Interviewee: I think that this really comes out of the failure of the referendum on the [IB] plan. And Turkey would like to see movement in Cypress before it opens its ports to Cypriote shipping. That’s understandable but it’s contrary to what is required to move forward in any negotiations. And this is one of the issues that I think Turkey has not yet grappled with. We see negotiations. That’s not right, it’s not a negotiation. Every candidate state has eventually found us out. They don’t say would you like to adopt this chapter on environmental protection? They say no. When are you going to adopt it? By what date can we send our inspectors around? When is your parliament going to pass it? So, it’s not negotiation. It is about the Turkey coming up to or adapting EU law and doing the things for example that are required to be a member. To be a member, you must recognize all the other members. It will be inconceivable to have a member in the EU that does not recognize all the other members and does not open their ports. If France – if Latvia did not open its ports to Germany, forget it. So, this is one of the difficulties that Turkey will face because it is attempting to negotiate in the real sense to get a bargain vis-a-vis Cypress.
Interviewee: But, it does not hold the carts.
Interviewee: So, we have 4 other chapters, key chapters, but usually negotiated late in the day that had been – France has put a block on. These are chapters like economic and monetary union that the French have defined as being only 4 members. The French position is that Turkey can negotiate all the other chapters and could have a privilege partnership or something similar. Only members can do these other 4 chapters, and therefore Turkey cannot. Right now, there’s a little prospect of that block being lifted. It will take a considerable amount of political capital to shift president Sarkozy. As a result of these things, the feeling in Europe is increasingly that the negotiations are running out of things they can negotiate. They also are looking for in more reforms on the Turkish side. This is where there has been a shift in the last year. There was a feeling that the [IB] party government was going full speed ahead. They had seen more reforms in the first part of the government than the EU had expected. In the last year, 18 months, that has slowed down considerably. The EU looked for more reforms after the March elections, but they are not seeing it. They are seeing it on economic issues, and that’s great. That’s necessary, but they are not seeing it on some of the other issues that are of prime importance and that they believe would also be good in winning over the publics in Europe. Some of the political reform issues, judicial reform, some of the opening of the Halki Seminary for example, protection of the needy worship places, an anti-corruption strategy. There are lists of these things, but they all were kind of focused on these bigger political issues, religious tolerance issues, more expression, more ability to use Kurdish and public spaces although they are very much boosted by the Turkish television station that has opened, and is now broadcasting. So that was a big positive checkmark.