Prof. Dr. Ata ATUN

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 21 Mayıs 2007 Saat : 5:22


The exclusion of universities in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) from the Bologna Process, in other words a further em-bargo on the Turkish Cypriots — this time on education — is another thing of which the European Union should be ashamed.
Turkish Cypriots are already suffering under unjust political, economic, cultural, social, sporting and trade embargoes.

That the six excellent universities in northern Cyprus are unable to join the Bologna Process, which seeks to strengthen the ties between universities in the European family, is a wholly reprehensible decision.

This shameful result of the Bologna Ministerial Conference, held in London, actually originated from EU mishandling of the accession of Cyprus.

With respect to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and non-alignment of the Republic of Cyprus mentioned in the 1960 treaty, the Greek Cypriot administration’s accession to the EU on May 1, 2004 contravenes the non-alignment element stated in the 1960 treaty concerning the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus and the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee.

The obstructive attitude and political pressure applied by the Greek Cypriot administration can be seen everywhere. All the political, economic, cultural, social, sporting and trade operations of the Turkish Cypriots are blocked by the Greeks.

It seems that the KKTC is a stepchild of the EU.

According to Protocol 10 the KKTC lies within the territorial limits of the Council of Europe and the EU.
The Turkish Cypriots are EU citizens, but their human rights are not included.

It is certainly very wrong and inhumane that academic institu-tions and the 45,000 students in the KKTC do not have access to the benefits of the Bologna Process.

Practical implications, clever and political barricades against the Turkish Cypriots’ being within the EU arise from the persistent and malicious campaigns by Greek Cypriots, who continue to pursue their terrorism of the 1960s and 1970s into the fields of commerce, commu-nication, sport, travel and now education.

The Greek Cypriot administration education minister, deputies and commission members unfortunately did whatever they could to exclude the KKTC universities from the Bologna Process. European education ministers acted in a manner that proved their awareness of the fact that a bright future for Cyprus could only be achieved through education.

They missed it, as did the EU.

Is it seemly that the EU, alleged champion of human rights and rule of law, turned a blind eye to all of this?

This “education issue” presented a golden opportunity to break the inhumane isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, namely the Bologna Process. Now this opportunity is gone with the wind.

It is not the Turkish Cypriots who will lose in the long run. The EU and Greek Cypriots will be the ultimate losers.

They will inevitably lose the Turkish Cypriots, the northern terri-tories of Cyprus and the Turks of the motherland Turkey.

It seems that the current situation on the island will continue forever and that its division will become more solid and permanent. There will be only a small change: The Turkish Cypriots will lose their belief in Western countries and turn their back on the EU and the Greek Cypriots forever.

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