Interview with ANC Europe’s Tchoboian

BEIRUT (Aztag)–Speaking about the Copenhagen Euro-summit as well as Turkey’s possible admission to European Union–Hilda Tchoboian–chairwoman of European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy–briefed ‘Vana Tsayn’ radio station via a telephone interview.

During its Copenhagen summit–the EU failed to set a specific date for Turkey’s admission talks–pledging to reconsider the issue in 2004. According to Tchoboian tensions grew after former French President Valery Giscard d’Estaing stated that Turkey was not European and its accession would spell "the end of the European Union.”

From then on it was apparent–she said–that the majority of Europe would say ‘No’ to Turkey–evident by discussions on Turkey’s cultural–political and other shortcomings–including the denial of Armenian Genocide. Tchoboian added that the Copenhagen summit eventually agreed to reconsider the issue in 2004 at which time–the body will inspect the fulfillment of proposed preconditions for admission talks.

Addressing a question on whether Cyprus–as a future EU member country–would create obstacles for Turkey’s admission–Tchoboian said that Turkey has better chance right now–with only fifteen EU member countries–then after its expansion to 25 countries; with this expansion–it will be more difficult to convince 25 member countries to embrace Turkey into the Union.

According to Tchoboian Turkey realized this urgency along the way–nevertheless failed in its efforts to turn things around.

Regarding official Ankara’s threats in order to pressure several European countries economically–particularly France and Germany–by boycotting their products that Turkey imports–Tchoboian stressed that Turkey’s intention to utilize fear and pressure in order to convince the European Union backfired; the hopelessness that prompted Ankara to pose economic threats to several European countries in this case had a negative effect on Turkey. It revealed to the Union that Turkey is not ready to stand among civilized European nations.

Tchoboian stated that that the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy will continue to lobby until the 2004 upcoming discussions of Turkey’s admission to EU. She stressed the contributions of about 200 Armenian organizations that united and struggled against a common cause.

"Our main goal–however–remains the recognition of the Armenian Genocide," she added. "We have been successful in various parliamen’s; now it is the time to take it to the next level and work on governmen’s." The Genocide is a powerful factor that is sometimes even startling to talk about. We must disperse that fear and ‘we’ includes all Armenia’s worldwide," concluded Choboian.

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