Sabahattin Kocas told Econ Specialist
on October 13 that he expected the Prime Ministry to approve
the implementating regulation for the Customs
Undersecretariat soon.
EDELMAN